luna bronze interview with founders rhi and maddy


A dream come true for dreamwear!


As a female-founded business, we love connecting with, working with and supporting other strong female-founded businesses. Our recent favourite? Luna Bronze (@luna_bronze)!  Luna Bronze is a brand that prides themselves on tanning minus the sun. It was started by best friends Rhi and Maddy in Australia! It is our favourite way to get the golden glow that you would typically find from the sun. 

We wanted our #smashtessfam to see how amazing this product is so we have partnered with Luna Bronze to give you and your bestie the ultimate tan night in! From Thursday, May 28 4pm PT to Saturday, May 30 4pm PT, you can enter to win a Friday Romper for you and your bestie as well as $150 for each of you to spend on your favourite Luna Bronze products! Make sure to enter on our Instagram!


What inspired you to start your brand? 

R - Our journey to create our skin-loving sunless tanning range started when we realised it didn’t yet exist. Maddy was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma diagnosis, a form of facial skin cancer, only twelve months before her wedding day.

Formerly lifelong sun worshippers and beach lovers, it was the wake-up call we both needed. Determined to maintain the bronze we felt so confident in, but without the sun, Maddy & I began innocently trialling different self-tanning products, only to realise that they were drying our skin out, smelt awful and were loaded with unnatural ingredients. 

We were inspired to create something that ticked every box and Luna Bronze came into orbit. By also uniquely putting skincare at the heart of our formulas, we have created a generation and movement of self-tanners that have changed the way people see and use tan. We are driven by a genuine desire to change the way people tan and we do this by presenting a range of products that are a natural and healthier alternative to sun baking. 

luna bronze sunless tanning

image: @luna_bronze instagram

The best piece of advice that inspired your journey? 

M- Mind your own business; don’t worry about what other companies are doing. Just do you, stick to your own lane and don’t lose focus on what you set out to achieve. Also, try not to get bogged down by situations that are out of your control. Deal only with the facts at hand and don’t let emotions get in the way. 

R- Something I've come to realise is that you can't always do it all and from early on everyone kept telling me to find a balance, and boy were they right. Between running the business, along with keeping fit and healthy, having a social life and finding time to spend with my family really piles up on the mental load. 

One tip for building your own brand? 

R- Expect curve balls and “flearnings” (learnings whilst failing). You are going to make many mistakes and you’ll learn a lot so remember to lighten up and have a laugh at yourself along the way. 

M- My mantra is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Execution and attention to detail is so important and it is where you will get tripped up, so if something’s not ready, or you don’t have all the information to make an informed decision, ask questions and don’t rush it. 

luna bronze tanner

image: @luna_bronze instagram

What’s the best thing about running a brand with your best friend? 

R- The best thing is that we’re able to be open and honest with each other. We’re not worried that someone disagrees with the other’s opinion that it’s going to be taken the wrong way, or taken personally. It’s also great that Maddy is the yin to my yang. Our skills complement each other. I have my strengths and she has hers!

What is the feeling you have watching your brand grow globally? 

R- I now know how it feels to experience so many feelings and emotions all at once. It is so exciting but also scary at the same time. We like to have all our ducks in a row and be ready for the unexpected but at times we have ducks flying everywhere and it is hard to catch a breath but the overall feeling is a sense of accomplishment. It is the best feeling when we hear that customers all around the world are no longer using sunbeds or sun baking because they have found a product in Luna Bronze that gives them that glowing confidence. 

M- I have to pinch myself constantly when I see people from everywhere loving the products that we created. We’ve always made products that we personally want to use so it’s awesome to see these resonate with people worldwide. 

luna bronze customer

image: @luna_bronze instagram

What does your ultimate Sunday consist of? 

R- A walk in the morning and coffee with my husband followed by a long lunch and drinks in the afternoon with friends. 

M- A perfect pre-pregnancy Sunday would be a nice boozy long lunch with friends but now my husband and I generally spend Sundays entertaining Mindy, our French Bulldog (and boss of the house). We are so lucky to live on the beach in Sydney so we’re usually grabbing coffee, a few walks, a swim if it's warm enough and just hanging out. I’m counting down the days until I can have a few wines and soft cheeses on my balcony after my daughter is born! 

Fave way to wear your romper? 

M- I am currently 7 months pregnant so I am living in my Smash + Tess ‘Saturday’ Romper! It is by far the most comfortable piece of clothing that I currently own. 

R- I love wearing my romper on long haul flights (pre-COVID of course) with my denim jacket and sneakers. I used to do a lot of international travel from Australia and S+T rompers have become my travel uniform. 

luna bronze tanner

image: @luna_bronze instagram

Current Netflix binge? 

M- Dead to Me Season 2. I absolutely loved the first season and am currently glued to the second. Christina Applegate is so good in it! 

R- I have just finished Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry 

Washington. It was fabulous and very thought-provoking - highly recommend it! I also recently watched The Loudest Voice on Stan which was brilliant and shows just how far women in the workforce have come. 

What celebrity or influencer would you love to see use Luna Bronze? 

R- We don’t put a huge emphasis on influencers and celebrities at LB HQ and feel so lucky to have grown organic partnerships with some fabulous people along the way like Jillian Harris and Sarah Reynolds from The Birds Papaya (we think you guys may have heard of them). We get such a thrill when we see anyone who is anyone glowing in our galaxy and sharing their sunless journey with us. In saying that we feel Jennifer Aniston, Rose Byrne or Kristen Wiig would look great with a Luna Bronze tan and we’d love to share a bottle of wine with them all! 

sarah the birds papaya with luna bronze products

image: @luna_bronze instagram

Who inspires you?

R- My husband is a huge inspiration to me. His work ethic and never give up attitude gives me the motivation I need at times when I am feeling overwhelmed or deflated. He has instilled a can-do mentality in me and taught me to dig deep at times when I feel that I am drowning in work. 

M- Right now, my inspiration is any woman that is running a business amongst having kids and dogs and keeping active. I’m looking to these women for inspiration on how I want to balance my life come later this year when my first child arrives and throws a huge spanner in the works! 

Desert island beauty product? 

M- Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. We swear by Supreme Screen by Ultra Violette here at LB HQ and can’t live without it. 

R- I have to agree with Madds on this one. SPF every damn day. There is absolutely zero point in buying any other skincare products if you don’t wear sunscreen every day. 

Enter the giveaway on our Instagram HERE!


By Smash+Tess

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