Born and raised in the scenic landscape of Sweden, Kerstin Florian has always been inspired by nature and its intrinsic connection to wellness. Her gift for blending nature into innovative products and holistic treatments led her to craft her namesake line of products, Kerstin Florian — and build partnerships with luxury resorts and destination spas around the world. We had a chance to chat with Kerstin about her passion for wellness, the “spa lifestyle” and how she launched her dream job.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE KERSTIN FLORIAN?
KF: I was an esthetician and spa manager for Aida Gray.
IS KERSTIN FLORIAN YOUR DREAM JOB?
KF: Absolutely! Being able to find innovative, effective natural ingredients, treatment techniques from around the world, and cutting-edge technologies for skin and body wellness has always been my passion. To bring them to life and to market is my dream job!
WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR “AH HA” MOMENT OF KERSTIN FLORIAN?
KF: I always knew I wanted to have my own line and business. I think having a family and wanting to leave that legacy was what sparked me to do it.
HOW DID YOUR HOLISTIC APPROACH TO WELLNESS COME TO BE?
KF: Growing up in Sweden, the concept of spa was all about health and wellness – a lifestyle. Being active, eating right, taking care of your body as well as your mind; it not only makes us feel good, it makes us look good. I call it the outer beauty of inner health.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS BUSINESS CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN IT PRIOR?
KF: My experience was in esthetics, but when I moved to the US there was no “spa” category to speak of. I saw an opportunity to introduce the US customer to a spa concept that was based on my four cornerstones of wellness – proper nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind, and care of face and body. The products are how to achieve the fourth cornerstone and how we actually can touch the customer most directly – literally and figuratively.
HOW DID YOU FUND KERSTIN FLORIAN?
KF: It was self funded – I just knew not to spend more than I could afford to lose. I started small, managed cash flow, and grew slowly and strategically until financing could take care of itself. We have always stayed profitable as a result.
WHAT WAS THE SCARIEST THING ABOUT DOING THIS?
KF: We are insecure beings – of course we have fears and doubts. But I wasn’t “scared” per se. I was more scared not to do it! I could see what was going to happen, I visualized the products and the spas – I believed in it and myself and trained my mind to get rid of negative thoughts and not give in to fear and doubt.
AS A MEMBER OF THE GREEN SPA NETWORK, HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR BRAND IS MINDFUL OF ITS IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT?
KF: Little things add up. We use motion-sensor lighting and climate control in the office; we recycle; we don’t use plastic cups or utensils in the office. We also use carbon neutral printing and manufacturing processes when possible, as well as recycled or recyclable materials, Sustainable Forestry Initiative papers for our packaging and sustainable ingredient sources. And most of all, we are mindful of wasteful consumption – the biggest drain on our environment. This year, we will be partnering with GSN to support the WeForest initiative – a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the planet and environment by planting trees. We are committing to planting 40,000 trees!
YOU SHARE A LOT OF GREAT SKINCARE & WELLNESS TIPS ON YOUR BLOG. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TIPS FOR SUMMER SKINCARE?
KF: I love being outdoors in summer – in Sweden, that is nearly the only time you can enjoy being outside! Of course, sun protection is critical. So is keeping skin hydration levels up without heaviness and exfoliating regularly to keep skin breathing when it’s perspiring. A summer skincare regimen should include a physical scrub (acids can cause sun sensitivity) like our Clarifying Exfoliating Scrub, hyaluronic acid serum for weightless hydration (Correcting Hyaluronic Serum is our best-selling serum), and a broad-spectrum sunscreen formulated for face so it’s non-comedogenic, such as our Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30.
WHAT IS YOUR PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND CREATE THEIR “DREAM JOB”?
KF: Do it! I’m not saying make rash or uninformed decisions – have a plan, do your homework, save up first – but follow your passion. If you don’t, you will risk regretting it. Visualize your success. Believe it will happen. And take steps to make it so.