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INTERVIEW: SUPERMOOD HOLISTIC NATURAL BEAUTY FROM FINLAND

August 31, 2017
August 31, 2017
Photo: Supermood

Finnish skincare brand Supermood was founded in 2014 by husband and wife duo Anne Kukkohovi and Joni Kukkohovi. Inspired by the lack of a holistic beauty brand on the market, they sought to fill this niche. Anne and Joni understood that a single serum did not possess the power to make skin beautiful unless the body and mind were also being cared for; they knew that wellness both inside and outside the body are of equal importance. Combine a proper diet, enough rest, and a healthy lifestyle with a premium product and only then will results materialize—this is Supermood’s crux.

BeautyMatter had the opportunity to speak with Supermood creators about their holistic approach to natural beauty via edible, topical, and therapeutic products. Their responses to our questions are super informative:

WHY DID YOU START SUPERMOOD? HOW DID YOU BRING THIS “SUPER-VISION” TO LIFE?

Anne: Creating my own beauty label is my dream come true—my passion. I’ve always been a “beautyholic.” I loved different concepts, package design, and would examine ingredients that made a difference. One could say I’ve always been a cultivated customer that knew exactly what I wanted and checked out the different ideas behind each line all over the world. The kickstart for Supermood stemmed from a true need to do something different. As years went by, I found it strange that there was no brand with a holistic approach to beauty, because that is what beauty and well-being really is. We all have different needs, hormonal issues, problems at work or general life, or simply aging that cannot be treated with topical products. I wanted to create a brand with 360° thinking of beauty, and this is what drives me forward; making new discoveries and giving women (and men—why not?) peer support when needed.

HOW DID YOUR FINNISH ROOTS INFORM THE CREATION OF YOUR NARRATIVE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCTS?

Anne: I think honesty and purity defines Finnish roots quite well. We mainly have foreign beauty brands on our bathroom shelves, since Finland is still a very tech-oriented country. A beauty brand with a strong vision and concept is still a rarity—we are like underdogs in the big beauty world. And at this very moment, people find small “passion-brands” very interesting. Joni: In general, Finland seems like a well-kept secret. Lots of beautiful things to be proud of and to share, but we, as a nation, tend to take the good things for granted, so there aren’t many consumer brands that are well known to the rest of the world. We want to change that and build a brand which, at the core, is of Finnish heritage but feels at home in the company of well-established global brands.

SUPERMOOD WAS SELECTED AS A COSMOPROF 2017 TRENDSETTER (CONGRATS!). WHAT DO YOU THINK MADE YOUR BRAND STAND OUT IN THE CROWD OF THOUSANDS AT THE SHOW?

Anne: I want to use our US representative’s words: “They stand out, they have a quirky and fun personality, but at the same time, they offer effective alternatives and solutions that others don’t have.” It is amazing that something that was bubbling under the surface a few years ago is now a trendsetter! Joni: This year’s show was the first for us, and we’re so thrilled about the response we’ve received. I think our visual language for sure is one of the differentiating factors. There’s a lot of minimalistic, white little bottles on the show floor and at the other end of the spectrum lots of “green” design aesthetics. All very nice but it’s hard to tell many of those apart from each other. We both come from an advertising background, and one of the things that we know is based on an old adage, “If no one notices you, everything else is academic.” That is why we wanted to look different.

ADDING TO THE ABOVE QUESTION, WHAT ARE THE MAJOR TRENDS YOU’VE SEEN ENTER THE BEAUTY LANDSCAPE IN THE LAST YEAR? AND WHERE DOES YOUR BRAND FIT INTO THIS LANDSCAPE?

Anne: There is a perfect fit for Supermood in the beauty section and that is “Premium.” People still tend to demean green beauty as boring and judgmental. We are like a little rebel who wants to stand out with amazing products, ingredients, ideas, and premium branding. Joni: To me, it looks like “niche is the new big.” Lots of boutique brands (like us) cater to particular audiences. It’s something that a few years ago would have made building a business difficult, but now the retail landscape is evolving due to the internet. This is creating opportunities for smaller brands to reach larger audiences. For our fit in this landscape, I feel like a green brand that is easily approachable and with positive tonality will find a likeminded audience.

THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT PERCEPTION OF IT?

Anne: Clean, natural, and safe beauty is taking over. It’s already here and it’s about balance in our lives. Being pure and clean and natural is not news. You need to have a strong identity and strong brand story. For us, it is the holistic approach that allows us to create products that positively affect your beauty. Coldpressed and freshly blended “takeaway beauty” will be strong trends in the future. Also our crossover beauty is a big trend—we brought the chocolates and well-being products onto beauty shelves and people have seemed to fall in love with them. Joni: Progress is mandatory, but for us, it’s important that our core values are driving that progression. We can’t wait to develop new things, but at the same time, we don’t want to compromise our values or quality of what we do. It’s easy to fall in love with the latest and the greatest, but to build a strong brand we must also know what not to do. It’s a balancing act.

YOU WERE ALSO A FINALIST IN THIS YEAR’S BEAUTY ID AWARDS FOR THE “PACKAGE INNOVATION: SKIN PROFESSIONAL PRESTIGE” CATEGORY. WHAT INSPIRED SUPERMOOD’S CHARMING PASTEL-COLORED PACKAGING DESIGNS?

Anne: I’d say it was that short glimpse when we entered our new home—a late 1800s house with the most beautiful tilestove we had ever seen. I knew in that moment Supermood would come alive here. And because we admire the ornaments and colors of the tilestove, Supermood’s packaging reflects this. Joni: Like Anne said, there was an influence on things we both like, but in the end, it was all about building a shelf presence that’s easily approachable and uplifting. We wanted to look premium but in a way that’s different than the super-sleek white doctor’s lines, creating a completely different aesthetic for luxury beauty.

SUPERMOOD HAS THREE PRODUCT LINES (EGOBOOST, BEAUTY SLEEP, AND YOUTH GLO) THAT ARE ENGINEERED TO CORRESPOND TO A SPECIFIC EMOTIONAL STATE AND CREATE AN ECOSYSTEM. CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ECOSYSTEM CONCEPT?

Anne: Supermood approaches beauty, care, and well-being as a combination of natural cosmetics, good sleep, and correct nutrition, in an all-around holistic experience. Each line complements each other and you can make your own beauty regimen. As your moods and needs change, there is always a solution. Many people have heard me tell the story of how I want to make myself feel better (meaning younger) in the morning. So, I lay down on the sofa with my head tilted back and apply One Minute Facelift. When I sit up, gravity is defied and it really gives me self-confidence when I walk out the door. That is my EGOBOOST for the day. Joni: We think about how people behave and how they feel rather than how they categorize themselves. It’s challenging to communicate for sure, but for example, Egoboost was based on a thought, “I feel like I could use something to lift my confidence” as opposed to, “Egoboost—for dry to normal skin.”

EACH OF YOUR LINES CONTAIN CLASSIC SKIN CARE ITEMS (LIKE CREAMS AND SERUMS) BUT THEY ALSO CONTAIN NOT-SO-TYPICAL PRODUCTS, LIKE BEAUTY CHOCOLATE, AN ANTI-WRINKLE PILLOW, AND PILLOW MIST! HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT THIS PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE AND WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE?

Anne: People love that we give solutions. Supermood is well-curated beauty that takes care of you in a holistic matter. As a founder, I examine, investigate, and try different things and develop them into a simple and approachable format. We do the work and our customer enjoys the results. We are like a Premium Beauty Concierge. Joni: I think that when you approach something with the user in the center, rather than an ingredient, etc., the possibilities are endless. If we would just focus on, e.g., chaga, our thinking would only be about where can we put it and that will limit the possibilities. Instead, when we think about what kind of product will help people feel a certain way or have a particular outcome, we end up with feel-good items, like our collagen-infused chocolate.

THERE ARE MANY ORGANIC SKIN CARE LINES OUT THERE, SO WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE SETS YOUR BRAND APART FROM THE OTHER ECO-CONSCIOUS AND NATURAL INGREDIENT–CENTRIC SKIN CARE COMPANIES? WHAT IS SUPERMOOD’S POINT OF DIFFERENTIATION?

Joni: I really think it is Supermood’s tonality and aesthetics that set us apart. Products are easy to copy, and natural ingredients will become a mainstay on a larger scale. We don’t want to be “the green brand that’s something and something.” We want to be a beauty brand that people connect with and a brand that generates curiosity with its audience.

AND FINALLY, WHAT IS NEXT FOR SUPERMOOD? DO YOU PLAN ON EXPANDING YOUR ECOSYSTEM OF PRODUCTS TO INCLUDE A FOURTH MOOD?

Anne: Absolutely. Our beauty team is working hard to find the best solutions and new discoveries for our customers. Joni: Anne is exploding with ideas, but at the same time we just entered the US so, for now, we’re working hard to establish well-chosen distribution channels so that we can reach more people who are interested in Supermood.

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