Jules Von Hep: “It’s about being your own best friend”

Mental Health

Jules Von Hep joins Happiful’s podcast to talk about letting go of your inner critic and the brilliant things that happen when you do…

Jules Von Hep has a lot going on as 2021 draws to a close. He’s recently launched the fantastic sustainable knitwear company Yan Tan, is gearing up to celebrate the fourth anniversary of his vegan and cruelty-free self-tan brand Isle of Paradise and he has the builders in renovating his home…

You wouldn’t detect even a minuscule sense of stress from Jules as he joins Happiful’s podcast from his car to avoid the noise from the ongoing building works. “I’m sitting here wearing my slippers and coat with a cup of herbal tea and it looks like I’m talking to the steering wheel – but c’est la vie!” he laughs.

Read the full interview with Jules, including how Yan Tan began, in the January edition of Happiful.

His joyful, honest and authentic demeanour will be no surprise to the many who follow Jules on Instagram, and it’s just one of the many reasons everyone at Happiful loves him so much.

Talking confidence

“To be honest, I’m one of those people who didn’t really find my way until the last four years,” Jules shares on the subject of confidence. “I’ve really found my feet and grown into my own skin. Navigating your teenage years and twenties – I think they’re a hard time for everyone – but I found them really, really difficult.”

The work he’s put into befriending himself, he notes, has paid dividends. “Finding my self-identity and finding who I am has helped me navigate my career with confidence. I think that I’ve been able to use more of an optimistic attitude in my work life, but then that also reflects onto my personal life.”

Advocating empowerment over airbrushing

Jules explains that when his career as a spray tanner began, he was coming out of a period of living with body dysmorphia and disordered eating. “At the time, I hated how I looked but my job really changed my perspective on everything.”

Jules started to notice that not everything was how it appeared from the outside and he didn’t love what he saw. “In the beauty industry, there’s this huge deception around airbrushing. I’d be on a shoot and I’d look at the monitor and the images would come up, and the model would look great. Six months later, I’d see the campaign go by me on a bus or in a magazine and I’d think ‘She didn’t look like that on the day! They’ve airbrushed her stomach, they’ve lifted her ass, they’ve taken away her wrinkles… What the hell?!’”

So, when he launched Isle of Paradise, Jules wanted to ensure that his brand and everything associated with it was about empowering people to feel their best. “I wanted it to be what beauty is to me. I wanted people to feel empowered rather than having their insecurities played upon. If you really stare at the beauty industry with a critical eye, you see that it’s heavily marketed on insecurities.”

Ultimately, I have the best job in the world because I get to make people feel more confident. That’s such a vibe!!

His passion for his work remains as solid as ever and he genuinely loves what he does and the impact it can have. “I know that fake tan isn’t going to change the world, let’s get real,” he says. “But it might change the world you’re in if you feel more confident. “Ultimately,” he beams “I have the best job in the world because I get to make people feel more confident. That’s such a vibe!!”

Be kind to yourself

“The conversation you have with yourself is the longest conversation you’ll have with anyone,” Jules says referring to the role of our inner critic. “I’m guilty of negative self-talk too, looking in a shop mirror and saying ‘Do I really look like that?’ That’s just not helpful or positive.”

Around four years ago, Jules started to question why he spoke to himself and began to redress that negative voice, one conversation at a time, by speaking to himself as he would to others. “It’s just about being your own best friend,” he says, smiling.

Listen to Jules’ full episode here.
Follow Jules on Instagram and find out more about Yan Tan and Isle of Paradise.

Find the right therapist for you at Counselling Directory.


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