Christina Moss and Julia Yule (also sisters-in-law) launched Bloom and Blossom nationwide in 2010. We speak to Julia to find out which natural ingredients they use, how they combine business and family, and what they learnt from launching a skincare range in the recession.
What led to you deciding to launch Bloom and Blossom – and what was your “golden moment” when everything finally felt like it was going right?
Bloom and Blossom came to be after we spotted a gap in the market for a maternity skincare range that was completely natural, safe to use, delivered the same exceptional results as premium non-maternity beauty brands, and looked stylish.
We set about to do plenty of research and it proved to us that pregnant women and new mums really do care about what they put on their skin; they want to understand the ingredients, know that they work and most importantly, know that they are safe. At the same time, they want indulgent, solution-focused and stylish products that are also competitively priced.
Our brand philosophy of “minimal ingredients = maximum results” was then born. Each product features a unique numerals design that states how many ingredients is in the product, % naturally derived, what each ingredient is, why it has been selected and what it delivers. Something clear, simple, sophisticated and natural.
Our golden moment was back in 2010 when Space.NK wanted to launch us in all their stores. A moment indeed and one that comes with the fondest memories, including packing up the order with the help of our families.
Pregnant women and new mums… want to understand the ingredients, know that they work and most importantly, know that they are safe. At the same time, they want indulgent, solution-focused and stylish products that are also competitively priced.
You work with your sister-in-law. How do you find mixing business and pleasure? Would you advise it to other people, and how do you ensure work doesn’t always take over family gatherings?
We are a great partnership – Christina and I really do complement each other – in not only our skills but our opinions and ideas. It is great to have someone there to ‘answer to’, for want of a better phrase, and also someone to support you to know that you’re making the right decision. We cannot help mixing business with pleasure, but this is our passion and we have five children between us so it would be impossible for it to not be a part of our every day. Our families are extremely proud of us and we all enjoy discussing business around the Christmas dinner table!
What made you decide to cater to pregnant women, and how are your products tailored to specifically help them?
With skincare products, especially those for sensitive mothers’ and babies’ skin, the ingredients we don’t use are of equal importance to the ingredients we do use. We never use parabens, petroleum, sodium laureth, sodium laurel sulphate (sls), xenoestrogen, phthalates, artificial colourants, synthetic fragrance, petrochemicals, harsh detergents or toxic ingredients that are so often found in “natural” skincare ranges. Creating the collection took time due to the want and desire for completely natural products, without the inclusion of the above ‘nasties’.
One of our most powerful natural ingredients is Dermochlorella – an extract of a green microalgae Chlorella vulgaris, rich in peptides and amino acids. We use it in our Anti Stretch Mark Cream and Anti Stretch Mark Oil to help increase skin elasticity and decrease the visibility of stretch-marks.
Some of our other “hero” ingredients include Argan Kernel oil, which helps improve skin elasticity and is often a big concern for pregnant women (found in our Anti Stretch Mark Oil), Shea Butter which is a great emollient that helps soothe and soften the skin (found in our Anti Stretch Mark cream and Baby Balm), Horsetail leaf extract which helps increase collagen production (found in the Rejuvenating Facial Spritz, Anti Stretch Mark Cream and Anti Stretch Mark Oil and Indulgence Bath Oil) and passionflower extract, which is a wonderful emollient, high in vitamin E and fatty acids (found in our Soothing Nipple Balm).
With skincare products, especially those for sensitive mothers’ and babies’ skin, the ingredients we don’t use are of equal importance to the ingredients we do use.
You launched your company during the recession. How would you describe this experience and what did you learn from it?
Many thought us mad to even be attempting to launch something at that time – but it did give us the option to negotiate hard on prices, which is very important for a self-funded start-up business. We have learnt that if the product is good, it will sell, regardless of the current economy. If you allow your brand to grow with strong foundations, you will be in a better position to ride the economic rollercoaster.
Alongside being the co-founder and director of Bloom and Blossom, you also work as the Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor at Glamour Magazine in London. What led to you deciding to balance the two roles, what have the biggest challenges been, and how have you found it? Has it given you any wisdom you would impart on others – especially as a mother too?
The two roles complement each other really well. The industry is such an exciting place to be, whether as a brand owner or a journalist. I find the most difficult thing to be the same issue for every working mother – not having enough time. I find a notepad by my bed essential – ideas, reminders and thoughts. Running a household is a big enough job and my three children keep me very busy, but as long as they are happy then everything else just fits in to place.