Based in the English countryside, Jo Foster and her brand, Kiss The Moon, are driven by a passion to help you have a beautiful night’s sleep. Born from the need to get her own sleep back on track and counter the effects of a life full of deadlines and jet lag inducing travel, we catch up with her to find out how she has created her award-winning night-time brand. Click here to shop Kiss The Moon or read on to learn more.
What was the inspiration behind your brand and how did your journey begin?
My last job involved a huge amount of travel. As a result, I felt like I had jetlag for about four years. My sleep suffered and so did my skin and my mood. I searched around for a solution and that’s where I started understanding the link between sleep and our sense of smell. When I couldn’t find exactly the right product to solve my sleep dilemmas for me (I wanted something natural and not smelling like old lady lavender), I decided to learn how to make something myself and the face oils and bath oils were born. It was through sharing those with family and friends and seeing the positive impact they made that made me realise that helping people to get a better night’s sleep was such an important thing to do. That was the motivation for launching the brand on a broader scale.
How did you decide your brand name, logo and how important do you feel this is for a brand?
I have my husband to thank for the name. We wanted something focussed on the word ‘moon’ to reflect that fact we are a brand that comes to life at night and he came up with the idea of Kiss the Moon (he’s a big softy). We get so many comments on the name. Despite being very simple words, that translate globally really well, it’s memorable and reflects our brand ethos. The logo was designed by by one of the best typographers in the country. He got it spot on first time and captured our essence perfectly. These things are the face of the brand so investing to get them right makes total sense. If you don’t love your name and logo then there’s something wrong – everything else you do stems from them.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Partly from listening to people and understanding their needs and wants and partly from the natural world. Nature is cleverer than we often realise and even from a design point of view the natural world is a constant source of inspiration and ideas if you remember to take the time to look.
How have you built your community?
Early on we identified four types of consumers who we felt could tap in to the power of Kiss the Moon. They range from the sleep deprived seeking a better night’s rest, through to the "Yoga Mamma" and "Home Lovers" who want to add calm to their world, or the "Beauty Seekers" who are looking for ways to look their best and care for their skin. We started up conversations these four groups on social media and via our website messages and have continued the threads of those conversations from there. We’re careful to balance things out... not getting too "salesy", not just focussing on our products, but also weaving in other related topics and sharing our world and the things we love. And encouraging our followers and fans to make things two way. We think that makes for a more interesting dialogue.
What so far has been your most proud moment in relation to the brand?
In 2016 we won Best New British Brand at the Pure Beauty Awards. It was a total surprise as there were so many other great brands competing. It was a massive boost after just a year and a half in business and it gave us the impetus to really take things forward. It was great to know the industry believed in us and saw the potential in the idea.
What do you feel drives a successful business?
First you need a great idea that meets a genuine need and differentiates the brand from what everyone else is doing. Secondly having the right team is so important along with supportive family and partners. Then you need the confidence to go for it even when the going is bumpy and to keep the self-belief.
What are your brand values and how did you narrow them down?
Kiss the Moon is real, honest and true helping to make night times a little bit more glamorous and beautiful. We’re 100% natural and care deeply about the quality of everything we make. Not only do we want it to help you sleep beautifully but it’s important to us that it looks and smells just as beautiful and is kind to the planet as well as to the skin. We use the best natural ingredients we can lay our hands on - no parabens, no harsh chemicals, no artificial perfumes, no compromise. Everything in the range is also cruelty free (we’re big animal lovers) and suitable for vegans.
How do you keep momentum going within your team?
We keep talking. Share the good bits and the tough bits and don’t forget to stop and have a giggle (or cake) now and then. We are always trying new things so it’s always exciting but that can also be exhausting. Our team is great as we all try to look after on another and make sure we all take the time we need to rest now and then. Like all businesses, running Kiss the Moon is a team game and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
How far ahead do you like to plan and what is your long-term business?
While we have some broad longer-term goals, in the main we work to an annual plan and review it quarterly. It important to always be ready to change things when circumstances alter. This year goes to show you never know what is around the corner.
How did you push through the fear and anxieties of setting up your own business?
When faced with should I/shouldn’t I decisions I tend to sleep on things. By imagining what happens if you did do something and then the next night imagining what would be different if you didn’t things often come clear. When we sleep our brain makes new connections and has chance to sort things out that often seem scrambled during daylight hours. So - peace, quiet, sleep and then trusting your own instincts are my remedy when there’s a choice to be made that feels a bit daunting.