I’m Nia, Founder & Creative Director of LLIO
I’m so happy and grateful you’ve found LLIO, it’s my biggest passion to help women spoil, pamper and love themselves. Taking a step back to where it all began, LLIO started in 2016 after my mother suddenly passed away. LLIO was born from a 3-year journey of self-healing and love. We launched in style with a gold LLIO glitter board in Marylebone, London. LLIO is a story of creating light in a time of darkness, a beauty brand founded in memory of my beautiful mother. Llio Gwenllian Thomas was a beautician and even crowned a beauty Queen as Miss Anglesey. Having a glam mother, with a ‘beauty’ room at home, I grew up seeing her pamper clients. We’d even blend essential oils together for her to sell. My mother was my best friend, cheerleader and confidant, we’d telephone each other at least 4 times a day. She was a kind soul and my rock. My mother certainly had a presence in a room and was the life of the party. I loved her very much. They say you often pass away in line with your personality. My mother’s death was dramatic, to say the least. Five years on, I can now smile at the fact she passed away after finishing dyeing and blow-drying her hair. On the 1st February 2016, in her beauty room, my mother had a sudden stroke (she had no signs of illness and even played tennis for an hour each day). I thought she’d wake up but at 60-years old we lost her.
My mother was my best friend, cheerleader and confidant
In the western world it’s almost like everyone pretends death doesn’t happen and grief is ushered under the carpet. No one tells you how grief can make you ill and changes you as a person, my life changed in one split second. I focused on beauty to get through it, playing with essential oils felt like spending time with my mother. Before my mother passed away, I studied Aromatherapy and “Beauty Product Creating” at Regents College, London. I’d always had a firm interest in beauty growing up around my mother. I’d even studied to be a beautician myself, to be ‘just like my mummy.’ Losing my mother was the catalyst which encouraged me to follow my passion in beauty, starting a beauty brand had always been a dream. I focused on private Aromatherapy studies with a tutor from Regents College. I spent years blending oils together and experimenting with formulas. I even travelled the world attending beauty shows. I spent weekends with fellow aromatherapists, alchemists and beauty creators to come up with oil blends and balms.
They say grieving people will turn to long walks and sunset searching. I certainly had to slow down the of running my company, Nia PR. I’d spent years building up brands and gaining press for clients in VOGUE, Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar. I swapped my ultra-busy lifestyle for self-care, long baths, long sleeps, and plenty of pampering. In a quest to feel better, I did every self-care treatment possible from massages, crystal healing, reiki and energy healing. My mother always said, “if you don’t love yourself, then nothing good will ever come to you.”
I’d always had a fascination with the spiritual world. I loved Gabrielle Bernstein and the Course of Miracles. I’d always wanted to luxurize crystals in some way. Fusing together essential oil blends and crystals seemed classy, just like my mother. I chose the Welsh symbol to represent our family ancestry, and our HQ is in Wales. I met Faizia Khan, who brought the branding to life and I was so excited to work with her, as she’d worked with so many other well-known brands such as Jimmy Choo, Versace and Alexander McQueen. We decided to keep the brand British, the boxes are hand-cut by a box maker in London. After my mother died, I loved to wear tie-dye, especially in Ibiza. LLIO gives a nod to tie-dye. We worked with the talented illustrator and artist POPPY WADDILOVE to design a bespoke tie-dye ribbon in the colour palette of the crystal elixirs.
Starting LLIO is a dream and goal come true,
I hope the brand inspires others to create their own success stories. Elite magazines have recognised LLIO’s goals to luxuries crystals and our beauty products have been spotted in Tatler. VOGUE loves LLIO - Vogue UK, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Vogue Czech, Vogue Middle East have all featured LLIO. We’ve also attracted a tribe of crystal lovers, or ‘crystal nuts’ as we like to call them. When I lost my mother, I went through such a hard time, I was poorly and heartbroken. I always held hope everything would be ok and LLIO is here to help people look after themselves and provide people with hope and comfort. I have every faith that LLIO will empower women to strengthen their self-worth and raise their vibration, so that they can manifest abundance into their life.