Julianne Ponan, CEO of top 14 allergen-free food supplier Creative Nature, is a passionate campaigner and speaker around her personal journey with anaphylaxis and allergies.
At the age of just 22, Julianne founded her company and created a brand to help people just like her. In Julianne’s words ‘I’m allergic to everything’.
Her allergies first came to light at nursery. After being given cookies and milk, Julianne collapsed with breathing difficulties and ended up in intensive care. After undergoing tests every six months, it was discovered that Julianne was allergic to all nuts, chickpeas, lentils, lots of perfumes and even oils used in face creams. Throughout her life she has has numerous incidents where she has collapsed due to anaphylaxis and ended up in intensive care.
Julianne’s allergies are so severe that she has to be accompanied when walking through the duty-free section of airports, following an incident when she was hospitalised after hugging her father who was wearing a certain aftershave.
Growing up, eating became an issue as there was very little food which was ‘free from’. The majority of food had to be cooked from scratch with every processed ingredient scrutinised for what it contained. This need to be constantly food and drink aware every day of her life inspired Julianne’s vision for her company.
In 2020, Julianne is a successful professional speaker, sharing her story across the UK. Last year she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30s to watch and both she and her company are award winning.
Julianne is now using her platform (follow Julianne on Instagram) to raise awareness around allergies and to be involved with Anaphylaxis UK to effect real change in how society – and law makers – support those living with anaphylaxis.
Julianne was awarded an MBE for her service to business, exports, and people with allergies in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List.