Welcome to another installment of the new Meet the Maker interviews, a series of questions and answers with some of the faces behind the brands that make a big impact on our beauty routines. It is great to find products that can transform our beauty regimes for the better but I wanted to find out more about the people behind the brands and discover what motivates them to formulate the products within their ranges.
Today’s feature is a little different than usual as we are talking to Karen, founder of Blomma Beauty, an online store for natural beauty and wellness. Blomma Beauty stocks a wide variety of conscious beauty brands with a mission to help customers find the right products with sample services, online consultations, pop-up shops and virtual events that demonstrates the passion and dedication Karen has for green beauty. I have been a Blomma Beauty customer for a while now and am always blown away by the incredible service and range of products Blomma Beauty have on their site. I am thrilled to be talking about Karen’s own natural beauty journey, how Blomma Beauty came to be and all things festive as we lead up to Christmas…
Emma: Hi Karen, it is lovely to have you feature on Meet the Maker…
Karen: Hey Emma, it’s great to chat with you today.
Emma: So I guess the first question is what motivated you to start Blomma Beauty?
Karen: I started the business for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my experience as a retail buyer showed me how the shopping experience on the high street was evolving and needed to be more experiential and educational for informed and conscious consumers to really engage with products and foster brand loyalty. Secondly, I’d made the switch to an organic beauty regime, about 7 years ago now, and I found it really difficult to navigate the ingredients and product claims. I was hearing that more and more people were creating organic products but I couldn’t find them, and certainly not from independent makers, so I wanted to create a platform that brings these incredible brands to people looking for natural and organic beauty products but with more of a personal touch and community feel than some of the bigger players in natural beauty.
Emma: That is something I personally feel you have really achieved, as Blomma Beauty certainly feels like a real celebration of indie brands! Thinking of your platform now…obviously, Covid-19 has had such an impact on our lives this year, but before the pandemic your events and workshops were incredibly popular and beneficial for consumers and formulators alike. How have you overcome these issues and adapted the way you provide a conscious and effective service?
Karen: Right before lockdown, we had just started our first month of a three month pop up which was going to be a bit of a test to see if we could eventually have our own permanent studio space for the business that would host workshops, talks, interactive experiences and meet the makers with our brands and products but obviously that all went out the window this year so I had to really quickly think about how I could still create those experiences with the products for people because for me, it’s so important that our customers understand the products they’re buying and can test them out beforehand so they’re making informed decisions. I also wanted to make sure that whatever we did, wasn’t just a reaction to the lockdown but would be things that we could continue to offer and add value to our customers long after the pandemic was over.
The first thing I did was move all of our events online by offering webinars on conscious beauty topics and in fact, it allowed us to reach more people and do events more frequently which has been great so when we get back to doing our events in person, I’ll also be recording them for people that aren’t London based.
Then I wanted to make sure that people could still try the products before they bought them. In our stores and at our events we do so much sampling so people can test a little bit of product on their skin before committing. So we now offer a sample service on our website where people pay £2.50 and they’ll get a questionnaire about their skincare needs. I’ll then choose 3 products that I think match what they’re looking for and send a handwritten note about why I’ve chosen them and how to use them. I’ll then follow up with a voucher for money off any products they want to purchase.
And finally, we have such a lovely community of event goers and customers, lots of whom I always love chatting to personally about organic beauty and the products they’re looking for and helping them to choose things they’ll love. I really miss that aspect of our events so I also offer free video consultations so I can connect with our customers face to face and help them to find new products or get the most out of the ones they already buy from us.
Emma: It sounds like you’ve really made a positive out of a negative situation and I for one absolutely love the sample service and virtual events! So it’s that time of year again that we start to think about the festive period – do you love Christmas or have any traditions that you honour each year?
Karen: I always love Christmas and I am especially looking forward to it this year. My boyfriend and I alternate between each of our families but a tradition we have on both sides is a faux Christmas day with the side we’ll not be seeing on Christmas day and it has to be exactly like the real deal, the same routine and traditions, everything. I love this because it reminds me of what Christmas is about, connecting with family and that doesn’t have to be just limited to December 25th!
Emma: I absolutely love that! Talking of Christmas, you have a lot of Christmas gifting options on Blomma Beauty at the moment. What are your own personal favourites from the collection that you’d love to see under the tree this year?
Karen: Oh my goodness, honestly it is so hard to choose because I select all of the products that we stock so I literally love them all. At the moment I’m obsessed with Silvan Skincare’s new handcream which smells amazing and comes in a really cute tin which makes a great stocking filler. I always love Bumi Naturals’ gifting too, Imogen comes up with such lovely combinations and packaging and this year they’ve got an obsidian gua sha which is really unusual as well as a super cute mini version of their calm candle to look forward to.
Emma: Two very beautiful brands there! Let’s move onto Christmas recommendations…If someone was looking at buying a gift for someone who is starting their own green beauty journey, what options would you recommend?
Karen: There are 2 discovery kits I tend to recommend for people just starting out so they can get a feel for different products and textures. The first is Meadow Skincare’s Starter Kit (also available in Christmas gift wrap) which is a miniature of their full range and is like gifting someone a luxury facial they can do at home. The second is the Casa Mencarelli Discovery Kit which is again a miniature of their range and is full of really versatile skincare you can mix and match day and night that’s going to feed your skin and give you incredible results without the synthetic ingredients!
Emma: How about for the men in their life?
Karen: Our bestselling range for men is Codex Beauty so their Discovery Kit is a good shout as it really focuses on cleansing and hydrating, two things that are the core of any good skincare routine. All the products have a light, herbaceous scent so not too girly and the packaging is all super eco friendly and they’re vegan, cruelty free and organic certified so is incredibly high quality.
Emma: There will be a lot of happy people this Christmas with those beautiful gift sets! Now Christmas will obviously be a little different this year, so we might all find ourselves spending more time at home with the heating on (or bracing the weather for a Wintery walk!). What are your top tips and recommendations for looking after our skin during the festive period?
Karen: For both dry heat and cold damp environments it’s important to protect your skin from moisture loss. So applying a rich cream or hydrating balm can help the skin barrier function. And then I think it’s important to not forget the basics. In lockdown I spoke to so many people who weren’t cleansing their face at least once a day because they weren’t going out or wearing make up but your skin is still exposed to dirt, grime and pollution so I think cleansing and also gently exfoliating once a week are important to keep up. And finally, just remember to treat yourself. We’ve sold way more face masks this year as people are focusing on really treating and nourishing their skin and also taking time out for self care which has been a really positive aspect of the pandemic.
Emma: Self-care is certainly more important than ever during these times. Finally, what exciting things can we expect to see from Blomma Beauty in 2021?
Karen: I really want to build on the progress Blomma has made this year with our website and online events but of course I’m really looking forward to when we can get back to offering in real life experiences for our customers! I’m on the hunt for studio space so we can offer workshops, pamper parties and everything else we do all under one roof so watch this space.
Thank you Karen for taking the time to discuss your own beauty journey and festive plans. It is great to see a natural beauty store showcasing so many amazing brands and products to help us all get the skincare routine we deserve.
Don’t forget to check out Blomma Beauty to find out more about their mission and complete product range, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date. You can also get a free sample pack + £5 off with any purchase with the code beautyfolio (all the Terms and Conditions are below) as well as catch up on all my previous Blomma Beauty reviews here.
Emma @ Beauty Folio
Blomma Beauty Discount Terms and Conditions: When purchasing an item from Blomma Beauty (excluding sale items), you can get a free sample pack + £5 off with the code beautyfolio. If you are purchasing an item or gift set for someone else at a different address, but want the free pack for yourself, add a note to the order that you want this sent to the UK billing address instead.