When Mughda Sapte from Kindred & Wild contacted me to see if I’d like to try out her newly launched bathsalts*, I, quite rightly, jumped at the chance. The recommendation for a long hot bath followed by a book and bed to really take advantage of the salt’s relaxing lavender properties sounded like a dream to a new mum like me. Sadly, it *was* a dream … in the sense that it didn’t come true *eye roll*. Turns out, 4 months into motherhood (yes, the reason I’ve been absent from the blog this long. Turns out pregnancy and raising a small human are entirely brain-consuming) and I’m still hopelessly optimistic about what I can achieve in a day/hour/minute.
So, my version of a restorative nighttime bath actually looked like me taking a bath in the middle of the day: my son in his bath on the floor (no water; just a blanket & his favourite musical octopus to chew on) with me loudly singing songs at him and repeatedly wiping the shower screen to reassure him I hadn’t disappeared whenever I lay my head back. There may also have been one naked dash into the kitchen to grab a dummy and extend my ‘quiet’ time. Despite this, I did luxuriate for a full 20 minutes and also rather enjoyed using Little E’s floating duck thermometer to ensure the temperature was at the optimum 38°. The lavender combined with geranium and camomile gave off a gorgeous scent which lingered in the bathroom for a day or two after, and the dead sea salts softened my parched skin (my moisturising routine has been less than religious lately). Using the bathsalts felt really luxurious and was a welcome boost in reminding me how important a bit of pampering is for mind, body and soul.
Mughda also answered a few questions about Kindred & Wild to introduce the brand to inspire & enjoy readers. Read on to discover more about her journey to producing her own natural skincare, favourite rituals and what an independent life means to her….
Please can you introduce Kindred & Wild and share how your background led you here?
Kindred + Wild is a small batch, organic apothecary based in UK. My background is actually in Design but its my love and curiosity of nature that led me to Kindred + Wild.
Tell me about your interest in natural beauty – when did it begin & why did you decide to follow it as a business?
I think I was always interested in natural beauty on some level. I grew up in India and back then using herbal products was very much ingrained in the culture. But in my 20’s a series of bad skin issues eventually led me to cut down on unnecessary ingredients and simplify my skincare routine. Through this process I was obsessively reading the labels before buying anything. I learned about synthetic ingredients, parabens and such and found myself leaning more and more towards natural ingredients and simpler products.
There came a point a few years ago when I realized that I wanted to work with plants and work for myself. A few months later it struck me that I was making my own lip balm and face oil for years and it aligned perfectly with my interest in herbal medicine and working with plants. When that happened I started actively pursuing it as a future work-life.
image: L and L Photography & Video
What are some of your favourite rituals and why?
Rituals are a funny thing. Some you have to deliberately work towards and some simply form organically. The days I work from home my favourite ritual is the morning cup of tea. I live in a first floor maisonette so the back door opens to a fire escape. It also opens up to the sky, neighbours’ back gardens and rooftops. I just love breathing in the morning and looking at the sky with a hot cup in my hand, listening to the birds and looking at the greenery. Sometimes I let my thoughts wander, sometimes I’m thinking of the day ahead and sometimes I just soak in the morning with no thoughts at all.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far? And what are you hoping to accomplish in the future?
Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve done it! That I created all these beautiful products and this brand! At the moment it’s mostly about skincare. But I hope Kindred + Wild will permeate into other aspects of living. After all that’s what holistic means. It considers many aspects of well being.
Conversely, what has been your biggest challenge in your work to date?
The most challenging for me is marketing. I am not very good at it and find it tiresome so keeping myself motivated and constantly working on marketing is hard.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Usually books. Casually finding an intriguing herb. But also if a new problem or symptom happens to me or someone around me. It makes me think ‘I wonder what plant you can use for that’, and then I begin investigating. That’s fun.
image: L and L Photography & Video
What do you most enjoy doing?
Making the products is hugely satisfying. The process is simple, sensory – the colour of the ingredients, the smell of the oils… I also enjoy researching, getting to know the botanical world a bit more.
Finally, what does an independent life mean to you?
An independent life is one that integrates my passion with my work, creates financial sufficiency and allows me to balance leisure, work, personal and social commitments. I think that’s when I will be the best version of myself and be able to have a positive impact on my immediate community or the world.
Have you any interest in making your own skincare products? I’m definitely keen to give it a go.
* I was gifted the bathsalts to review but of course all opinions and octopus-chewing baby distractions are my own.
All images Kindred & Wild unless stated otherwise.