In conversation with: Jules Von Hep – Co Founder of The Isle of Paradise
From Kendal Jenner to Sienna Miller Jules has expertly, bronzed them all – So it’s safe to say his much beloved brand Isle of Paradise is the the go to for many beauty junkies. His years of experience has set a new precedent in what beauty consumers can expect from their at home tan’s. We can give ourselves a golden goddess glow, without the expense. Thanks to the expert formulations and easy to use products from Isle of Paradise!
I recently discovered, like myself, you went to University in Manchester! Did you grow up in Manchester?
I LOVE Manchester! I really grew into my own skin in that city. I’m originally from Yorkshire but my family then moved to Nottinghamshire – I couldn’t wait to leave when I was 19 and university really helped fire up some passion in my belly.
How long after University did you move to London?
I took a placement year as part of my degree in London. I moved back to Manchester to finish my degree, then to Sydney for a year to work in magazines, then back to London.
Was the transition from North to South hard to adjust to?
Incredibly! I’m a northerner through and through and I found the ‘rat race’ of London hard to begin with, but then you get tough – you decide that you’re either going back to the North or you’re going to stick through it and stay in London and just ‘do it’.
You are THE tanning king, so how did you get started in the world of tanning?
Some say the queen 😉 I fell into it – I met Nichola Joss and assisted her for 4 years. During that time I started spray tanning on The X Factor, then Strictly Come Dancing, then I picked up celebrity clients and it just grew and grew! I never wanted to be a spray tanner, but it’s a job that found me – and I enjoyed it so instead of thinking ‘I can’t do this’ I just thought ‘fuck it, this is fun! I’m going to keep doing it until I don’t want to anymore…’ (I’m still spray tanning).
Who is the most famous person you ever tanned?
Ha, Ive done them all. Kendal, Sienna, Kate, Lily, Poppy – you name it.
I am hopeless with tan application, even with all the right tools (including some lush Isle of Paradise products). What is the best tip(s) you have for a tanning beginner?
Practice makes perfect – learn from your mistakes. Buffing goes a long way, and always, always, keep it natural.
And…. What is the worst thing you can do when tanning?
Tanning and drinking wine do not mix. Ever.
Is there a sell by date on tan?
Yes, as with all beauty the moment it comes into contact with oxygen the formulation will have a shelf life, on the back there will be an illustration of a jar, number in the jar represents how long you have to use it after you have contacted the formulation with oxygen (ie. Opened it).
You have had an amazing career in the beauty industry, so when did you know it was the right time to branch out and start Isle of Paradise?
I knew it was my duty to women when I took a long hard look at the tanning category and realised nothing, nothing was keeping it real. I had learnt so much about tanning that the industry needed to change – we needed to feel GREAT about our bodies. I was already mixing the formulations backstage on shoots – I just needed to bottle them!
What were the first steps you took to create Isle of Paradise?
Like any entrepreneur, you find a business partner (I love mine beyond words), you find a factory, you test over a million types of product, you pitch it to the retailer and you hope the world loves it!
How did you come up with the name Isle of Paradise?
I thought about what makes me happy in life – and that was spending time with my mum, nights out with my friends, new clothes, holidays, and just living my life. Those were the moments I usually tanned for and to me they were and still are – Paradise. The Isle of Paradise is not a real place, it’s a state of mind – it’s the place self tan takes you to in order to feel great.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced since starting your own brand?
Hours in the day!
What is some of the best advice you can give to someone who wants to start their own company?
Just do it. Worry about everything else later. And buy a house, I didn’t do that and I wish I had.
Your Instagram is the best feed to follow for all kinds of inspiration, especially if you want to be more body confident. Was it difficult to take a stance on body confidence?
No! It’s so important to me as someone who has been on a journey of body confidence since the age of 8 I want people to get over giving a shit about how they look and to just go out there and love their life. We all look different (I know, I stare at naked bodies for a living), we need to accept our bodies and try to start loving them for the incredible machine they are. You only get one!
How can everyone be more body confident?
Start with acceptance – remember your genetic structure is yours. Don’t compare you body to anyone else’s is – you don’t have their body! Accept the wonderful working body you have been given and try to grow the gratitude you have for such an incredible organism.