Cookham Mum Gemma Collingwood met her business partner Zoe Rayne at The Rambert Ballet School 22 years ago. They both went on to dance for professional Ballet and Contemporary companies in the UK and abroad. Following their careers in dance, Gemma became a make up artist and Zoe became a Pilates teacher. With a mutual love for beauty, health and fitness they have now combined their skills and created Collingwood & Rayne which organises retreats for like-minded women to get together and re-charge their batteries in the most beautiful surroundings as well as selling wonderful skincare products on-line.
Originally from Yorkshire, Gemma settled in Cookham seven years ago having moved out of London, where she attended Dance College and then worked as a dancer in Ballet companies and the commercial world. After moving out of the Ballet world Gemma retrained to be a make-up artist and has worked on music video's, fashion weeks and then had children....
How did the idea of Collingwood & Rayne come about?
Zoe and I met at the Rambert dance school about 22 years ago! Zoe became a pilates teacher whilst I was doing the the make up work. We have always wanted to work together and combine beauty and fitness. We decided that retreats and wellness days would be a great place to start. We want to create retreat days that we would love to go to ourselves.
How is Collingwood & Rayne evolving and what can we expect from a day retreat?
We are planning more retreats for next year. We now have a beautiful venue in Oxfordshire where we will be running our next retreat. Our retreats will also be available to book as a package for groups, and can be tailored to each specific group. We include pilates, nutrition workshops on topics such as hormone health and gut health, crafting and creative activities, healthy skincare workshops, make up workskhops, fascial release massage, holistic facials and even organic spray tans.
We always source a beautiful venue and have healthy and wholesome foods and juices and often end with a glass of organic prosecco!
We have also just added a little shop page to our website, we have some lovely clean skincare products, and will be adding more products soon. The products are from Sister and Co Skin, It is a brand that we have used and love ourselves, the products are all 100% natural, free from SLS, free from parabens, and organic. The brand has simple, stylish packaging which fits with our ethos perfectly.
What do you enjoy the most? What is the most challenging aspect?
I really enjoy organising a lovely day for people. A day when a group of ladies can switch off and let us organise everything. Whilst they relax, learn a new skill, learn some new healthy habits and possibly gain some confidence through learning how to do make up to enhance their best features and learning about clean skincare and maybe having a spray tan.
The nutrition workshops are also amazing, eating the correct foods can do wonders for your health. The hormonal health workshop was amazing, we will be running more hormonal health retreats.
What is your favourite skin care product?
I love the Sister and Co products that we now have available on the website. We will be adding more products soon. But another big favourite is Tata Harper, a much higher price point, but using one or two products from this range is worth it. I love skin care products!
Why is taking time out for yourself so important?
Everyone is super busy these days, working long hours, looking after children, rushing around and trying to keep up with everything. Not taking time out can take a toll on your health.
No.1 skin care tip?
Use a cleansing balm or cleansing oil. They deeply clean the skin with out stripping the skin of its natural oils.
Collingwood & Rayne are holding a Health & Mind retreat on Saturday 9 November in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. Book your place here.