Her great-grandfather made his name selling luxury goods to discerning gentlemen, and it seems Alexandra Dunhill has inherited his entrepreneurial spirit.
But while British businessman Sir Alfred specialised in the male-driven industries of tobacco and motoring accessories, she is making inroads in the world of wellness, and women are her target audience.
Alexandra has launched Lady A (www.ladya.health), a range of female-focused cannabidiol (CBD) oil products, including skin creams, tinctures, vapes and gel caps, in pretty packaging she helped design.
Alexandra with her 26-year-old son Piers
"I wanted to take away the stigma and develop something that looks elegant," the mother of Natasha, 28, Piers, 26, and William, 19, tells HELLO! in this exclusive interview from her home in south-west London.
Alexandra, who ran an interior design and painting business between London, Switzerland and the US before raising her family, launched her initiative after seeing the positive effects of the oil on Piers, who began taking the supplement while working in Los Angeles.
"Piers struggled with anxiety and had difficulty sleeping. When visiting him in 2017 I couldn't believe the change in him. He seemed much calmer, more focused and happier."
Alexandra spent two years learning everything she could about CBD, which is derived from the stalk, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. It is the non-psychoactive part of the plant that is legal to use.
"I found a supplier that brings in premium-quality oil from Colorado and a very good manufacturer here who makes most of our products. Since taking CBD, I'm sleeping really well and I feel very focused."
Fans say CBD has helped them with everything from pain to anxiety and insomnia, while its anti-inflammatory properties make it popular for skincare. It is classed as a supplement, not a medicine, and Alexandra is careful not to make medical claims.
"All sorts of women can use CBD – sporty women, older women who are less active, women with anxiety problems. CBD can help to balance the mind and hormone levels and has been known to help with menstrual problems and menopause."
Alexandra never met Sir Alfred, who died in 1959, but she feels they have something in common. "My great-grandfather made luxury items for gentlemen and I've always enjoyed design and creating things, so I think it's something that is in the family."
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