Meet Charlie Fowler of MOA green and balmy beauty who are listed in our directory here
We love MOA – magic organic apothecary – all-natural beauty products and so we asked MOA founder, Charlie Fowler, to share with us a bit about the story behind them…
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!
What’s 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.
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 advice, but ultimately to act on your own decisions.
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!
What does the summer hold for you at MOA?
We’ll be spreading the MOA love at Love Natural Love Organic Show Olympia and some summer festivals – Camp Bestival and Greenman. We loved meeting Jo Whiley at Wilderness Festival (Jo pictured with Charlie, below).
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.
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!).
How would you summarise what style means to you….?
Uncontrived, effortless, beautiful and eye catching.
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!
Favourite love song?
Bill Withers, Ain’t no Sunshine?
Best place for a coffee?
Anywhere with a friend…Chiara, who heads up our marketing, 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.
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!
In the 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!