An interview with... Kiss The Moon Founder, Jo Foster
Can you tell us about why you launched your fabulous brand Kiss The Moon?
I had a job in marketing; it was a great job because I got to travel the world, Asia particularly, but because of that my sleep had gone totally to pot. I think I had jet lag for about four years! Kiss The Moon came from me trying to get my sleep back on track. I realised that I couldn’t pretend that it was ok and needed to take control of it.
Good for you! If you hadn’t launched kiss the moon, do you think you would still be in your marketing job?
Well, two things happened – I have two hats! I moved back to Yorkshire and set up by own innovation marketing company, which I still have – it helps brands to innovate and grow and I do that from Yorkshire. My other hat is following through with Kiss The Moon; putting my money where my mouth is and doing it with the brand.
Imagine in another life you hadn’t launched Kiss The Moon and you hadn’t gone into marketing, what would you be doing?
Ooh, I like that question…I don’t know! I always wanted to be a window dresser; I loved seeing all the amazing windows whenever I went to London in places like Selfridges. I guess I get to do that now, bringing the brand to life. Or a journalist perhaps… something creative.
I love that it’s got nipple balm on it! I really like that, it stood out! I really like its simplicity, it’s fun and clear. It definitely works, It’s one of those, where you feel like it’s working but it’s not sticky and gloopy.
What a fab job that would be! Your brand, like ours, is 100% natural. Can you tell us about your decision to use only natural ingredients?
Kiss The Moon came from trying to create something for myself. In the very beginning it wasn’t about making it commercial and also, I don’t want to go to sleep covered in chemicals! Sleep is where you take off the day and you go back to your natural state – I don’t want to paste myself in chemical stuff. That’s the first reason – using something that worked with your body and not on your body. The second thing was, when looking into sleep and beauty sleep; I discovered quite early on that our sense of smell is controlled by the same bit of our brain as our sleep part. It’s the oldest bit of our brain, the bit of our brain that keeps us alive. It controls our breathing as well, it has all these sensors and all our central things – sleep and smell are right in the middle of that. One of the most fundamental ways to influence our sleep is through natural smells and aromatherapy.
Jo, we love the way you think! You say that a bad night’s sleep contributes to bad skin, is that something that you found when you were flying around the world? When you got your routine back to normal did you find it improved?
I think sleep changes everything; a bad night’s sleep changes how you feel, it makes you grumpy, it makes you hungry, it makes you not be able to concentrate. Our cells repair themselves at night and so not only is it bad for your heart and your whole body, it’s actually quite dangerous to go without sleep. You can go longer without water than you can without sleep! From a skin point of view, even one night’s sleep is enough for you to see it in your skin – it’s one of the first signs of a bad night’s sleep. I found for myself, on top of things like air conditioning and being in and out of cold rooms, your skin gets battered in the day and if you don’t give it time to repair, it shows. Taking back control of your sleep is a very good step to get yourself looking and feeling your best. I found that when I got it back under control, myself.
Do you take any other steps in your life to be more natural?
Animal cruelty is a big no-no for me, I’m quite against that. I guess it’s things like drinking lots of water, getting plenty of fresh air and being conscious of what I am putting on my skin. Some chemicals for me ring alarm bells – for the environment or for my skin, so it’s steering away from things like that. I’m lucky that I live in a place on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, and I have three crazy dogs and one crazy husband, so it’s about getting out and being in nature as well as actually using natural products. I find that to be as good for the soul as good for your skin.
What does the term Go Natural mean to you?
I suppose it means making decisions to turn away from the fake, artificial and the man-made, towards some of the things that nature gives us on a plate.
What would your tips be for somebody who is looking to take more natural steps in their lives?
Don’t overlook the simple things. It’s literally about fresh air, water, clean ingredients and good food. It’s usually about taking things away rather than adding things in. Night time is the perfect time to do that, because you own a bit of a calmer place, which is why we say that your night time routine is all around things that help your skin and also help your sleep. This calmer way of approaching what you put in and on your body is where I would start.
What would your tips be for someone struggling with their sleep?
There are different reasons why people don’t sleep. At any one time one in three people are suffering with a sleep issue and for the rest of us, wouldn’t not like to have a better night’s sleep, because there is sleeping and there is quality of sleep. I think its understanding the source. Stress is often at the route of it and you have to peel back a bit and work out what is the thing you are worrying about.
Mums look after their babies by creating a night time routine and having a series of steps every night. It helps you subconsciously get ready for rest and as an adult, take back the last twenty minutes of the day, do things that help you look after yourself. They’re relaxing; they’re calming; they’re good for your body and mind and wind you down for sleep at that precious part at the end of the day.
We’re not computers, you can’t just turn off and then expect to turn back on again and we have to step back into it! Claim back your night time!
What would you say the most common mistakes we’re making in the bedroom?
We are all addicted to our phones, I am myself. It’s quite interesting really; nature really does have the answers when it comes to sleep and we’ve spoken about smell but, the other two things are light and temperature. In the old days when we didn’t have electricity or iPads what happened was that it got darker and colder. Our hormonal response to that is that the body starts pumping out melatonin and out body gets ready for rest.
Of course, we turn the heating off and turn the lights on and that confuses your body clock, so turn to those parts of nature as well. Blue light is omitted from screens and that’s what we get from daylight, so signals to your body that it’s time to wake up. It’s really about being light conscious.
If you have a bath at night, your body temperature drops and it tricks your body into thinking, “oh it’s cold!” Then add aromatherapy (a scented candle) and darkness and you have this holy trinity of sleep! I don’t want to sound like a party pooper but the other thing is alcohol! I love a glass of wine, but it doesn’t help. It just sedates you; it doesn’t give you that restorative sleep. As the alcohol wears off, you wake up. It’s a bit of a false friend.
Argh, we knew you would mention phones! Next question: what would you do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?
I hate cruelty and prejudice of any kind; I would put my energy into getting people to see other people’s perspective – people, animals, and our planet. I’d dial up the compassion a little bit because I think that we are losing that.
What’s your favourite thing about having your own business?
Every day is different and I get to work with brilliant people. I wouldn’t want to do any of it without them and we’re in in together. We decide, we don’t waste our time with politics and things that don’t move us in the right direction. Also, being with people that you like as well as admire.
Where would you like to see yourself and Kiss The Moon in the next 10 years?
We have set out to be the beauty sleep specialists; we’ll never do a day cream, we’re all about that night time moment, all about after dark. We’d like to be in the coolest cities in the world while, and have no compromise in what we started.
What’s next for the brand?
We’re deciding which products to launch this year; continue to grow and be stocked in the right places. We want to grow in bricks and mortar.