Richmond was a great place to grow up (think surround-sound green spaces and a wide river to splash about in throughout the summer). That’s where my love of nature was born.
After university in Liverpool I headed to London to take up a job in advertising. City life was exciting and busy but I was lucky enough to always be able to retreat to the countryside for a family visit when I needed to recharge.
Next came the call to go and head up Saatchi & Saatchi’s media department in Sydney. Flights, a lot of them and a lot of long ones were to become a recurring theme in my life from now on. After two successful years and with an urge to be closer to home and family, I headed back to another media job in London before changing tack slightly to join innovation agency. Charged with flying the world to help some of the globe’s biggest companies create new products and better brands. In what might be described as a ‘35,000 feet above sea level’ lifestyle, I was given the task of helping the company open their offices in China and landing business from Sao Paulo to South Korea. Exciting - yes. Exhausting - definitely.
It was a whirlwind and I loved it, but I soon noticed that this type of lifestyle took its toll. When you are 20 you can do anything; but in your 30’s you need the weekends to recover. By 40 you really start to feel it.
Leaving London behind and heading back to the North Yorkshire countryside (where I now live with my husband Mark and three dogs), I set up my own innovation consultancy. Life was still a business busy lifestyle but was much more under my own control. Returning home gave me space to think and realise the importance of managing energy and more specifically, the importance of sleep. So, I started the hunt for a solution for me and for everyone else who I saw was facing the same dilemma - how to help busy people take back control of their sleep patterns and stay feeling and looking their best?
I set about understanding sleep and how to influence it.
Although the motivation came from my busy London life and from the need to manage jetlag - the route to the answer came from the type of environment I grew up in - the countryside. I realised that the key to understanding sleep was to tune in to nature and the way our body responds to fundamentals such as light; temperature and aromas.
My last job involved a lot 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. Starting with our range of night-time face oils and bath oils, Kiss the Moon (kissthemoon.com) was born.
Obviously getting a good night’s sleep is top of my list. The scientists have now discovered exactly how vital restorative sleep is, not only to how we look and feel, but also to our underlying health. Poor sleep has a negative impact on every cell in our body because while we are sleeping our body goes into repair mode. My biggest single sleep tip is to claim back the last 20 minutes of every day and do something that helps you to unwind and feel good about yourself. Whether that’s listening to music, soaking in the bath, doing some stretches or reading a book – whatever helps you tune out from the day and tune in to a slower, more relaxed mind-space. Weaving aromatherapy into that experience is a powerful thing to do because the bit of our brain that controls sleep also controls smell. Essential oils are a shortcut way to relax and calm the mind so when you do turn out the light, sleep comes easier.
My second self-care tip is to get a dog. Not only are they good for the soul, they keep you moving and get you out into the fresh air. Try telling a pair of enthusiastic Labradors that you don’t fancy a walk because it’s a bit chilly. Mine can charm me in to getting up and out into the countryside with just a wag of their tails and I always come back feeling better for it.
My last tip is to try to look for the positives in whatever happens. This is not always easy, this year in particular I know, but trying to keep a positive mental attitude really helps me stay mentally strong and able to cope with what ever life throws my way. Very handy when you are running a small business in 2020.
So much has been thrown up in the air this year but as a team we’re feeling upbeat. We’re lucky that we have a strong website (kissthemoon.com) so that even when full lockdown happened, we were able to stay in touch with our customers and keep trading. With the road ahead looking so uncertain we’re putting most of our effort in to online for the time being and keeping our profile raised through social media.
On the product front we have lots of gorgeous new things about to launch for Christmas 2020 – from handmade Eye Pillows & Aromatherapy Pillow Drops to our new Soy Wax Aromatherapy Melts. Our hunch is that people this year will be seeking out gifts that help us look after each other. What could be better than giving someone a beautiful night’s sleep?
THREE WAYS TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE
Respect nature – it’s smarter than we are.
Reduce waste The throwaway culture we have created is just not sustainable.
Take responsibility We all have a duty to do our bit. Don’t leave it to someone else.