Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Inspirational Women: Julia Yule of Bloom and Blossom


I thought it was about time I introduced you to another inspiring woman, someone who can feed your ideas and imagination with what is possible when you really put your mind to something. I love to find out how people have come to take a particular path in life, something outside their comfort zone that has really challenged them, and you can't get more comfortable than a glamourous job on Britain's best-selling glossy magazine. 

I first met Julia years ago working in London. We were both young, enthusiastic and without kids. Julia now has 2 beautiful children and a growing skincare business, Bloom and Blossom, that she's built whilst maintaining a career in magazine publishing. I wanted to know what inspired her and how she went about developing a new brand in a competitive market.



THE NOTEBOOK: Can you describe your career up to starting your business?

JULIA YULE: 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 Editor of Glamour. 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.

TN: What inspired you to create Bloom and Blossom, and tell us a little about how you went about starting it?

JY: There was a market out there for a natural, premium skincare range. So many friends were telling me they couldn’t find products to use when pregnant that they were completely confident with and that also looked beautiful in the bathroom cabinet. 

The concept of developing a range of skincare products with the brand philosophy of ‘minimum ingredients = maximum results’ grew from that point. Christina, my business partner (and sister in law) inspires me and in turn I inspire her – it has been incredible to work so closely with someone – not only do you not want to let them down, but they are there to lean on and to help make, what you hope, are the right decisions. A true partnership. We definitely started at the very beginning, we certainly learnt on the job and we asked questions and continue to ask questions. I have no problem asking any question. 
TNCan you describe the Bloom and Blossom customer?

JY: She is a beauty savvy woman, someone who cares what they put on their skin and their babies skin, she understands about natural products and is looking for a sophisticated brand, that also looks good on her bathroom shelf. When we were researching we realized that many maternity brands spoke differently to the customer, compared to other skincare brands – why was that – just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean your style changes. We also do very well within the giftables market – baby showers, new arrivals and congratulations gifts - so it is important we are attractive to a wide variety of people.

TN: How important was the branding and design of the business?

JY: It speaks volumes as it is what people remember and of course what people see first. We have had some incredible feedback from both customers and retailers with regards our packaging – its simplicity, sophistication and most importantly its translation of all the product ingredients. We thought long and hard about what we wanted the brand to look like and how we would see the brand evolving over time and so it really is a very important aspect for any business.

TN: How would you define your style, and how has it evolved over the years, particularly as a new mum?

JY: I would say my style is girly tailoring – a phrase created for me by the fashion team at Glamour. Cute, youthful and girly yet with a tailored finish. I don’t feel my style has changed since being a mummy – obviously there are clothes that should be worn on the days I am with my little ones and there are clothes that I wear for working days. However I did foolishly wear one of my favourite silk Equipment shirts recently and my baby girl certainly made her mark on it – but all has been forgiven and the shirt has been saved!

TN: Who are your favourite clothing and accessories designers and why? 

JY: J Crew – fashion basics, Gap – cool cuts, Equipment – the best shirts around, Carven – fashion edge and I love what Whistles has to offer – I am such a dress girl and it is impossible for me to pop in to Whistles without being tempted by one of their dresses. Accessories – Chanel – for sunglasses and bags, Anya Hindmarch for elegant and stylish and Kate Spade for fun and colour.


1. Dress, £165, Whistles
2. Silk blouse, $248 , Equipment
3. Chanel 
4. Heel, $328, Kate Spade
5. Bag, £1,100, Anya Hindmarch
6. Cashmere sweater, £85.58 [SALE], J Crew

TN: In your wardrobe what is your favourite item of clothing, and your favourite accessory and why?

JY: Currently my most favourite item is my new Carven skirt – beautifully made, fabulous colour and great fit – one of my most favourite brands. My favourite accessory is my Chanel 2.55 – a true classic, and one I will pass down to my daughter and it was a gift from someone very special.

TN: What is your advice for other women wanting to start their own business?

JY: DO IT – whatever it is you should focus yourself, do your research and believe you can achieve your goal. The most important starting point is background research – is there a need for your ‘idea/business’ in the marketplace? I would also say be prepared for a lot of hard work, but also very rewarding work. 

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BLOOM AND BLOSSOM VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.BLOOMANDBLOSSOM.COM, OR FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER @BLOOMANDBLOSSOM.

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