Simone Lanham is a mum, wife and former TV journalist. A New Zealander living in London, she owns entertainment company Incognito Artists . When her eldest daughter was diagnosed with autism, Simone and her husband set up the Sewell Foundation in NZ to offer information and assistance regarding biomedical and early intervention to families and practitioners treating autism.
Describe a typical day for you?
What I love about my life is; each day is different.
In each day there are elements of: looking after my precious children (11) and (9) – and being a taxi now that they’re older, with schedules as busy as mine.
Running a household, which includes cooking daily gluten and dairy free meals – because of my daughter’s health issues and her amazing healing, I’ve become obsessed with nutrition and wellbeing for all the family. It’s changed our lives.
Now I’m studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a wellness coach. Working with my husband and our sensational team at Incognito Artists, doing things like writing for external communications and overall strategy. Helping other mums in the UK, Australia or NZ, who have newly diagnosed children with autism and who want my help to heal their kids. I’m currently contributing to two books on wellness and autism, which will be published in 2015.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My two girls
Taking my elder daughter from severe autism at aged two to managed recovery , although that’s also down to her steely determination, wonderful people who’ve given me great advice along the way, a devoted team of ABA therapists, and luck.
My relationship with Geoff, 24 years strong.
My business, Incognito Artists – we provide vocal, dance and instrumental entertainment, employing stars from the West End, Broadway and the world of Opera. We were the first to do the Singing Waiters act in the UK.
What’s in your handbag/satchel?
I like to rock different handbags to co-ordinate outfits and subsequently never know what is in which bag. Currently I’m carrying my iPhone, wallet, sunglasses, organic makeup – lip balm, lipstick, mascara – tissues and business cards.
What are your ambitions in life?
To have two healthy children who live happy lives, filled with love, and know the world is their oyster but it’s up to them to make things happen. To help families treat their children with autism, early intervention can mean recovery is possible, and it’s important to me to spread the message of HOPE. To grow old with my husband, still madly in love with each other.
What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having had children?
Diet is fundamental, for you and your baby. You are what you eat, your baby is what you eat. But also the world is a very toxic place and your baby is what you surround yourself with, what you put on your skin, what you inhale. It’s important to clean up our environments in our home, to control as much as we can, for the health of our kids and ourselves.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
My husband and I live by the seat of our pants. In the entertainment game, things happen last minute. Whether it’s as part of Incognito gigs or for his solo career, Geoff is asked to sing at events with a moment’s notice e.g. we were suddenly off to NZ for six weeks on tour this year, luckily I hadn’t planned anything else in that timeframe because it just has to be cancelled! Fortunately our kids’ schools were accommodating. It’s Murphy’s Law that if we book something, Geoff will be asked to sing for the Queen, or some other major life moment, so we’ve learned to live with spontaneity.
What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur?
Do what you love. Then it’s never a job, it’s a passion. I know cash flow is king in any business but what you do for a living should also be about making a difference in people’s lives.
Finally, happiness is…
My family. A beach and blue sky. But if I can’t have the last two, I’d still be happy.