Antonia Knox is Head of Brand at Aurelia London, a walking skin care encyclopedia, self-confessed book-worm and an all round woman of impeccable style.
Antonia has had a passion for beauty from a very young age, and was mesmerised by watching her mother get ready at her dressing table. It was makeup and colour that first captivated her, and even at the age of 12 she would encourage her older sisters to sit for makeovers. This passion continued after school and university, and she began work at Space NK in Islington, honing her skills as a makeup artist but also discovering the fascinating and varied world of skincare. It was while working on the shop floor that she realised the power that good skincare can have on an individual, and the training she received with such a variety of brands fueled her interest in cosmetics.
Antonia started her career at Aurelia alongside founder Claire Vero in 2013 so she has been on Aurelia’s journey from the very beginning. Having started working from Claire's kitchen on formulas and innovation, she since headed up training employees and retailers, before being appointed Brand Expert in 2020.
What would a typical day be for you?
If I’m working from home (as has been the case since March 2020!) I’ll wake up at around 7am to my Lumie light, jump in the shower and use the fresh scented Aurelia London Restorative Cream Body Wash to really wake me up. I don’t tend to exercise in the morning, but I’ll sometimes have a little stretch before having some breakfast – usually toast, Marmite and a boiled egg – and sitting down at my desk. Work for me is varied which I love, but it does mean lots of meetings to keep on top of all of the different projects we’re working on. Sometimes I’ll be out of the office on a shoot, or at a press event (that’s not on Zoom!). I do love to cook, but the evening meal is when I’ll make more of an effort, experimenting with different flavours, spices and herbs to make tasty but simple meals. After work I’ll let off some steam in the boxing gym, either attending a class or just getting some tension out on a bag or two. I love the full-body workout you get from boxing, although I’m a long way off from actually getting in a ring any time soon. I’m a self-confessed bookworm, and in a good month can read up to four books, from novels to memoirs. I also use podcasts and audiobooks as my own form of meditation, as I find them so therapeutic. My partner Josh and I fall asleep to them regularly! TV is usually a documentary series on Netflix, or if I just need to switch off, then a couple of episodes of the Real Housewives! Just last month I discovered a love for yoga so I am very excited to spend many more of my evenings in the studio down my road.What are your favourite things about being part of a small business?
The varied nature of the work! There is never a dull moment in a small business or start-up and I loved how much I have learned about so many different aspects of building a brand. From the creative shoots to working on the development of new products, there is always something to get stuck in to which I love. I also love the close relationships you have with the rest of the team. You become a bit of a family which is such a nice feeling when you’re working together on a shared goal. I have made friends for life at work which is such a nice feeling!
What are you most proud of?
I have to say I’m very proud of the recent rebrand we undertook to refresh the brand look and feel. Myself, the design team and our operations manager worked tirelessly during lockdown to create an elevated version of Aurelia that I think stays true to the original ethos of this beautiful brand, but with a modern touch. I’m so proud of what we achieved, and still feel excited when I see the result of all of the hard work we put into the project!
Which Auree pieces are on your Christmas wishlist?
I absolutely love the Russian-style linked bracelets and rings. The designs are timeless and the three different golds looped together evoke so much too. I also have a soft spot for the gold lettered necklaces, and love anything with a touch of personalisation!
Any favourite small brands you've recently discovered?
I’m a bit obsessed with the brand Anna + Nina who make the most stunning glass candleholders and tableware. Their colourful designs are so colourful and creative, I’m definitely coveting quite a few of their pieces.
I know the best spot in London for....
The view! It’s at the top of the hill in Alexandra Palace park. It’s local to me and an amazing walk, with a view of London that is unrivalled. It’s the perfect spot for watching the fireworks too as you can see across the whole of the city. It’s a great place for a weekend walk as it feels so leafy and vast, especially as Highgate Wood is only a stone’s throw away which immediately feels like you’re on a day trip somewhere completely different.
Who do you admire most and why?
I would say Aurelia’s wonderful founder, Claire Vero. She has been completely instrumental in helping to develop my career. From her entrepreneurial spirit, incredible drive and above all her sense of humour, she still inspires me to this day. The first few years at Aurelia were a whirlwind but the amount I learnt under Claire’s guidance was incredible. She taught me that success and kindness can, and should, go hand in hand and I have taken that ethos through my own career too.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That the best skincare routines always start with an exceptional cleanser. This is why I am such a strong advocate of our Miracle Cleanser, which is perfect for all skin types, doesn’t contain any stripping sulphates or pore-clogging mineral oil, but removes all impurities and make-up leaving skin feeling silky-soft and supple. Cleansing really is the cornerstone of every good skincare routine, so getting it right is key!
What would you say to your 16-year old self?
I would tell her to take her passion for beauty seriously! Keep learning more about what you love and enjoy the process.