Fantastic Females – Interview with JustBe Founder Gail BrydEn


Gail has created JustBe Botanicals, an all natural feel good range that includes multiple award winning skincare, sensory spa treatments, herbal teas and aromatherapy chocolates. Each wellbeing journey starts with the simple question ‘how would you like to feel?’. Using positive intent and our sense of smell, there are 7 blends to choose from.


In addition to smelling gorgeous, they’re emotionally nourishing and packed full of therapeutic benefits. The essence of JustBe is to encourage others to simply be themselves. The entire range is hand blended in small batches in Scotland, the majority by Gail herself.  JustBe Kind is the latest addition to the range with 20% going to support SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health).

Prior to starting JustBe in 2009, Gail worked in Consumer Insight roles for 4 FMCG companies Kimberly Clark, Heinz, Scottish & Newcastle and Diageo who’s brands include Andrex, Heinz Baked Beans, Foster’s and Guinness. Gails day job of analysing what consumers do within a supermarket or a pub environment, naturally expanded into understanding our motives behind why we do what we do. Gail re-trained as a life coach, before embarking on a range of wellbeing therapies that include holistic massage, lomi lomi, bach flower remedies, mind detox and clinical aromatherapy. Gail graduated from the University of Stirling with a BAcc in Accountancy and Marketing. Gail was born and brought up in Dumfries and now lives and works in Edinburgh.



What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career? 

In the early stages whilst working for 4 large companies, I re-located and moved around the country, living in Newcastle, Maidstone, London, Edinburgh & Dublin. Looking back it was quite unsettling, but on the plus side the corporate training and experience was invaluable especially now that I’m self employed. And the friends that I made along the way have been friends for life.

I’ve been working for and by myself for 12 years now, which has it’s challenges and rewards. I practice tenacity, positivity, compassion and patience on a daily basis. Although the days / weekends aren’t as defined as they were during my corporate career, and I certainly don’t go on as many holidays as I used, the daily commute to my loft is much more enjoyable as is my choice of clothing and shoes!

Who inspired you and why?

I’ve been blessed to have so many inspiring people in my life, but if I had to pick only one, it would be an acupuncturist. I burnt out at aged 34 and wanting to get back to full health I was keen to try alternative therapies rather than medication. Knowing that I couldn’t go back to work within a corporate setting, Fred asked the seemingly simple question: ‘what have you always wanted to do?’ I had always enjoyed cooking and gardening, but had a desire / calling to learn massage. This set me on a path to learn holistic massage – my introduction to the mind body connection.

I’m inspired by people who live from the heart, people who are authentic. Amongst others, follow Danielle La Porte ( and Brené Brown ( on social media.

JustBe Hamper

What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Understand what success means to you – it’s not the same for everyone. Ask about things you don’t understand. Do more of what you enjoy. Find your voice and your own style of doing things. Gain as much knowledge, skills and experience as you can. If possible, find a mentor.

Do you think women feel intimidated in business?

I certainly think we can all feel intimidated if we’re uncertain or out of our depth. As an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland, I’m grateful that things are changing for the better, although there’s still a way to go on things such as the gender pay gap.

Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?  

It depends on the weather and time of the year. If it’s dry and relatively warm I’ll probably be out on my bike. Otherwise I may be at home listening to the radio before going out to the local farmers market or meeting a friend for a coffee.

What do you love about your job?

Almost everything! I love the creative process of creating new blends, working with spa’s and therapists on the JustBe wellbeing journey, the feedback from customers, and doing something that I genuinely enjoy.

Justbe aromatherapy chocolate

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

Leaving London to return to Scotland. I absolutely love living and working in Edinburgh.

What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made?

I took an internal promotion in my 30’s that felt like a step too far at the time. I felt stressed and I wish that I could have gone back to the previous role. That however led me to where I am today – so ultimately it was a good thing.

How do you organise your time?

I prioritise orders and then fit any new product development or admin round about that.

What do you think is your greatest strength?

Intuition.  We all have the ability to tap into our inner knowing.

What do you think is your greatest weakness?

Not always listening to my gut or speaking my truth.

How do you make decisions?

A combination of head and heart – what feels right. For big strategic decisions, I occassionally check in with my female mentor or good friends for their feedback.

What do you read?

Mainly books on positive mindset. Highly recommend Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I also read the daily email from Notes from the Universe

What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?

A combination of luck, being ready to learn and willing to put in the time. We’re about to enter a new era post Covid19; it’ll be interesting to see what our new norm becomes. I’m certainly hopeful that there will be more interest in businesses who give back and support others.