It’s as though her parents knew instinctively that their daughter Natalie would live up to her name. This “early bloomer” launched a namesake cosmetics business from her native Australia at the age of 22. Eight years later, Natalie Bloom and her Bloom cosmetics continue to flourish and grow, coming into full flower with notions of beauty that are fresh and fun.
When you started Bloom, what part of the line did you develop first and why?
First of all, I never thought I’d own my own business. I was working at a small design studio as a jack-of-all-trades. After a year, I knew I needed something more creative so I started freelancing from home doing all kinds of design work. I created my own greeting cards and stationery and signed the back with my name and a sketch of a flower that was later adopted for Bloom. As an exercise in package design, I made up some candle-making kits and took them around to the stores. I ended up with an order for 5000 units. I thought I’d have to back out at first, but I was able to deliver all the kits. Then I started thinking about essential oils and aromatherapy, which wasn’t a big trend in 1993. I was fascinated by how to blend oils. I wanted to introduce people to natural essences so I produced an aromatherapy kit. Eventually I developed a lip balm that is still one of our biggest sellers. People say they are addicted to it.
What do you understand about personal beauty that helps you deliver what women want?
I’m a consumer, not a makeup artist, and when I buy a beauty product, I want tips on how to use it. I’ve always been obsessed with makeup. I love the containers, the packaging, but I want to know how to apply it. Like all women, I want to know what to do with it when I get it home. I want to know the best way to use a product from a layman’s point of view. When I developed the Bloom concept, I wanted to deliver information in a fun, friendly way. My products speak to the young at heart by taking a whimsical, easy to understand approach. I want to create the best beauty products available, but it’s very important to express how to use them.
Do you see beauty in the presentation of the products or the results they deliver?
It’s a combination. I try to balance both since one is no more important than the other. It’s 50 percent presentation and 50 percent product integrity. I keep pushing harder and harder for product perfection, but I also realize that part of what brings customers back is the look and feel of the package. If I do both well, I gain a loyal following. It’s especially important now that we have new introductions to the line almost every month.
Does producing products you feel make women’s lives better inspire you?
Absolutely. I’m passionate about innovation and product development. I pay close attention to color and texture, but I try to add personality to my products. They must deliver on their promise by being girly and fun. I take an honest approach to my business. I never want to compromise our integrity. Bloom tries to cater to the individual and I think we’ve earned respect for that. I don’t think beauty should be something you have to try too hard to achieve. It shouldn’t be too fussy.
Beyond cosmetic issues and concerns, what do you find truly beautiful?
I think beauty is about passion. If you’re passionate about something, you express an aura, an inner beauty that shows on the outside. Two examples I can think of are Audrey Hepburn and Helena Rubinstein. Both of these women have influenced me in some way. I’m inspired to make good decisions. I’m reminded to maintain balance in my life. It’s important to be busy, but relaxed. If there’s too much going on, I feel torn. I don’t want to be distracted or lose focus - or credibility. I want to be good at what I do.