Words: Georgie Abay
If you were wondering which beauty products The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winslet and Victoria Beckham used while they were pregnant, weve found the answer: Bloom and Blossom. The luxury skincare range for mothers, mothers-to-be and babies was launched by the executive Executive Fashion & Beauty Director of UK Glamour magazine Julia Yule and her sister-in-law Christina Moss. We caught up with the entrepreneurial mothers to talk about the range…
How would you describe yourselves?
Julia: Non-stop, working mummy, list obsessive, loves to bake.
Christina: A busy working mum one with baby brain at the moment!
What has motherhood taught you?
Julia: It has taught me I can truly do anything I put my mind to. Yes there arent enough hours in the day and I should get into bed earlier than I do, but being a mummy ensures that everything is put in to perspective. My children are my priority and my grounding and being a mummy is a powerful and rewarding title to have.
Christina: Not to take it all too seriously and take the time to enjoy it, even the hard times, as it goes so quickly. Dont wish any time away.
How do you juggle work with motherhood?
Julia: I juggle two jobs with motherhood. Three days a week, I focus on my business Bloom and Blossom that I set up five years ago with my sister in law, Christina. Two days of my week are as the Executive Fashion & Beauty Director at British Glamour magazine. Lets just say my diary is full, structured, planned and timely. I am a to-do list kind of girl, more for the at home needs than anything else. I have a nanny who is my lifeline and husband who keeps me in check. We all pull together to make it work and it does.
Christina: I am also a list person. Planning ahead and knowing what is needed is essential. Also having an emergency backup list of people/relatives who can help is important. More often than not kids dont stick to the schedule, so you have to be prepared.
What are your tips for working mothers?
Julia: A schedule. I hate to say it but we need a schedule as much as our children do, so my tip would be to stick to it. If your children are old enough to understand, explain to them if you wont be home to put them to bed, teach them to understand that the special time with you, maybe the weekend, is something to look forward to and ensure when you do spend that time with them, that you are focused on them. Dont beat yourself up about working long hours or missing day-to-day activities. As long as they are happy then you should be happy.
Christina: Be organised and know it is fine to go to bed early to get your rest. Listen to your body and take time out if you need to and can fit it in. A rule in our house is do not check email before you go to bed. You are likely to ruin a nights sleep if you read something you dont like before bed and sleeping time is ultra precious.
What inspired you to launch Bloom and Blossom?
Julia: I started my career in fashion PR and had a wonderful 10 years working for incredible fashion houses and designers. I then moved over to the magazine world and currently hold the position of Executive Fashion & Beauty Director of Glamour magazine. So although I had no direct experience of launching a beauty range, I was able to lean on my experience of brand building, communication and commerciality to help build the business. After spotting a gap in the market for a maternity skincare range that was completely natural and safe to use, but delivered the same exceptional results as premium non-maternity beauty brands and looked stylish, Bloom and Blossom was born.
Christina: I have had a passion for business from a young age, taking my first steps as an entrepreneur as a teenager. I was able to combine a passion for enterprise with a passion for natural beauty in 2008 when Julia and I created an idea for what became Bloom and Blossom. We certainly were a kitchen table start up working out of each others houses from the beginning. Sisters in law and now three children between us (and one on the way) we certainly are walking and talking ambassadors of our brand. We knew, and our research proved, 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 they are safe. It was imperative that we also offered indulgent, solution focused and stylish products that are also competitively priced.
Can you tell us about the philosophy behind Bloom and Blossom?
Christina: Everyone always asks us: where did we get the idea from? The answer: from our friends who were having babies and could not find the products they wanted in the stores. We wanted to create a range that was natural; something without the nasties; something that works; and something that looks gorgeous. We did extensive research and felt there was a niche in the market, and loving a challenge as we do, we decided to jump in with both feet. Our brand philosophy of MINIMAL INGREDIENTS = MAXIMUM RESULTS was born. Each product features a unique numerals design that states how many ingredients are in the product, what each ingredient is, why it has been selected and what it delivers. Something clear, simple, sophisticated and natural.
How did your career change after you had a child?
Julia: The focus of our day has shifted every second counts. We are up against deadlines for our customers, retailers, manufacturers and also our childrens needs. We certainly dont waste any time, and know how to divide and conquer if needed. We know our strengths and happy to let each other lead in those areas.
What is your advice for mothers looking to launch their own business?
Julia: Do it, absolutely go for it everything is possible. Research consider your customer first. You have to do the research. Their needs, the reasoning behind the purchase, the way it makes you feel. Put yourself in their shoes and know what you want and try to better it. Ask around, by no means give your ideas away but ask those around you for their honest feedback on your service/product. Honesty is important at this time.
What are your go-to beauty products?
Julia: Aveda Brilliant shampoo and conditioner. My hair needs Aveda and my hair loves Aveda having a lot of curls means when you find something your hair likes, you stick to it. Origins Plantscription Serum, morning and night, before my moisturiser and Byredo Parfums Sunday Cologne, admittedly a new favourite but a good contender and one that will be replenished.
Christina: Bad Gal lash by Benefit the best mascara. St Tropez Everyday fake tan gives you a gentle healthy glow, even through the winter months. Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Face Oil a gentle and natural face oil, utterly moisturising and feels quite indulgent.
What about for your children?
Julia: It goes without saying that our Gentle Baby Wash, Baby Balm and Mother and Baby Oil are the favourites in our house as we know how natural and gentle they are. The Baby Balm is used on any dry skin, scars, grazes. The Gentle Baby Wash in the bath and as a shampoo and the Mother and Baby Oil as an all over body oil and aftersun treatment. We also use Lancome SPF 50 suncream delicate skins need a high factor.
You sell over 400 anti stretch oils a month
Christina: Our award winning Anti Stretch Mark Oil is a rich, nourishing blend of 12 key ingredients which help the skin maintain elasticity, reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars and even out skin tone. Certainly not just for use during pregnancy, but for daily application for anyone looking for a toning body oil. It is easily absorbed into the skin, which is something our customers asked for. It certainly is a favourite and often bought in bulk.
How do you achieve balance?
Christina: I have discovered pregnancy yoga it is my switch off. It gives me the time to myself that I crave, yet is a healthy activity and keeps me fit. I try and have a date night with my husband as often as we can.
Julia: Due to lack of time in the day I slot my switch off exercise into my means of travelling to work so I get a short cycle and a walk in to my day clears my head. And cooking and baking for me is my switch off. I can spend hours, often in to the small hours of the morning, decorating birthday cakes or planning menus. I love getting lost in recipes, baking ideas and fondant icing. I look forward to planning a birthday party I pick a theme and I go for it.