New Zealand

A toast to the sisterhood – with Simone Anderson

Reuniting with Simone, New Zealand’s Global Garden finalist in Havelock North, New Zealand.

Catching up with New Zealand’s finalist Simone Anderson

I said the moment I was announced that I was the winner that I would love to pack all the other 15 finalists in my bag and bring them with me. Turns out I can.

Along the journey you’ll be meeting a lot of the other sisters but for now it’s reunion time with Simone, my BFF in Germany.

It only seems fitting to catch up with the first of my Global Garden sisters in New Zealand’s famous wine region Havelock North, Napier. Cheers to that! It just feels like a few weeks ago that we met each other for the first time in Schwäbisch Gmünd with the other 14 national finalists.

Here’s a glimpse into the inspirational finalists and the amazing 4 days we had at Schwäbisch Gmünd

You’re probably asking, what’s this sisterhood? And why were you guys in Germany?

For those that haven’t been on the Weleda Global Garden path from the start I’ll explain a bit more about the competition that offered Simone, I and the other 14 finalists the opportunity to combine travel with nature with wellness. The dream, right!

Mid last year Weleda put forward the opportunity of a trip of a lifetime to anyone who loved natural products. And loved travelling. With one lucky winner given the chance to travel the globe for three months in 2018 on a carbon-neutral journey to 11 Weleda locations around the world.

The 16 Global Garden finalists

16 countries put it out there for any person who was a blogger, vlogger, artist, avid photographer, social media superstar and natural organic product lover to jump on board and apply. As if you wouldn’t!

Simone and I were the first to people to arrive and we got on like a house of fire from the moment we met.

There we all spent a week learning about Weleda with garden and production site visits, product demonstrations and a range of workshops after which the ultimate Weleda Global Garden Winner will be named. Lucky little me.

I must admit I was pretty nervous meeting the other 15 international finalists. How competitive was it going to be? Would they all be super insta-famous (like Simone!) and wondering why the hell I was there? But they were such an amazingly inspirational bunch of girls.

Global Garden never felt like a competition. We used to joke it was more like a sisterhood.

Here’s our favourite memories to our time at Schwäbisch Gmünd

Simone’s Top 3

1 – ‘Meeting and connecting with 16 different and vibrant women from around the world, each one bringing their own unique culture and unique experiences to a place where you all felt so similar and so united.’

2 –Learning everything you could possibly learn about Weleda. Simone already loved the company and the ethics of the company but it made her fall in love with the company all over again and she has such a strong connection with Weleda now.

3 – ‘The experience of travelling. And quirky little things that we got to experience together. We could go on and on about the experiences we had and the people we met. The different foods we got to try. Just opening yourself up to a whole new world and a whole new experience. It was life changing.’

My Top 3

1 – ‘My time in Germany taught me a valuable lesson. The power of being personal.
Of opening yourself up. Putting yourself out there. Of being vulnerable. Of asking for help, something I am terrible at. Also of being inclusive – welcoming people to join in on your journey.’

2 – The passion that all of the Weleda experts had for the Weleda brand that were leading our workshops. There was this unifying factor, they were all so passionate about the brand, about the companies ethics and about being completely transparent.

3 – Biodynamics, anthroposophical medicine are all new worlds to me. I’d been really wanting to make a change in my life to be a better, healthier version of me but I never knew where to start or who to trust. The fact that we have been immersed in the brand, getting to see and try all facets of the Weleda business for ourselves in four days was enlightening. Now even more so on the Global Garden journey, it’s been amazing in my education of how I can take these learnings and be better and my more vital self when I get home.

A ‘sisterhood’ may sound corny, but it’s the real deal.

You guys know that transparency is important to me so I really want you guys to know that the Global Garden sisterhood is a real thing. So many of the girls are messaging me daily with well wishes and lot so high five emojis, haha. I can’t wait to reunite with all the sisters (or as many as I can) along the way. We have shared such an intense experience together that the four days that it took for us all to bond is just the start.

See you soon lovelies!

Planting one of sixty native tree to celebrate Weleda NZ’s 60th anniversary.

It’s not my job to tell anyone what to do, but my tiny tip is that if you hear of competition like Global Garden jump in with both feet. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Go for it. You are already in with some much more of a chance than all those other people that fear and self doubt that stand in their way.

This journey has already been life changing for me. I never expected to win, I don’t think anyone does… but someone has too. And why shouldn’t that be you!

What have you applied for that has put you out of your comfort zone?

So you can love her just as much as I do, here’s a bit about the amazingly inspirational Simone Anderson.

Simone is on her own Journey to Health.

Simone is on her own amazing journey, one to get health and vitality. It has taken a tremendous amount of hard work, determination, dedication, sweat and tears.

She is so loveable so it’s no wonder with her charm and cheeky honestly that Simone has become a social media powerhouse. It all started when her weight peaked at 169 kg and she knew something had to change. Bravely and inspirationally Simone began to share her amazing weight loss journey on social media.

Her story went viral her weight loss of 88 kg. And when she was offered surgery to remove the excess skin, she documented the whole experience and got worldwide media attention.

Simone couldn’t be more gorgeous soul inside and out and her championing of
body positivity and learning to love yourself make her an inspiration for everyone.
She has her first book  coming out and I can’t wait to get my copy. She better sign it for me (lol)!


  1. Tereza says

    Great video, it was great seeing you and Simone together again! I hope I’ll get to see vids with other girls!! Can’ t wait to welcome you in Prague.

    • Lauren Doolan says

      For sure! Will be catching up with Agustina and Alejandra on Tuesday, can’t wait to see the girls! And you too! I can’t wait to visit Prague. xx

    • Lauren Doolan says

      For sure! Counting down until King’s Day!

  2. Helen Wilkes says

    Such a beautiful, authentic story told so well. New Zealand are fortunate to have hosted two such beautiful human beings.

    • Lauren says

      Thank you so much! We had a ball. This won’t be my last visit to NZ, it’s scored some big ticks in my book:)

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