Look into the thoughts of Katy Simpson, the creative director and co-founder of the luxury bath and body brand, Noble Isle.
Katy Simpson is one of the persons behind the success of the luxury brand that celebrates the riches of the British Isles, Noble Isle. This brand is now enjoying international acclaim and has gained loyal consumers in various parts of the world.
While ingredients sourced from local sources in the British Isles have been greatly used as a seasoning for local food, Noble Isle has found a new purpose for those ingredients by using the same concept for luxury bath and body products.
Capturing ‘Britain in a Bottle’, Katy Simpson has adhered to the philosophy of creating outstanding and high-performance luxury beauty products that make use of locally sourced ingredients. With that objective, Noble Isle was created offering a unique and complete sensory experience to consumers.
Aside from getting much inspiration from the British Isles, there is more to know about the brand and its creator. In this exclusive interview with Katy Simpson, you will learn more about her influencer insights and the inspiring story behind her success.
Before Noble Isle was founded, what was the career that you were pursuing?
Before I founded Noble Isle in 2011, I was working in the luxury beauty industry with a large British cosmetic house where I was heading up the Product Development team for 8 years. However, for the first 5 years of my career, I was working in the fashion industry as a buyer.
What was the turning point of your career? Were there factors that made you think that it’s the perfect time to start your own product line?
I left the corporate Beauty world in 2008 and set up a Croatian Spa brand with 4 ex-colleagues from a previous job, it was my learning ground on creating a brand from scratch. We made some mistakes along the way but you learn fast and will not repeat them. After this project, I knew I was ready to start something new – Noble Isle. I had a real passion to create a British brand.
Can you share with our readers the philosophy behind Noble Isle?
Noble Isle, a distinctive and exquisite modern bath & body brand, made in the UK and inspired by the natural and cultural riches of the British Isles sourcing extracts from local producers.
Noble Isle is a strong, proud British brand. We are contemporary and modern but we have not forgotten our past or our heritage. We are grounded, rooted and inspired by our land, culture and history.
Being a luxury brand, how does Noble Isle live up to industry standards?
Attention to detail in everything you do is critical to maintaining a luxury brand. Our quality of ingredients and unique fragrance, insisting on manufacturing in the UK using extracts from local celebrated producers despite rising costs and putting thought and much effort into beautiful packaging are all part of defining the luxury products.
We work and collaborate with fabulous and exceptional partners across the British Isles with like-minded outlooks – Alyaka, Liberty, Fortnum & Masons, The Savoy, Gravetye Manor and Virgin Altantic
Rhubarb Rhubarb Hand Wash has become phenomenal. In your point of view, what are the things that made it a sought after and well-recognised product?
Proudly, Noble Isle was the first company to use Rhubarb in Bath & Body and Fragrance products. We launched it in 2012 and at the time the idea was so new and the fragrance/extract was such a quirky ingredient to use and our customers really loved it. We stayed true to the nature of Rhubarb and our fragrance is bittersweet, clean and fresh – totally unique. We source our extract from Janet Oldroyd – a sixth generation Rhubarb farmer from the Yorkshire triangle.
Among the ingredients that you use, what do you consider as the most essential in creating bath and body products?
There is not a particular one ingredient I would pull out from all the others. We promote farmers, charities, conservationists – people doing exceptional things in our country. Each producer is incredibly passionate about their ingredient. So the most important factor when making our products is that we use British extracts from local celebrated producers from the British Isles. Perry Pear from Gloucestershire Orchards, Barley from the Balvenie distillery, Beetroot from Monmouthshire, Elderflower from Cornwall, Samphire from the Irish coastline and Heather Honey from Perthshire – to name just a few!
In connection with the previous question, is there still an ingredient that you want to use and explore?
Yes, English Grapes from a Canterbury vineyard – Simpsons Wine Estate.
We are launching a new fragrance called Golden Harvest from Canterbury Vines in late April.
Golden Harvest will be available in a Hand Wash and Hand Lotion.
Golden Harvest was inspired by a memorable and moving road trip to the Royal County of Kent, also known as the “Garden of England”.
It was late afternoon in autumn, John Keat’s “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. The sun was beginning to set over the gently rolling English hills creating the most glorious golden light. This dappled, honeyed light, shone through the ancient Oak and Lime trees as I drove down a winding country lane. It was harvest time and the air was thick with the scent of wheat fields freshly cut, fruits filled with “ripeness to the core” and newly turned earth from the ‘half-reap’d furrow”. My senses took in the green and golden hues, the deliciously fresh and airy scents mixed with mossy, earthy aromas.
This magical journey ended at a vineyard where the last of the evening sun was setting over the valley, whose slopes were lined with row after row of lush green vines. The vines were loaded and blessed with plump, ripe grapes, full of sweet, concentrated juice. The landscape, light and aromas were intoxicating.
A glass of chilled English Fizz served in a fine crystal flute was the culmination of this inspiring journey and a memory was carved for years to come of that perfect autumn day.
Golden Harvest from Canterbury Vines
- Top Notes: Juniper Berry, Green Apple, Watermelon
- Heart Notes: Violet Leaf, Rose, Jasmine
- Base Notes: Oak Moss, Patchouli, Musk
Noble Isle’s product packaging is done with taste and your signature emblem is highly remarkable. Can you tell us what your emblem represents?
The Coat of Balms shows the four great flowers that represent our countries – the English Rose, the Scottish Thistle, the Welsh Daffodil and the Irish Shamrock – all coming out of a British roll-top bath tub. This represents our unique point of difference – sourcing local extracts from celebrated producers within the British Isles. We put our Coat of Balm emblem on our packaging which represents British ingredients, excellent quality and attention to detail.
Noble Isle was established in 2011. After 6 years, what do you consider as your most remarkable achievements? How would you rate your success?
Our outstanding partners are our most remarkable achievement. To work alongside great British Luxury brands is an honour.
Also, last year we were one of the winners of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow Award. Walpole is a British organisation that promotes and supports British luxury brands both here in the UK and internationally. It was such an honour to win and it has really cemented Noble Isle as a great British Luxury brand.
Based on your experience as an entrepreneur, what are your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
You need to have thick skin and be resilient. One gets a lot of knock backs during the first few years while you make your brand present in the marketplace. I believed in Noble Isle 100% and knew we would find our core customer out there. You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on!
Likewise, what do you consider as the best rewards of being the founder of a luxury brand?
I love seeing the end results – on shelf, in-store, online and people’s positive feedback. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
What are the things that we can expect from your brand? Are there product launches that we should look forward to?
Yes, we have a full and exciting launch plan ahead and in 2020 we will launch fine fragrance.
Any word of advice for those who also want to put up their own brand?
I would say anything is possible if you believe in yourself and your idea. It is not an easy journey and requires perseverance and persistence. Be brave and passionate and go for it!
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