The Plan B|Kiss the Moon

A theme is emerging… when touched by the manifesto of a start-up or sympathising with the change in life direction taken by a fellow woman, there is almost always the shift from stress-fuelled corporate living (or palpitation-fuelled media world), to a new way of life that perfectly understands, from the inside out, just HOW MUCH people need a bit more balance. To switch off. To unwind. To empty the mind. To let go. But, so often, we just don’t feel that we CAN. So, we look to emerge from the tough working week, if not in a state of peace, at least in one piece.

For Jo Foster, enough was enough – and so she eschewed jet lag and city living, relocated her family to the North Yorkshire countryside, and proving that one needn’t be based in W1 to have success, set up a booming Innovation Consultancy business. The move also sparked another rethink – Foster, who has a real gift for design and striking visuals (check out her beautiful Instagram feed here: recently launched a niche and neat little line of knock-out aromatherapy products, which interestingly, can be used either on the face, or in the bath. The scents are memorable, powerful and a true pleasure to use – the Glow After Dark Bath Oil has become a beloved favourite at Balance Plan cottage.

What was your Plan A (what were you doing before?) 
I started my career working in advertising – helping clients to work out their target audience and decide how best to spend their media budgets.  It led me to move from my native North East to work in the hubbub of London and then took me round the world and gave me the chance to live in Sydney as Media Director of Saatchi & Saatchi out there.  On my return, I shifted focus slightly and took a role as Director for a big global innovation agency. My job was to help some of the biggest companies in the world to develop their brands and come up with new product ideas. I was living in London and zipping around the world like a mad thing.  It was non-stop and great fun but also came with wall-to-wall deadlines and constant jetlag. I realised that this lifestyle and particular the impact it was having on my ability to get a good night’s sleep was impacting on my health and wellbeing.

What is your Plan B? (what are you doing now?)
I decided that to take real charge of my life I need to start my own business and up my quality of life by decided for myself how to spend my working hours. So as a family, we moved back to the North Yorkshire countryside where I grew up and started my own innovation consultancy business, Boom Innovation Ltd. That was 7 years ago and, it has been a great success from the start.  Clients seem to appreciate the fresh thinking that we can bring by living outside of the usual corporate structure.  Being based in the real world rather than in an office gives the boom team a better perspective in to what everyday families really need and what, so we’re better place to provide businesses with relevant insight and ideas for their brands.

Being away from the city lifestyle also gave me space and time to think about the hectic nature of 21st living and that’s when I started to explore more deeply the topic of sleep and how to influence it.  Maybe because I was surrounded by the beautifully North Yorkshire countryside, but the penny dropped for me that when it comes to sleeping better, tuning back to nature was the key.  I started to explore the power of essential oils and their ability to help solve the sleep deprivation issue so many people face today. I explored with all types of blends of oils, creating face and bath oils and sharing with family and friends, word soon spread and we soon had a posse of consumers feeding back and helping hone our blends and our products.  The impact was so immediate and positive that last year, I took the leap and turned my passion for all things sleep in to a new company – creating our luxury sleep brand, Kiss the Moon. We launched with a range of 100% natural After Dark Bath & Face Oils in four signature blends – each one developed to benefit you sleep and also nourish your skin while it repairs itself overnight.  Seven months later we’re going great guns and now there’s a small team of us planning and plotting the next batch of products to help people sleep beautifully.

In an ideal world, how do you begin & end each day?
I dream of owning a house by the sea – there’s something about sea air that makes me feel really content. So my idea start would be wake up feeling well rested with out any need for an alarm; walk on an empty beach with my hubby and our two dogs, George & Elsie; then to be able to eat a breakfast outside in the sunshine.  Only then would the phone start to ring. Imagine.  At night, I’m a real owl rather than a lark so my brain often comes to life at night when i really need it to calm down and get some rest.  So at night I really need a wind down plan.  My ideal is to be able to put time aside of at the end of the day to reflect and change switch my brain in to sleep mode.  A beautiful bathroom and bedroom that I enjoy sending time in, Kiss the Moon products to help me relax and pamper my skin and no interruptions. Perfect.

In the real world, how do you begin & end each day?
The end of my day is pretty much as above – but that’s because it’s become so important to me that I put time aside to make it happen. I can really feel the impact when I skimp on this in terms of the quality of sleep I get and so for me this makes the time very well spent. And we’ve renovated our bathroom and have then best cast iron bath in the middle of the room. I could live in there.  Mornings are different. On a good day I’m woken before I’m ready by an a flurry of labrador kisses urging me to give them their breakfast. On a bad day, my day starts with the mobile ringing before I’ve even opened my eyes – often an overseas call I have to take. Am definitely not morning person.

What one thought or saying helps you most?
I found a photo on pinterest (I spend a lot of time looking for inspiration there) that said ‘Dream Audaciously’ and it has really stuck in my mind. Anna and I do a bit of a Kiss the Moon ‘audacity check’ every month. It helps us avoid putting limits on ourselves and make sure we’re aiming big and bold enough.

What does contentment equate to, for you?
Being able to go to sleep feeling content and happy with what you’ve spent your day doing and excited about what tomorrow may bring.

Where in the world do you feel most at peace?
We love the Northumberland coast for its wide empty beaches and big skies.  Good for the soul and a great place to clear your mind.

What is your favourite season, and why?
Late Spring – when everything is coming back to life.  It never ceases to amaze me. I love walking up our garden on a morning and seeing something new that’s come to life overnight.

What is your failsafe mood-boosting song?
There She Goes by The La’s – takes me back to my student days living in Liverpool and that excitement of all the adventures that lay ahead.

Share the last thing that made you laugh out loud
Gogglebox.  I’m slightly addicted to it. I love that it’s not written, it’s just an honest reaction to the stuff we get piped at us on our TV screens these days. Love Scarlett from County Durham – she should be running the country.