In Bed With... Kriszta of Moonlit!

Stephy interviews her usually silent co-founder, Kriszta in this special installment of the In Bed With... Series. They discuss candidly if she was always obsessed with beauty, advice she has for friends looking to start a company, and the challenges that come with bootstrapping a small business. 

 Co-founders Moonlit Skincare Kriszta Matyi

Name: Kriszta

Sum up the mission of Moonlit: We’re dedicated to overnight skincare and sleep wellness.

IG handle / website: @moonlitskincare / www.moonlitskincare.com

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Ok girl –people are going to ask so where’s your accent from?

I’m from Budapest, Hungary!  

Describe your upbringing and how it has helped you get to where you are now. 

My parents put a lot of trust in me to explore and do what I wanted to do so I was brought up to be very independent. They put a lot of emphasis on the arts and education which really helped me to become a creative thinker as an adult. 
 
Oh, and I have very dry humor and a sense of pragmatism.
 
Moonlit Skincare small business entrepreneur
 

Were you always obsessed with beauty? 

No, I wasn't at all.
 
For me, it really started in college when I was in NYC when it was new air, new water, poor sleep, and I had to find solutions for my skin.

Are there specific products you gravitate towards?

I’m low key.
 
I love facial products, especially mists and serums. I love nail polish as well (Currently wearing Deco.Miami!) I wash my hair every 5 days. On day 4, 5 I use Batiste dry shampoo and sleeping on a silk pillowcase helps too. 
 

You and I were friends/roommates first before deciding to do this crazy thing. Do you have any advice for friends who are looking to create a company?

Yes!

  • Start small and don't release too many SKUs
  • Be careful with who you partner with (We’ve heard horror stories)
  • Work with people that you trust
  • Enjoy it! 
  • Separate business things and friend things
  • Be open

Moonlit Skincare small business entrepreneur

Do you and Stephy ever fight? (Hah –I get asked this a lot so I thought I’d toss it to you too)

We don’t fight! We get along! :)
 
We have very similar work styles, values, taste, work ethics. We respect and value each other’s opinion
 

Moonlit has shifted from traditional skincare to a more broader, gift-friendly category. Let's explain to others why we intentionally decided to transition to gifting.

It’s really hard to stand out in beauty right now. The category is so saturated, whereas in the gift category, you can have additional products that cater to all skin types and are easy to gift. Our mission around improving sleep still stands firmly. 

A guy can walk into a gift shop and easily pick up an eyemask or some bath salts for Mother's Day knowing he's giving some relaxation treats. 

Moonlit Skincare small business entrepreneur

What’s a big misconception about running a small business? 

I don't think I knew how hard it was going to be to get people to make a purchase. We don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for IG or Google ads (we’re bootstrapped).
 
It’s one thing if Urban Outfitters orders products –it’s another story if there’s a reorder. You have to be patient as it takes years to build up brand recognition.
 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received for running a small business?

  • Spend wisely and do not run out of cash. 
  • Don’t overextend yourself. 

What part of the process was surprisingly easy?

Getting the online store up and running.

You don’t have to invest $20,000 on a website. It requires time but it’s not difficult.

What do you wish you knew before embarking on this journey? 

Hm.. none of the difficulties took us by surprise. We knew it was going to an uphill climb. 
 
I wish I knew more about the more mundane parts of running a business like accounting and lawyers but nothing blew our minds. 
 

Is there a place you look to for trends, insight, and data?

Caroline Hirons blog (it’s refreshing!), The Cut, and Refinery29

What’s your wind-down routine, how do you de-stress, and do you have sleep tips?

Go to bed early! Sleep before midnight. I try to read or light a candle and do a spritz!

QUICKFIRE

My ideal # of hours of sleep is: 8
Sleep season for me is: Winter
How many pillows: 1 very low pillow
AM or PM?: PM person who has been forced to be an AM person
Bad sleep habit: Looking at screens
Good sleep habit: Reading
Side/back/stomach sleeper: Side
Book you can read over and over: Harry Potter series!
Fav podcast: I don't listen to podcasts
Software/tool/app you can't you live without?: Slack, WhatsApp, OnePassword, Trello