Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend

Anni Townend in Conversation with Julia Yule, Co-Founder and Director of Bloom and Blossom

May 24, 2022 Anni Townend and Julia Yule Episode 30
Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend
Anni Townend in Conversation with Julia Yule, Co-Founder and Director of Bloom and Blossom
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 3, series 2 of Leaders In Conversation Anni was delighted to be joined by Julia Yule Co-Founder and Director of Bloom and Blossom, an award winning British business that provides natural routine led, solution focused skincare for the whole family.

The experiences that shape you 

Julia starts the episode discussing her greatest leading influence was her parents. She highlights that they were massively encouraging and pushed in a way that kept them accountable.

The journey to success

Julia discusses her years in PR, fashion and magazine which although incredibly glamour was hard work but incredibly important to work your way up. 

She said that “you need to do, and you need to see and you need to experience. So, I've always applied that in whatever I do. And I'm very determined”. 

Positivity in the workplace 

Julia goes on to discuss the importance of leading with confidence but also vulnerability. She says that “To be able to lead a business takes a team, right, it takes people. And so, to give people that ability, and that chance to shine and feel confident in something that they're doing particularly at that time’.  

They both discuss that trust is vital as well enjoying what you do and one of the top things that distinguishes great leaders from good leaders is the ability to being a positive mindset. 

She said that “if we take business, having positivity in the workplace is imperative as a leader, but also, as an individual” and that we should celebrate the wins however big or small.

The To Be List

Anni shares her to-be list tip… “we can get bogged down in to do lists, things we must do. I'm a great encourager of having a To Be list. So alongside, particularly for those people who love to have a list, to have the To Do list, but also to have the To Be list, who am I being,  how am I going to show up today-  wholehearted, determined, bringing a positive mindset ..”. 

Building a flourishing partnership 

They  both go onto discuss the Bloom and Blossom, the fantastic small, independent British brand that Julia and Christina,  her sister in law/ business partner created in 2010. She said that “We wanted to build a brand, we wanted to build something that took us out of, or within the realms of body care, but slightly out of just quite the small maternity sector, albeit a beautiful sector that we still cater for certainly.”. 

Both having the same clear vision, the same principles of how they want to get there has been keen to their journey of success. 

She believes it’s also important to listen, both with Christina but also her team. Creating a safe environment of diversity of thought. 

The importance of routine

Anni goes onto share her love of the Bloom and Blossom brand products and its focus on creating routines for sleep, skincare and more.

Julia shares that we should “sit, listen and encourage as much as you can. Have the courage yourself and encourage it all out of others as well”. 

Listen to the full episode to hear about:

  • Vulnerability as a leader 
  •  Positivity in the workplace
  • The To Be List 
  • Build a flourishing partnership with a friend 
  • Building a beauty and self care brand 
  • The importance of self-care for success

To find out more about Bloom and Blossom and Julia and to buy their wonderful skincare products for your wellness do go to www.bloomandblossom.com 

 If you would like to be a guest on Leaders in Conversation, please contact Anni on anni@annitownend.com 

Anni Townend  

Welcome to leaders in conversation, a series of podcasts in which leaders share their personal leadership stories, their insights and wisdom to inspire and encourage others to lead with even greater confidence. In this episode, I'm delighted to be in conversation with Julia Yule, co-founder and director of bloom and blossom, an award winning British business that provides natural routine led solution focused skincare for the whole family. Welcome, Julia to leaders in conversation. 

 

Julia Yule

Oh, welcome, Anni, thank you for having me. What an honour.

 

Anni Townend

Well, I am truly delighted to be in conversation with you. 

 

And I'm going to be asking you, Julia, about who you are, in particular, who are the people? And what are the key experiences that have shaped you your values and beliefs, your passion and purpose, 

 

I'll go on to ask you about what inspired you to co found Bloom and Blossom with Christina Moss in 2010. And what prompted your focus on the importance of routine and sleep as being part of the very best you can be. 

 

And finally, I would love to hear more about what being in partnership means for you. And how you and Christina live this in your relationship, inside and outside of work. 

 

And at the very end, I'll be drawing our conversation to a close by asking you what are the three most important lessons, and or watch outs, for leaders who are looking to start up a business with a partner? So over to you, Julia, tell me about who you are, and who and what shaped who you've become by way of your values, your beliefs, your passion and purpose?

 

Julia Yule

I mean, fundamentally, Anni, there is no question that my leader, I suppose, would be my parents. They brought me up to believe that there was no roof on anything, that you could really strive for what you wanted. There was a sort of comfort and understanding and courage from such a young age that was put on us to believe that it's possible. But it was also Anni very realistic. And I think what I took from that was, it wasn't blue sky thinking that was ludicrous. There was always this, there are going to be challenges there are going to be, you know, rollercoasters, a lot. But they always talked about things as though it was extremely real. I think the reality was, you know, no one lives a life with no pitfalls and no challenges. And that was part of the making of me. So I think it was a very honest relationship I had with them. It was a very powerful, and also incredibly passionate. Whenever we were doing something as a family, it was done with such gusto and such passion. 

 

I always remember having this conversation with my father about, the early stage of picking a levels, him just saying to me, you are going to have to enjoy this because everything you pick on your journey, if you don't enjoy it, you will not give it 100% 

 

We were a sort of very subtle, but privately competitive family with each other. It was my father was unbelievably demure, incredibly talented, but very demure, and would sort of keep everything to himself when he did magnificent, moments in life. But we knew they happened and there was enormous amounts of respect for someone who was able to be so exceptional and extraordinary. Without it being too over the top. And certainly my brother and I, as we grew up, we were encouraged massively, and it was important. 

 

So whatever we did, whether that be extra stuff at school, music, Sport, whatever. We were pushed, but we were pushed in a way of, well, why wouldn't you want to be the best? Why would you not want to practice more on your piano at the age of 10? Surely you want to be better at it. 

 

from a young age, it was put on us to say, well, you're actually accountable for this, you might be young, but you are accountable. And if you want to do well, you can do it, but you have to apply yourself, it's not going to be easy. And I tell you what that has been such a building block. And then for me, to then think that going into business was the right journey for me. Because if you didn't have that ability to accept that things are going to be tough, I don't think you'd get out the starting block. To be honest, you'd get as far as registering with Companies House, and then you'd probably be out. Because doors slammed in your face doors open, you do U-turns in the middle of the road, things get thrown at you at times, we know what it takes to run a business is just such an absolute diverse pot of absolutely everything, particularly a small business, and I think that's the difference. 

 

If you are leading a huge behemoth conglomerate, you clearly have an enormous workforce, but a small, independent business like we are, there aren't many of us, you turn your hand to everything. And it was born into me in a way, the ability to just put your hand to give it a go. Right, I think I've always had in my life. 

 

And even as a child, I can remember in lessons at school, I would always be okay about asking if I didn't understand it, I'd always be okay about putting my hand up. And I've taken that through life, and particularly into business, because you don't know everything. How can you? I'm not a specialist in everything. But I'm willing to learn I'm excited to learn when I'm on different paths, which a small business allows you to do on a daily basis

 

But yeah, I mean my parents, I talked about them in the past has very sadly, I lost them both at the end of 2015. What they built in me was clearly, yes, the blue sky thinking to think I could go out and do and be, but with some reality check to it. And just knowing it is not going to be easy, it's just not going to be easy. It's not easy for anybody. Living the dream, but with a reality of, it's gonna take hard work. And then I've applied that in every form. So even the career I had before setting up the business, I have fantastic years in PR and fashion, and then in magazine, they're all hard work, they're incredibly glamorous at times, but half the time you're, we all used to laugh about, you know, lying under a pile of samples in a showroom. Fun, right? 

 

But it's hard when you've got to work your way up, you can't assume you're going to be a manager after being there for five weeks, and you shouldn't, right? And you need to do and you need to see and you need to experience. So, I've always applied that in whatever I do. And I'm very determined. And I know that determination comes from both of them, because they were both very determined. Father, a little bit more silent and deadly about it, but determination. I'm going to do it, I'm going to make it happen, whatever it takes. And I hope that their qualities, if they can be seen as that, that I am able to pass on - even this morning, my little girl, she needs to be doing more practice of the piano. So now, I've had the conversation with her about does she want to be better? Does she want to play better? Does she want to try the music that she hears in the house? And her answers are yes. Right, go practice them. You're not doing it for me. It has to come from her. And I think if you can try and instill that from a young age, which they certainly did for me. It's a great building block for any career. Whatever you choose.

 

Anni Townend

It’s a life lesson isn't it? What I'm hearing that they gave you and you're passing on is a really wholehearted approach to life and to work - to put your whole self in to feel confident, but that they also taught you something which I know people have experienced needing more of that resilience that comes from hard work and being able to ask for help, when we don't know, when we don't know the answer. And as you say, as leaders, as business owners, we cannot know all the answers, and we need to ask questions. And that in and of itself, I think takes confidence to be able to say, I don't know, to be able to be vulnerable, and not know sometimes, and to see that as a strength.

 

Julia Yule

But I think it is a strength Anni, and of being vulnerable is, it sounds a negative, doesn't it in a way, because it makes you sort of feel a little sort of frightened and you want to protect yourself, but being vulnerable is a huge asset, because ultimately, you're then allowing yourself to be placed into a position where you should, and can, and will need to ask for help. 

 

I mean, we've all just gone through, it's been two years of unknown. There were times in March 2020, when nobody knew, and there were words, we were finding, you know, listening to on a daily basis on the radio, and the TV and the news and everything that we'd never heard before. So, no one really knew, no one knew what was going on in the retail landscape, no one knew they could even leave their house. 

 

So, to have resilience enabled, me and Christina, my business partner, to sort of look above the parapet and think, Okay, we're all in this together, it's happening to everybody, we need to lead this team. And we need to lead with confidence, but vulnerability as well, because we can't just have sat there and gone, it's going to be fine. Like no one knew. So how would we know? So to have, you know, I remember always bringing the team together and, and having these moments of just connection. And saying, I need you to lean into this, because that's your specialty, I need you to lean into this, that's what you're fantastic for. That's why you're here. To be able to lead a business takes a team, right, it takes people. And so to give people that ability, and that chance to shine and feel confident in something that they're doing particularly at that time was very, very important and important for us, because there was a lot you don't often share with your team, there is a lot that you have to protect them against you can't just be utterly transparent, utterly, I mean, you need to have them with you and understanding and clarity and honesty about where the business is, where you're going, what the plans are the vision. 

 

But sometimes there are things as a parent, and as a leader, they don't need to know, right, and they don't need to have that invested in their brain. So they don't need to plug that in anywhere. They're just there shouldn't be room for that. That was another thing my parents taught me and I kind of look back and think there were times in childhood, you don't always know what's really going on. But you know, enough. And I think I sort of would surmise it by saying knowing enough, and sharing enough is a is an important, quality that I carry, hopefully.

 

Anni Townend

It sounds like you do and that you trusted your parents to let you know what you needed to know, they helped you navigate by both protecting you, but also encouraging you into the world in this very real way. And as a leader, that's what you're doing. You're asking your team, the business to trust you and that you will tell them when you can, what's appropriate when you know what you know, but that for the time being, trust me believe in me, this is what you need to do to be able to do what you do really well. You also mentioned Julia about the importance I think that you got from both of your parents of enjoying what you do. And that being so, so important.

 

Julia Yule

I just would say that across everything I mean enjoying what you do across every part of your day like don't get me wrong, there are moments of the day that you'd rather not right. And you know, everybody whether you have your own business, you work for another company or whatever vocation there is no human out there that would say every moment of the day is a joy every moment is a positive. It's not, but I look for the positive, I do look for the positive in everything. It's something I look at whether I'm looking at it across business and across friendships and across family. Because, I haven't really got the time to be bothering if I'm being really honest, if it's not going to bring some kind of joy. So, if we take business, having positivity in the workplace is imperative as a leader, but also, as an individual. So even when I was working for a big business or on a magazine, why wouldn't I have looked for that positive, you know, angle, we were in very incredible privileged roles really doing these phenomenal experiences, unheard of experiences, and building a business is a huge privilege. 

 

Drama happens, of course it does, but I don't look for it, and I don't indulge in it. I don't want to waste my time in that area. Yes, we get challenges at work, it’s just part of it. Well, let’s make it happen. Let's get on a call. Let's just find a solution to this. That's the first thing I'm going to say. Let’s try and come out of this with a positive. Because if not, what are we doing? Right? That's what I would honestly question, what are we doing, if we’re just going to be a little bit naturally quite negative about stuff, it's just going to drag everything down. And as a leader, you absolutely need positivity. 

 

Anni Townend

I totally agree. I remember reading an article years ago, and in the top five things that distinguished great leaders from good leaders, great leaders, were able to bring a positive mindset, which wasn't to, minimize the difficulty of a situation, but had this ability and are able to bring that positive mindset that let's find a way we can do this together, we might not know how, but together we can find a way. And again, referencing your upbringing, it sounds as if your parents helped you to practice bringing that kind of mindset like you can do this, anything is possible with hard work, you can find a way there is a way through this.

 

Julia Yule

There is always a way because I'm also of the belief that we're on a path. And if that path suddenly turns sharp, right, sharp left, well, that's, that's the path you're going on. These things are thrown at us. I hate the concept of hindsight and looking back, thinking, oh if only, because it's gone. And we can all be indulgent in that moment, and we're allowed to be and I've said it. I've said it many times, Oh, if only and then I kind of stopped myself and go. But stop. Because it's been it's gone. And the path is going slightly off to the right or slightly off to the left. And you thought it was just going to go that way and tunnelling forward. 

 

So, I think that positivity piece across life, throw yourself in with gusto, right? Make for a wonderful day, or a wonderful event or a wonderful piece of news, and a celebrate those moments. And I think, you know, we can all get incredibly bogged down with work, to do lists, deadlines, needs, and also the roller coaster of the journey, we must remember the good bits and we must celebrate the good bits, even if they are sort of stand up in your chair and walk in the middle of the office. This has just happened. Let's have a round of applause. Whatever! Whether they're small wins or major wins, I think they're nice ways to elevate someone's day and someone's career. It's a nice moment, and one, we must always remember to sort of embrace the positive as well.

 

Anni Townend

And celebrate, I think in the everyday way, as well as the big wins, it's celebrating those small wins that also help give confidence and self-belief. I often say, I wouldn't be doing what I do now, if other people hadn't believed in me when I faltered, when I wavered when I wasn't sure whether I could do something, and other people encouraged me and said, You can do this. And when I did it, they celebrated the fact that I’d done it. 

 

Another thing you mentioned there is we can get bogged down in to do lists, things we have to do. I'm a great encourager of having a To Be list. So alongside, particularly for those people who love to have a list, to have the To Do list, but also to have the To Be list, who am I being how am I going to show up today, wholehearted, determined, bringing a positive mindset, things that you've mentioned.

 

Julia Yule

Anni, I love that. Because I think if you give yourself the moment to think about it, you know that's what you need to bring to the day. But often, everything is so busy, and so rushed, and so deadline focused, that the day can be six o'clock, and you haven't been any of those things. I love the idea of that.

 

Anni Townend

It's great, isn't it? 

 

Julia Yule

I’m going to take that and steal it from you

 

Anni Townend

Excellent. Well I totally recommend it, especially to people who like lists.

 

Julia Yule

that's one thing I got from my mom, there were lists all bits of paper, and I'm the same I'm such a list. I have a notepad, I write it down. If it doesn't get written down, it might not happen.

 

Anni Townend

Agreed. I’m the same. So Julia, moving on to celebration, you celebrated just over I think, nearly two years ago, 10 years of having been in partnership, co-founded Bloom and Blossom with Christina Moss, I'd love to hear how that how you came to do that. And the journey since then.

 

Julia Yule

So Christina and I are not only business partners, but we are sisters in law. So our friendship goes back a frightening number of years. And then it was back in 2010, where we had the idea for Bloom and Blossom. Now both of us had passion, desire, ignorance, possibly about wanting to have our own business. We came together and had this idea and said, well, let's, let's do it.

 

Now, what we need to remember in this is that we were still working. We were doing this on weekends, we were doing this in the evenings, so my background, as I've said was in PR comms and then editorial magazine. And then Cristina's was a marketing within a finance sector. So, work carried on like for many, many people, and when they had an idea, you've got to keep working, right, you've got to bring some kind of salary. So it wasn't actually until 2017. Where we went, what we'd call full time on the business now, in that time prior, we'd had five children between us, we'd had a lot. You know, I mentioned before, we'd had a lot of loss from the parental side. And, and there was a bit been a lot to handle. And then it got to 2017. And what we built was this fantastic, small, independent British brand that was focused on maternity. And we set our goal I remember when we sat down and we were plotting out our first business plan. And we have this ring bound folder with all the tabs in because as we all know, I like to write things down. And we set ourselves a goal of where we wanted the business to launch and we said Space NK and bloomin’ ‘eck. We went and got it and we've got a meeting and we went in and I was heavily pregnant and it worked brilliantly in our favor in many ways. And we went in and we launched in there and then we launched in Liberty and then we launched and John Lewis and Mamas and Papas, and so we were growing this small range of maternity focused and newborn baby products over that period of time. And then we knew we wanted to make it bigger. We wanted to build a brand, we wanted to build something that took us out of, or within the realms of body care, but slightly out of just quite the small maternity sector, albeit a beautiful sector that we still cater for certainly. So, 2017 came, we went full time. And it was a huge leap of faith because lots had changed. I remember we just moved house in 2016. And it was now or never, it was one of those moments similar to what I referenced before. It was like, why not? Talk me through what's the worst that can happen? Walking through all those possible scenarios, Let's aim for this. 

 

So, from 2017 till now we have built the brand, and we encompass body care and wellness. So we sit within this category of championing body care and wellness. And we talk about it for all life stages, and lifestyles and problems and, and it's been an incredible, incredible journey. And it was only in 2017, that we got our like, first member of staff. So prior to that, it's just been Christina and I. Completely accountable to each other completely, like leaning on each other. Go on, you do that you're good at that you do that you're good at that. None of us are good at that. I go on, you know, pull straws, whoever's gonna get it. 

 

And also asking, asking questions, asking for support asking for help, meeting people on the journeys that we've both been on. Why would we not? I know, there was always that phrase, I always remember and it was one my father said, treat people how you want to be treated. And it's like, if you truly treated people well, throughout your journey throughout your career, they will be willing to listen to you take the call, answer the email, have a coffee down the line. And I'm always the same if I've met people along the way, it's like, if I can give anything or help in any way, why wouldn't I share it? So, that was our long, but kind of busy journey of how we've got we've got here.

 

Anni Townend

Wonderful Julia, and what have you learned along the way, by way of partnership and partnering with somebody who you're not only through marriage related to, but also in business with and congratulations again, on both of you taking that leap of faith and belief in each other. But what else would you say is important to pay attention to in partnership when you're working closely with somebody both inside and knowing them outside of work as well?

 

Julia Yule

I think ultimately, from the absolute get go, we have had utter respect for each other, and know the areas where we flourish, and also to be accountable to somebody. And I think if I'd done it on my own, and I know Christina would say this, if she had done it on her own, it would have felt harder because that there are times when I pull her up, and there are times when she pulls me up. And there are times when we just need each other for sanity check. And there are times when we need each other just to divide and conquer and who's doing what kind of thing. 

 

But I think having utter respect for each other and know that we both have the same clear vision. And we both have the same principles of where and how we want to get there. Now if we did not have those, we weren't aligned on those. We wouldn't have a brand because without a clear vision that has a flag in the ground to say this is us. This is what we stand for. This is where our, you know, morals. This is what we're here to do. And if we didn't align on that, it would be it'd be hell, right? Well you wouldn't be able to build a brand with somebody. So, I think the fact that we are related is scooped into that. But if it was if I'd done it with a friend If someone I'd met those, that vision and that belief of you know, of what it is you're creating on what you are building, you have to be aligned on. That doesn't mean we agree on everything at all. 

 

But one thing again, that my parents always taught me. Listen, always listen to someone, so you will not agree with everyone in your life. And if you did, you'd be a very dull person, right? Because you just be a yes person that agreed to everything. You will not agree that you will not believe in everything and agree to everything, but always listen. And that is a quality I know, that I got from them that yes, that's that's a varying opinion to mine. Or that's not how I believe I will listen to it first, and I will listen around it. That doesn't mean I won't deliver my point at the end. But I will always give that person the respect to sort of pitch their point. And that's something Christina and I do. And I'll be like, Christina, I'm sorry, on this occasion. Just listen to me. Let me tell you this… and we always will listen to each other. And it couldn't be one side, because if I just did all the listening, and she didn't, that would be infuriating. So, we always listen, we always go, right? Actually, you make a valid point, let's see where we can get to we kind of walk it through. And I know we've learned together on how we've done that and how we've worked together, we know how each other works. And we know that we just, ultimately, we'll get the job done. If we say we're gonna do it, I might not do it in the working day. It might happen at 10 o'clock tonight. But I will get that job done. I will get that. You know. So there's that accountability, utter respect, and is listening and listening to them. 

 

Anni Townend

The key things are around having that shared vision. And that being so important. I really believe in that as well. And that what you said about listening that you listen to each other, and you listen around each other. And I think that's so important in leadership in leading people in leading a business is that listening to understand, but also listening to learn. And I love the way you describe listening around something. So that sort of more expansive, listening to each other, and then maybe disagreeing, but agreeing in principle on the vision and the absolute reliability, Julia that you've got in each other that if you say you will do something, you do it. And you'll do it well together, again, from your parents that doing something well, why wouldn't you want to do it well? 

 

Julia Yule

The listening is imperative with the team. We really encourage to hear from our team. They are in the team, because they are experts in what they do. Tell us, tell us Feedback. You know, we're one person, Christina is one person. But as a broader team, it's so much more powerful.

 

Anni Townend

And you and Christina clearly do that, to create that environment. I talk about leaders creating a safe environment in which people and you and Christina have this, that diversity of thought, offer opinions, ask questions, disagree, in order to make it better, and to be the best, and you have a brand which is about helping people to be their best. One of the things that I love about the brand is your focus on having a routine, and also that the wonderful products smell beautiful and aid with sleep, it would be great for listeners to hear a bit more about why the focus on having a routine and the importance of sleep in the branding and in the creation of the products.

 

Julia Yule

So, routine with in any kind of skincare body care, in so many things, is important. And I think ultimately, so much focus has been given on to face, but why would the rest of the body be neglected? And by the rest of the body I'm talking how you're feeling as well not just physically what you'll whether you've got dry skin or whatever it's like how is the whole body feeling so to sit in in a category that where we champion body care and wellness, it is about routine.So, if we're talking about a problem, that problem isn't going to go away with one application of something, it is going to require Repeat, repeat, repeat it is going to require maintenance as is, you know the concept of getting a good night's sleep. So when we launched with the rebrand, which was back in end of 2020, it was incredible, we actually launched with just the sleep products and a couple of the body care products. 

 

Now, it was a really interesting time because it was late 2020. And we'd all been through hell and we were still in the hell. And the concept of self-care and looking after oneself within the home was incredibly powerful. Now what we've realized from that point is things haven't changed enormously, people are still doing a lot of the stuff at home. And they want that spa like to your point about the fragrances, they want that spa like feeling, but they're not quite yet. I mean, we are able now to go to spas and enjoy treatments if we can, but we're able to do it at home. So, for us routine sits across everything that we're doing for ourselves, for our family. And the sleep message is very, very clear. It is give yourself the best possibility of a good night's sleep, you get a good night's sleep, you are going to be the better person the next day, fact you are going to perform better, you're going to think better, you're going to be on your game. But give yourself the opportunity to do that. So, we talk about this much broader across the concept of wellness, because we can't just say to you put the pillow spray on the pillow you'll sleep marvelously not if you've just turned your laptop off and got into bed and done nothing else to help yourself. So, we're talking about routine as switching off. And by switching off we mean switching off your mind switching off your you know clearly your computers and whatever but allowing yourself that opportunity. So, there are moments in the routine where we talk about taking baths and beautiful showers with fragrances of frankincense and then adding in body oils. Because that's a moment of self-care. That's a moment of focus on yourself, and rubbing in and circulation. And all of that is imperative, then getting into bed and switching, making sure everything's switched off and allowing yourself a good night's sleep. So that's concept of routine there. 

 

But likewise, you have a routine in the morning. So that's where the body care range comes in. And you've got your cleansing products and your scrub products and you've got your oils for the day, you've got your hand creams. One application of hand cream, once a year is not going to give you soft, supple hands, that's something you have to repeat and keep doing. So that's where things like the hand cream and the lip balm and all those kinds of additional products fits so beautifully. And we've talked about it as like investing in future you or future me. 

 

So, nothing is perfect. And that's where we took the clarity on the brand. When we relaunched it, we wanted to talk about the perfectly imperfect, we wanted to talk about enhancing and improving and protecting, not perfecting skin, which is why it's very imperative for us, it's so imperative that the concept of inclusivity and the brand is clear, which is why it's body care for all bodies, everybody lifestyles life stages, which is where we have the maternity stuff, fantastic. When you move out of that, then you've got all the body care range. The way we are with the brand, and we're quite bold in how we look, and we have quite a lot of individualism and standout color, tone of voice, things like that. It's appealing for many people, which is really exciting for us because you know, even if we sit as a team are also different, and if it's appealing, and works for such a broad range of different people, body shapes, types, everything and needs. We've all got different issues. So yes, routine is absolutely imperative. It is something that we learned from a young brand aide when we were doing obviously in the maternity piece, which is all about, you know, the routine and then obviously into the baby area. Many people enjoy routine with the baby, there's a reason for that. They love it too. Right? And so we just carried that through and, and it does really resonate with people.

 

Anni Townend

It's great and I think it really sits well with taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. The importance of taking care of all aspects of ourselves. I love the focus on wellness and on routine on rhythm being not just about the body but the whole sense of wellbeing and of course I love your products as you know, all of which are fantastic and wouldn't be without and have incorporated them into my daily routine and they're like, good habits of self-care of readying for the day or readying for sleep, readying for the next thing. So, a big thanks to you, and to the team.

 

Julia Yule

I love hearing it when people can, what they're using, when they're using it, how it makes them feel.

 

Anni Townend

Well I wouldn't go out without my lip balm for sure. I love the hand lotion. I use that every day. And since you brought out the body scrub in the shower, and then putting on the delicious oil afterwards. And, and I hadn't really thought about the importance of how massaging things products, your products into the skin is really important for circulation and general wellbeing. So, it's really great that you mentioned that, 

 

Julia, we're coming to the end of our conversation. And you've already shared some incredible insights and wisdom. Are there any particular lessons, insights or advice that you would give in particular to people setting up their own business be that on their own, or be that with a co-founder, any top three pieces of advice?

 

Julia Yule

An absolute clear vision, what it is clearly what it is you're doing, who your audience is and who you're aiming at? I think if you're clear from the outset, and you have that vision of what that product, brand service, whatever that is, you go for it, you aim for it. 

 

Listen to people, as I was saying before, be honest with yourself, and take the advice along the way. I mean, that's the whole reason there's market research and all of these incredible tools, because you need to listen to your community. 

 

Be courageous. Have the courage, believe in it, believe in yourself. I think it is a brave move. But, being courageous in whatever you do, because that enables you to strive further.  And I think, have a bit of honesty and humility as well. Like, things won't always go to plan. I think what I've certainly learned is, as we've gone down paths in a slightly different angle or a different route. You know, be honest about it. Talks about it, lean on people, get advice, don't be so proud that you sit there thinking, I'm just going get it done. You know what I mean? Be honest, if things aren't working out, find an alternative find a different way, and have that honesty, and that humility, for your team as well. 

 

It is a team effort, to be able to bring the best out in your team requires that honesty, as well. I know there's a fine line, which we talked about before, but I think that's an important one. S it, listen, and encourage as much as you can have the courage yourself and encourage it all out of them as well.

 

Anni Townend

Thank you, Julia, thank you for your openness and honesty, for your courage and for encouraging listeners to also take courage to listen to be open to be honest, and to have the belief that they can do this with the help of others. Thank you very much been lovely being in conversation.

 

Julia Yule

Anni, I've loved it. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Anni Townend

Thank you.

 

To find out more about Bloom and Blossom and Julia and to buy their wonderful skincare products for your wellness do go to www.bloomandblossom.com  

 

To contact Julia do go to her email on julia@bloomandblossom.com

 

To listen to more Leaders in Conversation, do go to my website, www.annitownend.com. And if you would like to be a guest on Leaders in Conversation, please contact me on anni@annitownend.com

 

Thank you for listening. Thank you Julia.