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My Interview with QVC

"Meet Jude Moryoussef, creator of the Sensation Scarf, by Jessica M

With its silky texture, lightweight microfibre fabric and incredible ability to keep the wearer feeling cool in a hot flush, the Sensation Scarf is proving popular with QVC customers, with one five-star reviewer saying:

“What a great idea. I suffer with hot flushes in the evening and am so hot in bed at night. I just wrap it round my neck, then I shake it when it warms up and it instantly cools, brill. My mum has asked me to order one for her as well. It is worth the money and the material is lovely and soft. Would definitely recommend to anyone who is suffering with hot flushes.”

Jude Moryoussef talks us through her product and her own menopause story too…

Jude, how did the Sensation Scarf come about?

My background is in sales and design and I’m always interested in new fabrics. I came across the cooling quality of the fabric as I draped it around my neck. I was suffering with hot flushes at night, friends and clients, many of them unable to use HRT for a myriad of reasons, were constantly fanning themselves non-stop, which was embarrassing for them. I thought it would be great to have something discreet. I borrowed my daughter’s sewing machine, knocked up a very basic prototype, slept with it for a few nights and realised that this was a great help that didn’t need refrigeration – and the rest is history … I was a lady on a mission!

Tell us about your own menopause experience.

I’ve been extremely lucky so far, but I’m sure it’s because I’ve armed myself with information and have prepared to some extent. I’m not scared of this next phase and have learnt to embrace it and see the positives. The hardest thing is there is so much information out there now, that it’s hard to know what to do for the best, prevention and relief, and there definitely is no one size fits all.

I think back to when I was seeing a gynaecologist for the first and only time to date, about an ongoing period and he put me on a pill to stop it. Needless to say, it didn’t work because it was my perimenopause, but at no time was this ever mentioned. When I finally went to a doctor as I was fed up and feeling down it was only when I mentioned feeling bloated that the doctor took notice and sent me for a scan. They said that actually my coil had slipped, it was lucky I hadn’t got pregnant (with four kids and in my late 40s it would definitely not have been ideal) and as soon as I took the coil out, I felt so much better and many of my symptoms stopped so I never gave it another thought. It’s only a few years later that I realised what I was going through and I became frustrated that no doctor every offered menopause as a reason!

I definitely suffered with brain fog but couldn’t articulate it – I remember being a bit concerned that my memory was deteriorating!

Unfortunately timings have it that my youngest is going through puberty as I’m going through menopause, which can create some interesting moments! I’ve been working on my anger management as I used to always be much calmer, and am finding ways to help put me into ‘rest and digest’ instead of ‘fight or flight’ – boxing, meditation and prayer help. Letting her know it’s not her fault and discussing it with her has been imperative too. I had my fourth child Maisie when I was 40 and although this was deemed old back in the day, it’s now becoming more normal, so this is something women are going to have to deal with, especially as 1/100 now go through menopause aged 40!

I now realise that because movement is part of my everyday, this has definitely made a huge difference to my transition. I guess that’s another reason my passion is to change women’s mindset and help change the narrative around exercise and make movement part of everyone’s lifestyle.

What’s your brand ethos?

I brought the scarf to market to help women who suffer with hot flushes and wanted to make it affordable for everyone. I believe in authenticity so it is has been humbling to hear the wonderful feedback I’ve received from so many women, of giving them a cooling sensation and relieving the symptoms of hot flushes (exactly what it says on the packet), especially for those unable to take HRT. It makes all the hard work worthwhile and gives me the drive to try to get into as many outlets as possible. I also wanted it to have as small a carbon footprint as possible, and for it to be chemical free and plastic free.

What’s your must-have menopause product?

I actually don’t go anywhere without my scarf as it’s so versatile. The Big Birthday Appeal, a children’s charity I co-founded over 20 years ago, brought out a gratitude journal for kids to help with their mental health and I’ve been using that, which really helps to keep me in more of a positive default setting. Also, my reading glasses!

I probably always carry some nuts and seeds too wherever I go, as I find these do a great job of keeping my blood sugar level steady, which can be challenging because of hormonal shifts and how your cells respond to insulin during menopause. A comfy pair of shoes is a must too as I try to walk everywhere and definitely find I need to look after my feet more. I’ve just bought some pelvic floor weights too, so that may become a must-have soon… your pelvic floor is the foundation of your core!

What do you wish you’d known about the menopause experience when you were a teenager?

I would have liked to have been armed with some knowledge so I knew what to expect when my hormone shift started bringing with it new emotional, mental and physical challenges.

Menopause was seen as an ‘old lady’ thing (I actually thought it wouldn’t happen to me and I was invincible, which is naive, ignorant and ridiculous). I have friends that are doctors and I know they didn’t study it at medic school, we didn’t cover it in Biology – you just didn’t think it was part of our journey and clearly not that important to know about, which is the furthest from the truth!

I feel lucky that I had a career change at 39 into Personal Training, as I wanted to specialise in pre and post-natal health following my injuries from training while pregnant with instructors who didn’t really know what women were going through. This in itself kept me even more active and hungry for knowledge leading on to me doing a certificate in Peri-Post Menopause, initially to educate myself and then the women I serve.

It wasn’t until I started learning and researching that light bulbs went off and I realised that everything I was feeling and going through were normal experiences. It also probably helped me prepare more physically and mentally for my Menopause experience. I used to be a cardio junkie and its only now that I see the importance of not getting my cortisol on a constant high, but to do calming breathing techniques, strength work and stretching is non negotiable for a successful transition.

Oh – and that it is OK not to be superwoman!

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