We were introduced to Sam Miles by our beautiful friend Shelley Kleyn Armistead of Gjusta Goods in LA. Sam’s little collection felt like a sweet treasure. You might have not heard of Somerset Moss so we thought we thought we’d introduce you to the woman behind the brand in this month’s women in wellness feature blog.
What is Somerset Moss
Somerset Moss is a botanical, adaptive skincare collection. Three products make up the Somerset Moss Capsule Collection, the Oil, Facial Mist and Balm - the magic being that each can be blended, layered or worn alone depending on what your skin requires.
This adaptive, simplified approach to skincare is made possible we take the highest grade of bio-plant actives and blend with naturally fragrant essential oils without fillers or unnecessary dilution. Our clean botanical ingredients will optimise your skin’s health, without disturbing the body's natural rhythm and balance.
How would you describe your brand philosophy?
The core values of our philosophy are:
Simplicity - minimal ingredients, maximum results. No false promises!
Sharing wisdom - giving women the tools to understand what their skin is asking for, and to empower them to try different combinations of these products depending on their own skin concerns.
Every product has two abilities and lots of possibilities - For example the Mist is a Hydrating toner but also has the ability to gently exfoliate, and be used as an after sun. The balm is a lip balm by day, and by night is a nourishing mask for an overnight treatment, it's also excellent at taming curly hair! I really wanted multi- functional products, to minimize waste and be more streamlined in what we are offering.
What motivated you to start this venture? And how did you get started creating your passion into this career?
At the very beginning of my career, I was a spa manager at a major hotel and private members’ club. I was part of the original team that developed an in-house skincare collection. I was lucky that at just 23, I felt I had found my dream job and this experience helped to shape my vision for the future. It gave me a wonderful insight into what it takes to launch a product that people love and I remember thinking: ‘one day I am going to do this for myself’.
Throughout my years working as a skincare therapist, I have worked for many different skincare brands and have seen and treated many, many faces which really cemented my understanding of which ingredients worked, and which didn’t. I learnt so much and it kickstarted a lifelong interest in essential oils and botanicals.
When I moved to Vancouver, I joined an established botanical skincare business which has a strong focus on naturopathic creams and tinctures. This experience reignited my passion for botanicals and I continued to develop my own mental glossary of different plants and herbs and their powerful properties.
I, like many, was overwhelmed by choice and as a result, had a cupboard brimming with many products and many promises. After trying and testing dozens of them, I was left feeling that I wanted to streamline my daily skincare ritual and simplify my lifestyle altogether. My goal with Somerset Moss was to pare down and design a minimal collection that offered maximum benefits. I felt that I could achieve simplicity, without giving up any of the luxury that I still wanted and desired.
What piece of advice would you give someone trying to start her own beauty line or business?
Do your research! I have a test group that I use to test ideas and they have to be very patient because I ask them a lot of questions!
Be prepared to do things that put you out of your comfort zone, this is where you’ll discover how much you really want to achieve your goals. I have learnt so much about myself and I treat both the highs and the lows as lessons.
What is your favorite product that you’ve created so far?
The Facial Mist! When I first bought the Facial Mist home, I remember having a conversation with Shelley, my good friend and business partner, saying that I adored the smell but that I was so scared that I’d lose that love after daily use. Luckily I still love it as much as I did that day! I also believe that it smells a little different each time because you resonate with particular oils on any particular day.
The ritual of spritzing the mist also reminds me to be mindful and encourages me to breathe deeply and slowly, just for a couple of minutes a day. I use it in the afternoon, to boost my hydration, I use it before meetings because I believe there’s a little bit of magic within it, I use it to set my makeup, I use it if i get a little too much sun; It never fails to make me feel great.
Are there any paradigm shifts you would like to see change in the beauty industry?
More real, less fake. Perfection is hard to achieve.
What are some of your favorite beauty rituals or secrets you can share with our readers?
I totally believe in the basics - a lot of water and really good sleep.
I also think that getting plenty of healthy oils into our bodies is highly beneficial for optimising our skin. Too often you see women who are limiting their intake of oils and it’s obvious when looking at their depleted skin, truly lacking in natural lustre/ I take Omega 3 and 6 and feel it has made a big difference to my skin and to my overall hormonal health.
The scents in your products are fresh and delicious, how do you go about formulating these?
To help me bring all my ideas together and create this special blend, I sought the help and advice of my good friend and celebrated British Perfume Innovator, Richard Howard.
The fragrance used in Somerset Moss is a balance of florals, citrus and woody grounding notes and is created with a blend of essential oils.
I wanted the oils to work in two ways: firstly I wanted them to be beneficial to the health of the skin by improving strength and resilience. I also cared greatly for the mood benefits - I wanted to choose oils for their ability to both uplift and ground the person using them. I have believed and used essential oils all of my life and they’ve helped me overcome many different challenges.
What is your definition of beauty?
For me, ‘beautiful’ is something of nature, not confined by rules or constructed. Something pure.
What woman epitomizes beauty for you?
These are the two women I looked at whilst growing up, my mum [mom?!] who is a kind and loving but independent and strong and my lovely grandmother.
What is something you’ve learnt about beauty that has stayed with you?
Eat your greens! My mum was a believer in this way before it became trendy.
True beauty comes from your thoughts, and your heart.
What’s your daily routine like?
I love a cup of herbal tea when I’m first up as it’s a chance to rehydrate after sleeping. I usually drink something calm like a chamomile and lavender, it helps me get through the mad rush of getting my boys out the door to school. Once everyone leaves, I sit and plan my day with a fresh coffee. I love coffee! I take pleasure from the whole ritual - I grind the beans, hand press an espresso and use this time to plan my day and set my intentions.
I then walk my two Portuguese rescue dogs. I often see this as a chance to chat with friends who I haven't spoken to in a while or to connect with neighbours. Other times, I treat my walk as a moving meditation - I’ve had some of my best moments of inspiration when walking in silence surrounded by the forest. It’s so peaceful.
Aside from my morning routine, my days really differ, but they all end in the same way - homemade family dinner followed by dealing with my last few emails in preparation for the next day. I then take a long soak in the bath. I love trying different brands of incense or I burn sage or palo santo. A few yoga stretches and then bed.
Are there any wellness trends that you have avoided in the past years, and if so why?
I just can’t bring myself to do the whole ice bath thing. I understand that it is meant to be hormone balancing, fat burning and make you more self-aware, but I truly hate cold water - I can’t bear it!
Are there any other cool things are you working on?
I’m starting to consider what’s next - I’d love to add a clay-based mask to the collection eventually, and maybe something for the boys.
A favorite DIY recipe:
It’s a totally simple recipe but I love DIY bath salts. I have a little shell that I scoop my epsom salts into, and then I add different essential oils depending on how I’m feeling that evening. My current favourites are palo santo and rose geranium.
A mantra you live by:
Treat others how you’d like to be treated. Be kind.
Where can we find you line of products: