Jan - Child of Nature
Jan was brought up a true 'child of nature'. His life-long love affair with the soil, nature and countryside began as a baby, when he was often at a nearby farm where his mother worked. As a young child, Jan had the freedom to roam and appreciate the countryside in all seasons. His mother and grandmother introduced him to the pleasures of gardening, growing flowers and vegetables.
While Jan pursued a career that led into the world of physics and high vacuum technology, he never lost his close love of nature and rural values. He undertook private education to obtain a Diploma in Horticulture and joined societies that had a rural bias, including local nature conservation clubs. Reading Rachel Carson’s seminal book ‘Silent Spring’ provided the dynamic for future work.
Jan changed career lanes to become the manager of what was then the UK’s largest Agricultural Cooperative, serving all manner of farming needs. After joining the new industry of plastics he became responsible for introducing a variety of plastics into agriculture to improve animal welfare and horticultural techniques to reduce environmental damage. Jan's parent company received awards for their employee's pioneering work. Moving on, Jan became European sales manager for a US soil Testing Company and participated in the European-wide acid rain campaign. Concurrently, he began work as marketing manager for the Soil Association - the most prestigious organic association in the world – and helped develop the 'Soil Association Symbol' – a guarantee mark of organic food.
By this point, Jan had already entered into a period of study in herbal medicine, naturopathy and dietary therapy. This would be followed by studies in aromatherapy, leading to Jan becoming one of the UK's first male practitioners and enabling him to enter the fragrance and cosmetics industry. With his knowledge of the organic movement and contact with many small and specialist suppliers of herbs and aromatic essential oils, Jan was keen to promote the burgeoning ‘natural’ cosmetic industry. To this end, he founded the now-famous Fragrant Earth Company: the undoubted pioneer of professional Aromatherapy supplies.
During this period, Jan began the Genera Consultancy – specialising in skin care cosmetics, aromatics and fragrances. He has had a hand in a number of leading brands, including Origins (now an Estee Lauder brand) and Elemis, and continues to espouse organic values within the beauty industry.