Behind the Brand : MOA London

MOA create natural skin care products, made in England, inspired by old herbal folklore and with a sprinkling of magic! Here they take time out of their magic making to chat to us at House of Coco…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
We launched the brand in 2010 with our original product ‘The Green Balm’. As with many mums I became increasingly interested in natural skincare, healthy eating and living a more holistic lifestyle after having children. My daughter also suffered badly with eczema when she was young, and so my exploration into ingredients began. I grew up in the South West English countryside, my father was a keen gardener and so plants and nature have always played an important part of my life.  I began to take an interest in the magic of herbs for their therapeutic uses and also for their skin care and beauty properties. The humble yarrow is what’s termed a heal-all herb, with so many healing properties, but it wasn’t readily available in many skincare products, and so The Green Balm was born! It’s a simple recipe, but extremely therapeutic and great for family day to day bumps, bruises, minor rashes and burns and pretty much anything really…my kids call it the ‘magic’ balm!

Whats your background?
I am a designer, stylist and illustrator, I studied womenswear fashion design at London College of Fashion, but began working in skincare 9 years ago after having my daughter and became interested in herbology.  My background lends itself very well to creating the design and packaging elements of MOA.

MOA Team sowing yarrow seeds

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
We are a very small company, only 6 people, our roles are multi-faceted as with many small companies. Andrew, is our MD and an accountant. Myself, Creative and Managing Director, I’m involved in most areas, however I do prefer to focus on the development of new products, branding and design. Chiara is our sales and marketing person and has totally got some MOA  magic going on! Chris who we all depend on for warehousing, logistics and shipping our orders, Karen who helps with invoicing and accounts and Maya who helps with compliance and sales too. We have just started with a press company ccdpr.com for the launch of our new Bath Potion.

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Plenty, but let’s not go there! Business is a constant learning curve with many surprises around the corner. I have learnt to trust my instincts more and I enjoy working with good people with good vibes! It’s important to hear out advise, but ultimately to act on your own decisions.

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What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Other than juggling a family and work? It has to be making sure the products come within budget, but without comprimising on design or quality.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
In folklore if you place our signature herb yarrow under your pillow you will dream of your true love!

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2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
We will be launching our fabulous Fortifying Green Bath Potion, an Aphrodite Facial Oil and later on in the year an Absinthe Green Fairy Lip Balm… a lot of surprises and exciting launches coming up in the next year. So looking forward to expanding our distribution across the UK with our magical products. Our distribution is building up nicely for over seas, so it will be lovely to watch the brand blossom.

We’ll also be spreading the MOA love at Love Natural Love Organic Show Olympia and some summer festivals, Camp Bestival and Greenman.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Winning a Silver award for Best family Skin Care product at the Free From Skin Care awards 2014. Also receiving a steady stream of many amazing testimonials from our customers, it’s always really heart warming to hear that our products make a small difference.

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Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
Definitely London, having lived most of my adult life there…you can’t beat London on a summer’s day! The style, the mixing pot of cultures, the London parks and the creativity.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Errr, only the one, The Green Balm, everyone needs a small pot handy (sorry bit obvious!).

Style means….?
Uncontrived, effortless, beautiful and eye catching.

Best thing about London to you?
Its diversity…London just has so much going on for everyone.

Statement shoe or statement bag?
How to decide? I do love a bit of leopard sometimes and still love the Chloe savannah boots and always adore a good vintage find.

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Loose knit baggy jumper to snuggle under, with my gold chain so as not to feel too slobby!

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Favourite love song?
Bill Withers, Ain’t no Sunshine?

Best place for a coffee?
Anywhere with a friend…Chiara, being Italian is the coffee person in our company!

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
‘If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true!’ Wise words, got me out of a spot of bother a long time ago and I shall never forget them.

Guilty pleasure?
One too many drinks with friends? Chocolate when I’m attempting to go vegan?  And a current obsession with Instagram…which is handy for MOA!

If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On a warm, quiet Mediterranean beach watching a sunset with my family.

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
More magical, natural, herbal products and maybe even an organic yarrow field of our very own!

www.moa.london/

instagram.com/magicorganicapothecary/

twitter.com/greenandbalmy

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