Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can find out who is behind some of your favourite beauty brands, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Sami Blackford, Founder of Freyaluna, a Welsh brand of gentle natural skincare products. I discovered the range through partnering with natural beauty online destination Rare Beauty when I ran my first product giveaway to win the full Regain Your Balance range. Quite a nice prize! Having trialed the range I wanted to find out a little more about Sami so invited her to be my guest for this month’s beauty Q&A. Read on to find out which Norse goddess inspired the brand name and what desert-island products Sami would recommend.
1. Hi Sami, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s start from the beginning: every beauty brand has a story, how did Freyaluna come about?
Hi Julia, thank you for inviting me to be part of Fresh Beauty Fix!
Freyaluna’s story started when I was about thirteen years old (though I didn’t know it at the time) because it was as a teenager that my skin and I began a battle that would last for about ten years. That battle was called acne. I tried all the products I could find in the shops, I even had prescription products from my doctor, but none of it was helping. In the end, it was a case of “what else can I do?” And that “else” turned out to be creating my own skincare products.
I was amazed at how my skin reacted to the products I was making, and so I made more. I then tested them on friends and family and they liked them too. That was about twelve years ago, and it has just snow-balled since then. I didn’t set out to create a skincare brand, or even to run a business, it has developed naturally and in its own time.
2. I always find the inspiration behind brand names intriguing – how did the name Freyaluna come about?
When I decided that these products I was making for myself and friends could become a business, obviously I needed a name to go along with it… and I just loved the name Freya. When I looked into the origins of the name, I discovered that Freya is a moon goddess in Norse mythology, so that is how “Freya” and “luna” came together.
Researching Goddess Freya further, I just loved her energy – confident and feminine, a leader of strong women, encouraging others to embrace their own natural beauty. I thought she is absolutely the best inspiration for what I was trying to achieve.
3. What is the best thing about your job as founder of a natural beauty brand?
There are so many good things about my work, from being out in the fresh air growing the ingredients we use, to formulating new products, to meeting lovely people at events. But I think the absolutely best thing is when a customer tells you their skin problems and how unhappy they are with their skin which, if you think about it, is something really quite personal to share with a stranger… and then they come back to me when they’ve tried our products or used some of the advice I’ve offered and they’re feeling so much more positive and loving how their skin looks and feels. It’s such a honour to be able to positively affect another human being.
4. Insider tips please! What skincare recommendation do you share most often with your customers?
The first thing I advise all of my customers is to clean your face every day before you go to bed. When we sleep is when our body does its repair work, and the same is true for our skin. Even if we’re not wearing make-up our skin is impacted by environmental dust, dirt and fumes. If we don’t clean our faces before sleep, we’re just making more work for our bodies and our skin doesn’t stay as healthy as it could be. I read somewhere that for every night we sleep with our make-up on, our face “ages” the equivalent of three days… whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but it’s certainly good motivation for cleaning your skin!
My second recommendation is to enjoy the time you spend on skincare and self-care. Now I know what you’re thinking… easy to do when you have an hour spare for a relaxing massage or facial, but what if all you’ve got is two minutes post-shower… and I totally get that. But what if you made those two minutes the most joyful they could possibly be? Choose a product you absolutely love and immerse yourself in all it has to offer: the texture on your fingers (is it thick, creamy, light, airy?), how the scent makes you feel (refreshed, uplifted, relaxed?), the sensations that come from massaging the cream into your skin (relaxation, invigoration, tingling, warming?). Now aren’t those two minutes something to look forward to every day?
5. Let’s get personal: what would be your 3 desert-island beauty products?
I think I’d only need two, to be honest: one of our Beauty Balms (probably the rose blend) could act as lip balm, cleanser, moisturiser, after-sun, perfume… the list goes on. And one of our shampoos for washing both hair and skin. And if I had to choose a third, then I’ll opt for our Ban The Blemish Facial Mist to keep my skin refreshed and spot-free.
6. And finally – what do you get up to when you’re not surrounded by health and beauty concoctions?
For a long time, that was a difficult question to answer. Because Freyaluna has grown from what was effectively a hobby, it can be difficult to “switch off” as I enjoy it so much. I have learned (the hard way) though that to maintain that joy I need to take time away from it completely. So these days I make sure I spend some time walking out in nature which always makes me feel better and spending time with friends and family. I also love to learn, so I’m constantly reading and attending workshops and trainings.
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Sami why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with her directly on Instagram.