This is Steph
Just your average Northern (Mancunian) girl soaking up the fresh West Yorkshire air from my hand-built home here in the UK.
I'm a graphic designer by job title. I love drawing and designing homeware and gifts which I sell online, but i'm also what I like to call 'an idea girl'- in that, plot twist, I have A LOT of creative ideas....
Firstly I am also currently renovating my house by hand for the 4th and hopefully final time. It's basically a set of old garages combined to make a little rustic bungalow home for me and my two dogs. The process in doing it up has taken a whopping 10 years and a hella growth. But luckily, you will find all about the process on here.
Alongside this I like to also think i'm a pretty good cook (given that I only cook for myself.) I've been a vegetarian since I was a teen, but recently have dabbled more in vegan and plant based recipes, specifically the healthy, feeds your body and your soul kind. Usually I just throw my meals together in what can only be described as a chaotic mess before eating it rather ungracefully, alone, in bed... So this recipe blogging is a new one for me.
Another new field I have delved into is natural beauty products and self care. This is something i've learnt from my wonderfully wild mum who is passionate about making nutritious skin and hair care products. Safe to say i've picked up what she has thrown down- and now i'm hooked too.
So why 'Wild Living' I hear you ask?
Well, I decided after a bit of a wake up call (classic right?) over the past year or so that I wasn't actually fulfilling, or actually even feeling much in most aspects of my life. The years previous had been spent binging pretty much everything that was toxic: Relationships, food, alcohol, the art of not exercising, more food, more alcohol. Basically all the stuff that feels great for that brief, indulgent moment but leaves you vacant behind the eyes after a while. I woke up more days hungover then I didn't at one point.
I know they say that your 20s are for living 'wildly' and 'having fun' yadda yadda, but this was me setting myself up for life. By my 30th birthday I was engaged to be married, an extra 4 stone heavier (in my chins alone,) emotionally numb, lacking in any sort of career and binge drinking my chin worries away. Nothing much 'wild' about that really is there?
It was shortly after my birthday that I had one of those moments, you know, where it feels like you have abandoned ship and the real captain has come to take over? Clearly something squished deep down had had enough of watching this excuse for a life unfold and in the blink of an eye I ended my engagement and was living alone.
That's when I knew what is was that had been squished. After spending most of my adult life in relationships and feeling a bit like an intruder in someone else's life, now the house was finally quiet enough for me to hear the faint whispers of my own thoughts, and I can honestly say it didn't even take that long for me to feel connected with, that's right, myself again.
I was spending my days exploring the countryside with my dogs that I love, listening to music I love, creating designs I love, making a home I love literally come to life one floorboard at a time and I was topping it all off with the health Holy Trinity of wholesome food (some of which I had even foraged!) healthy exercise and self care rituals.
Then one evening I was thinking about my job and how I wanted to expand into new ideas. Casually I came across a quote for the definition of Wild:
(of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated."a herd of wild goats."
Aside from the goat aspect, what I liked was how the term 'natural environment' could reflect a whole host of places, physical and metaphorical that differ from person to person to goat. Connecting back with all things wholesome and natural had indeed been the thing most responsible in allowing me to connect back with myself. (The cliché is a cliché for a reason my friends!) But I was also thriving again because being alone in my very own 'natural environment' had shone a light on my real thoughts and feelings, feelings that I had tried to tame with label of what I, and others thought I should be doing. Basically this new soil where I had taken root was lush AF and I was blossoming again.
So it became clear what I wanted to do. I wanted to create a job, a life, a World that is everything I am passionate about, that was the essence of all my experiences so far to get to this point; from the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows. But most importantly was real and relatable to anyone who ever felt lost for a while and needed to return home again.
Maybe this resonates with you, maybe not. It is just my own experiences, my own messy thoughts. But if you wish to join in with this herd of wild goats and see where we end up, feel free to hang around a while.
This is Suzie
AKA: Wild Mama.
Suzanne is my mum, but also the inspiration behind a whopping big chunk of this business.
Whilst I was dipping my toe into this new way of 'living wildly' she was already living it full throttle, immersed in the most natural and wholesome ways to aid health and vitality. You will often find her practicing yoga and meditation in The Secret Garden she built in her home.
An Holistic Therapist and energy healer, she has spent the past 25 + years helping people with their health and wellbeing, often with life changing experiences for her clients.
A straight talking and spiritually intuitive, Lancashire woman, her approach to life is with pure honesty and encouraging everyone to feel empowered and find their true path in life. A trait which has clearly been passed down to me as well.
Alongside her therapies she is also a qualified natural aromatherapist specialising in skin and body care from homegrown herbs and botanicals from the garden. Most of the self care, rituals and general wellbeing posts on here are down to her and her vast experience in all things health related.
Where we live
It was about 14 years ago that Suzie and my dad, Chris decided to sell up our family home in Oldham to move up to the countryside in West Yorkshire and create a haven for people in need of healing and wellbeing. The Old Coach House has since grown and grown and grown to become a fully fledged wellness spa and a firm favourite to many customers from all over the UK.
The house itself was a regular family home to begin with, with just one room used for Suzanne to do her one to one therapies. 14 years on it now has 3 private spas: The Secret Garden, The River Spa and The Cabana, each with their own quirky identities and relaxation areas, hot tubs and saunas. There are now also 4 treatment rooms for therapists to work from and a Reception/ Cafe with it's very own Teepee and Treehouse (which are definitely my dad's creative input!)
As a business starting with just 2 people, it now has at least 10 employees and is booked up most of the year round with customers eager for some relaxation. As a family home it not only houses my parents but also my grandparents and their dogs in their own Summer House overlooking the wild life pond. Plus, of course, you will find yours truly here too hidden away in my very own Studio home.
The Studio was originally a cluster of disused garages with endless potential and now, after 10 years of hard labour is now the place I am lucky enough to call my home.
It has been an ongoing personal project with the help of many different talented people along with way, about 4 full interior renovations in total and endless upkeep to get it where it is today (a partially finished shell for me to try and finish before the year is up!)
Whilst I loved this place, I never really thought very much of the project, but weirdly enough it was picked up by a number of publications and even TV series wanting to share my story. Firstly was Kirstie's best of both Worlds which was a whopping 6 years ago (and is basically just a 25 year old me plodding around the house with bright orange hair while they tried to film me looking vaguely normal,) followed by the more recent Sarah Beeny's how to live mortgage free in 2017, which is still actually on Netflix now for your viewing pleasure.
For those interested, you will often find updates of the house in all it's rough and ready glory on the blog. Hopefully one day will finally get it all finished, but when that day will be I have no clue!