The Secret Of Sleeping with Moonlit Skincare
Lately between the traffic of New York City outside my window, my lack of energy and being exhausted from work, I sometimes find going to sleep super difficult. I am sure you have had those nights as well, of not being able to turn off your brain and instead its 4 am and you are thinking of your whole to-do list. Well, I had that breaking point where I wasn't sleeping and I was actually starting to get sick when Moonlit Skincare found me. The concept of Moonlit Skincare is affordability skincare that can relax and de-stress. A product that is actually meant for helping you sleep better. This overnight serum is designed to work while you rest, relax, and wind down. I wasn't sure if I was completely sold on the product but then I had slept till 11:30 am on a weekend (which I haven't done since college) and realized I had this product to thank. I was excited to sit down with the creative minds and owners of Moonlit Skincare, Kriszta and Stephanie to ask them everything from advice to how it all started.
With any business idea, it’s always nerve-racking to take the plunge and dive into it. What was that moment for both of you where you thought let’s go for it?
SK: The moment was in Oct 2016 when I knew I would be furious with myself if we didn’t go for it. We launched in May 2017.
KM: Although we had been talking about it for a while, the moment for me was in December 2016 when we first got together had long discussions and brainstorming sessions. I thought to myself, this is such a cool idea and a concept that hasn’t been done before, we absolutely have to do it.
What was the biggest learning curve when you started Moonlit Skincare?
SK: Recognizing the very limited bandwidth you have running a small business. As you grow, you cannot do everything. You will inevitably wear many hats and you will absolutely stress-test yourself. Obviously, it’s important to not wear yourself out but It’s important to see where your breaking point is and know when to hire help.
For example, when working with retailers, you introduce a completely new set of variables. It’s not just about your e-comm site world anymore. Your day-to-day now includes helping move your product in all those brick-and-mortar stores. Beauty is emotional; customers want to touch, play, and interact with your product before purchasing which is why working closely with retailers are important.
KM: Realizing how many different aspects are there to running a successful business. When you start a skincare company it’s not just about the product: it’s also about the brand, accounting, e-commerce, retailers, marketing, business development, and I could go on forever here.
When starting out it’s easy to get intimidated by all the details you have to sort out before you have a company that runs smoothly. Sometimes you will have to power through tasks you would much rather not think about at all and will face situations that are very alien to you and your particular set of skills. The important part is to give yourself some slack and to know when to ask for help.
What did your friends and family think when you both decided to take this dream for a company and make it a reality?
SK: Oh gosh funny enough we actually made enormous strides to keep it under wraps from nearly everyone until the site was shoppable. It made it 10x easier to launch without outside opinions. K and I sought out feedback after it was live. It was fun to say, “Hey, Kriszta and I launched a skincare brand. Check it out- like, right now!” and see their reactions.
KM: Once shopmoonlit.com was live, the feedback and support from friends and family have been nothing short of amazing. Everyone I have ever had a discussion about Moonlit with has been 100% supportive of us pursuing this idea. It’s really reassuring to know you have the back of the people closest to you when starting a company. We are really lucky to have a great support system.
You sent me the Cloud 9 Silk Pillowcase and it has honestly changed how I sleep. Do you think everyone should be sleeping on silk? And why?
SK: Yes! So silk is a gorgeous material. It’s not designed to last forever as it is a protein, but the benefits it provides for your skin (and hair!) are endless. The fibers in silk are smooth so it doesn't snag on your skin or hair. Silk itself is anti-microbial so it keeps bacteria from building up (excellent for acne-prone skin). Also, it’s straight up luxurious! It makes you look forward to bedtime.
KM: I love that with a silk pillowcase I can go to bed straight after applying my nighttime skincare. Your product and natural oils stay on when using a silk pillowcase, whereas cotton is a plant and plants absorb water. My other favorite feature is, unlike cotton, a silk pillowcase stays cool all night long and never feels hot or sweaty on the skin. Just a side note- silk is very different from satin! Satin is a polyester blend- not the same.
I absolutely love the Midnight Shift Overnight oil, what are the benefits of using it?
SK: We start to get sleepy around 9PM-11PM when our body's natural melatonin is kicking in, enhancing the feeling of tiredness. The lavender scent in Midnight Shift teams up with melatonin's sleepy effect, aiding tension relief and a decrease in heart rate. Nighttime is when the skin's protective barrier weakens (allowing greater penetration of ingredients) however, it is also subject to severe dehydration. Jojoba coupled with sunflower oil delivers moisture and locks in hydration throughout the night.
KM: From 11PM- 6AM, skin regenerates the fastest. The ginseng and papaya in Midnight Shift help fuel cell turnover and the creation of fresh skin cells, while grapeseed oil delivers a collagen boost during this peak recovery time.
SK: From a design standpoint, we also wanted to create products that really embraced SLEEP. No generic packaging. We aimed for something beautiful you could display on your nightstand and make a part of your sleep ritual.
What are three words you would use to describe each other?
SK: Kriszta is DETAIL-ORIENTED (she knows when something is a millimeter off), PRACTICAL, and HONEST. Kriszta is one of the most talented people I know. She can construct a table with her bare hands AND also code a website. She will also let me know right away if something looks off-brand or looks like nonsense.
KM: Stephy is one of the most FEARLESS people I know. She is not afraid to push herself and try new things. Stephy is the GO-GETTER type of person you want to get in business with. She will make things happen. She’s HONEST and not afraid to have difficult conversations which are a critical part of running any business.
What is the best part of working together?
SK: It rarely feels like work. It just feels like we’re back in our 12th Street apartment in New York, bouncing ideas off of each other and brainstorming. Before we began, so many founders told me to ENJOY the process and HAVE FUN, so it’s a priority for us.
KM: The opportunity to spend time with your bestie and create something together that you are both proud of. That and late night wine/work sessions in the office: put on a playlist from 2011-2012.
What is next for Moonlit Skincare? Will daytime be next?
SK: Nighttime is our one true love! We’re launching a new product called Powder Down Powder in May. It’s a DIY Mask that also doubles as an Overnight Spot Treatment. Our customers were asking for a product that tackles acne, troublesome spots, and oiliness.
KM: We coupled moringa leaf, cucumber, and aloe to create that perfect wind down mask for when you want to chill out, take a bath, read a book, and treat yourself! It’s earthy and will absolutely ground you while you chill out.
What advice would you give to our girls out there who want to become the next boss babe?
SK: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The best quote I know is, “Your success is largely dependent on the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.” And it’s so true!
KM: One thing I always tell people is just to get started somewhere, anywhere. Do not sit on your idea for years waiting for the perfect moment to launch. There is no perfect moment, besides, having your idea out there in the world is the best motivator: friends and family will be watching what you make of it so you gotta make it work.
Who would be your dream client? (Celebrity or anyone).
KM: I personally love to work with other indie brands and businesses headed up by fabulous boss ladies. It’s a great feeling knowing you are supporting each other and lifting each other up. I always love hearing how others got started with their own businesses. There are so many strong women leaders out there and their passion for what they do inspires me everyday to keep going for my own dreams.