Katy Simpson founded the luxury bath and body brand Noble Isle after being inspired by the beauty of nature and natural ingredients. Using only the finest, locally sourced ingredients from English gardens, coastal Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and Welsh valleys, the brand's product range is available in a range of exquisite scents. Katy shares her home style and what wellness means to her below...
How do you practice wellness, and what does it mean to you?
Wellness, to me, means being kind to yourself and the best way to do that is allowing yourself time to look after yourself – body and mind. To make it positively through a busy, sometimes stressful, week of work, I exercise 4 times a week, eat healthily, go to bed on time and in order to help relax in the evenings take baths, light candles and read.
Can you talk us through what a typical working day looks like for you?
I start my day with strong coffee and emails, we work internationally so we often receive emails through the night and into the early morning. I have many calls and Zoom meetings with my team and customers throughout the day. Running the business, means my day varies from product development, sales, future planning and orders to general HR and management jobs – there is no typical day, which makes it all the more interesting.
What sparked the inspiration for the fragrances behind the Noble Isle collection, and can you tell us about the process from initial idea to finished scent?
My biggest inspiration comes from natural ingredients and nature. That is where I find all my ideas. I am also passionate about beautifully wrapped products and spend time in food halls, chocolate shops and markets looking for inspiration.I have been doing Product Development and Buying for 22 years and I can only create products that I love myself. Ideas come to me all the time of fragrance combinations, extracts ideas and packaging - I develop them hoping our customers will also love them. I am inspired by nature for ingredients and fragrance and also colour combinations for packaging design. Over the years we have built up a lovely and loyal client base who share their feedback and ideas and I really do take that all on board.
If you had to pick a favourite Noble Isle product what would it be and why?
Willow Song bath & shower gel – the fragrance is British spring time in a bottle and reminds me of all the delights the new season brings. My favourite hand wash at the moment has to be Sea of Green, it’s a fresh, green verdant coastal fragrance and reminds me of being on the coast - which seems like a dream right now.
How would you describe your own home style and what’s your favourite room in your house and why?
Contemporary Classics with an Asian Twist, I have mainly mixed neutral walls and carpets with colourful furniture, rugs and accessories. However, my favourite room in my house at the moment is painted green/blue with dark brown furniture and wall hangings, to which I have added coral accessories. I have bifold doors which lead out into the garden, dotted with lanterns and at this time of year, it feels like being transported to Bali.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The advice – “never give up and believe 100% in your cause”. To create your own business, you need to have thick skin and be resilient. It’s normal to experience a lot of knock backs during the first few years while you make your brand present in the market place. I, one hundred percent, believed in Noble Isle and knew we would find our core client out there. After a knock back or bad news, you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on.
What lessons from your time in the fashion industry did you find the most useful when setting up Noble Isle?
Working with colour and colour combining not only has helped me in career but it is also a now a hobby in my personal life.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
One of my big frustrations when working in large corporate firms was the time it took to make decisions. The best aspect of running your own business is the freedom to make decisions with speed so the business can be progressive and change with the given circumstances.
What does your perfect day off look like?
Pottering in the house, a run in the woods, a spa treatment and then a fabulous dinner – either cooked or dining out.
What’s next for Noble Isle in 2020?
In January 2020, we launched a #GreenMonday campaign as we have changed all of our formulations to a more natural base. We also have a new fragrance launching in October – Scots Pine – which will be a great new addition to the range. We are planning our Christmas Gift Boxes collection and there are some new candles to look forward to.