13 Questions With Jules Von Hep

One of our favourite people to follow on the gram, Jules Von Hep is a co-founder of Isle of Paradise, a promoter of body positivity and inclusivity, and a brilliant podcaster too!

What tips do you have for surviving January?

Poor January is always given such a hard time, give it some slack! January is about a fresh start (only if you want one) and is about setting strong intentions for the year ahead of you (again, only if you want). Remember, you are in control.

I hate the phrase New Year: New You – it’s nonsense. I was fabulous before, and I’ll stay fabulous thank you. Sure I’ll set goals for the year, and yes I’ll attempt Dry Jan, but I’m not going to constrict myself for the sake of hype. How ridiculous. If you have any goals you want to achieve, don’t try to do them all in January babe it’s too stressful. Lots of fresh air, eat your greens, perhaps a gallery visit, remember every win however big or small, is still a win.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Am I only allowed one?! Launching my own self-tan brand The Isle of Paradise (IOP) has to be it. I am constantly pinching myself – especially when people tell me they’re wearing it and show me their arm with glowing skin, smiling with pride at their application, that’s the best bit. I love that. In 2019 we launched our Get Body Posi campaign, for me, this was how a beauty campaign should be, and bringing that dream to life was an honour and highlight. True representation, empowerment and inclusivity are what this world needs more of.

I also host two feel good podcasts with Sarah Powell. One is Jules and Sarah (original title, we’re aware) about two northerners that live in London, the other is Wobble – a podcast about body confidence and happiness. When we host live events our listeners cheer when we walk on stage, and after they tell us how much they need our content to make them feel good, it’s the most incredible feeling, almost like someone pulls a wire from the back of my Achilles heel and plugs me into to a socket.

How would you describe your Instagram account?

A safe space to encourage others to be themselves. I like to think I inspire my followers to love their appearance and body, to enjoy their life, to laugh at the little things and appreciate the moments our journey through this world has to offer. (Find Jules here.)

How did you get into backstage work?

My break came from a chance meeting with makeup artist Natalya Chew (then Nair). She was heading up the team on The X Factor Season 8 in 2011, the year Little Mix won. Natalya told me she loved how I spray tanned and wanted me on her team, time to say yes to the universe! From there I began picking up celebrity clients and then had a call from Strictly Come Dancing, where I worked as head spray tanner for 3 years before moving onto The Crown. Think of a celebrity and chances are I’ve worked with them babe. When I wasn’t recording backstage for TV, I was travelling the world working backstage at London, New York, Paris and Milan fashion weeks as well as endless editorial and campaign shoots.

What are you currently working on?

Launching Isle of Paradise has meant a slight sidestep from the backstage world – backstage to boardroom I call it! I still work with my celebrity clients and have recently started working with Stacey Dooley, ensuring her skin looks glowing and flawless for Season 2 of The Glow Up launching in 2020, as well as her incredible documentaries.

The past two years have been a real rollercoaster for me with the launch of Isle of Paradise, and on my journey with how I view my own body and learning to help others love theirs. We are so conditioned to hate how we look. Last year I wrote a free ebook – Get Body Posi in which I share my journey on how I achieved a more positive outlook on my appearance, I want to continue to help others on their journey toward their own body confidence.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business?

Annie Mac said to me years ago ‘Never underestimate the power of your passion’ and I think it’s one of the most incredible pieces of advice I’ve ever been given. Passion will keep you sane, passion will keep getting you up in the morning, passion will keep you creative. Don’t start a business for money, you’re so much more than that. Start it because you want to change the way you live because you want to enjoy your life because you want to be the best possible version of yourself you can be. Ask yourself WHY you’re doing this. There will be days where you stare in the mirror and question what the f*ck you’re doing, but there will be days when your hard work pays off and the universe fills you with warmth. Don’t talk about doing it, do it. There will be no right time.

What is your biggest accomplishment in life?

Overcoming how much I hated myself. It’s been, and still is a long journey but the results have been worth it. Learning that my body is amazing, that I am lucky to be here on this earth and that I am not defined by my body shape has been revolutionary for me. Learning to say I am amazing, learning to respect myself and realising that everyone on this earth has their own stuff has been awakening for me.  It’s this journey that really keeps me growing and keeps me teaching others how to start theirs.

What advice would you give to people looking for a ‘paradise’ state of mind

Ask yourself this:

What makes you happy in life?

What makes you feel confident?

Who makes you feel amazing?

What are you grateful for?

Write down your answers on one side of a piece of paper and stare at it. On the other side write how often you’re doing them. Chances are it’s not enough. Fuel your happiness!

What will you be reading, watching or listening to in 2020?

I can’t wait for The Comparison Cure by Lucy Sheridan or Skin Care by Caroline Hirons to launch, I have them both on pre-order. My friend Tessa also started an audiobook club as one of her 2020 goals, so I’m excited to see what that has to unveil. At present I am reading Anton Chekov’s short stories, he’s a historic Russian play-write and I dare you not to get enthralled by how he writes.

I’m a sucker for anything supernatural – I just finished The Witcher and Dark on Netflix so I’m waiting for something to fill the void! I am also going to see Celine Dion AND Elton John this year, RIGHT!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t cry over all those boys who broke your heart. They will never measure up to your power. Life will all work itself out as the psychic said.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

My Grandma Mary’s watercress soup (don’t be fooled, this is a rich thick soup served with melted cheese) she told me if you cook with love life will always taste better. That with warm sourdough, truffle butter and a bottle of red wine will see me happy I reckon!

What do you always carry with you?

Humour. It’s all you need to get from A-B. Life is really funny if you look at it in the right light. And my phone because, you know.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

There’s so much!!! I’m looking forward to reflecting on it on the other side!