The Spacemasks story

How it started

A Clapham girl

Harriet was born in Westminster in the mid-seventies, and brought up in Clapham. Devastatingly, her father died when she was just 11. Unable to stay in the family home, Harriet, her mother and her brother moved to a small flat in Chelsea – right next door to the legendary restaurant, Foxtrot Oscar. Harriet went on to work there for many years, catching the restaurant ‘bug’, and even heading to Bournemouth University to study Hospitality Management. Harriet was still working in the restaurant industry when her mother died of cancer at the age of 48. Harriet was just 22.

Entrepreneurial spirit

During her mother’s illness (and after her death), Harriet experienced depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Despite this, her career took some interesting turns, including a stint working with celebrity agent Michael Whitehall, before she moved into restaurant PR. She worked on big names of the era like Nobu, Hakkasan and Mr Chow, staying in the PR industry until she and her husband Robert had the first of their four daughters in 2003.

After children, she discovered a love for catering – and what started for friends led to creating mouth-watering brownies for local cafés. But not one to linger for long, she soon realised that with her little black book and never-ending energy, she could become a virtual PA to anyone who needed assistance. This was Harriet’s most rewarding job of all. It led her to becoming a homestay host.

The very first mask

A chance encounter

Overseas students, mostly from Japan, came to stay with Harriet during the school holidays to learn English. One of these students brought her a warming face mask. After her experiences with depression, panic attacks and anxiety, Harriet instantly understood the potential for a calming warm eye mask to bring respite from screens and stress.

From that moment the idea for Spacemasks started to germinate – with the space theme emphasising the escape from earthly worries. She spent many months trying to find a supplier with the right environmental credentials to make the product, and who could give the eye mask a subtle fragrance – without requiring a high initial order. This took considerable time, but Harriet eventually secured a relatively small minimum order. The first batch sold out in less than a month!

Cult product status

Loved by customers and the press

Following that stellar first month, Spacemasks has gone from strength to strength. Since leaving the launch pad in May 2017, it’s helped make thousands of people much happier, more relaxed and less anxious. Helping to bring a little bit of ease into people’s busy lives is one of the reasons why Harriet started the business. She has received hundreds of messages telling her that Spacemasks have helped those undergoing medical treatment, those who find it hard to sleep, those with headaches and migraines, and those who simply want to take some time out from their hectic schedules.

Spacemasks have been featured on many a “best buy” list and quickly gained a cult fanbase, with rave reviews from some of the biggest publications including Vogue, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, The Daily Telegraph, Sheerluxe and more.

Spotted in amazing places

These days, Spacemasks is a group effort with a brilliant and dedicated little team. Spacemasks are now sold in some of the finest retailers both online and in store – including Liberty London, Cult Beauty, Oliver Bonas, JoJo Maman Bebe, Sephora, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick, The Detox Market and more – and even in the air with Jet2.

Giving back

Harriet’s reason for being

For Harriet, being able to give back has been one of the best things about creating Spacemasks. The brand supports two charities that are close to Harriet’s heart.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity provides essential funding for The Royal Marsden, a world-leading cancer centre that treats over 59,000 NHS and private patients every year, and plays an integral role in so many lives by researching, diagnosing and treating cancer.

Little Lifts provides thoughtfully handpicked gifts to support people diagnosed with breast cancer. Its goal is to provide these gift boxes free to every breast cancer patient in the UK when they start treatment. Harriet has been a patron of Little Lifts since 2019 and you may spot her on social media fundraising for the charity or shouting about their good work.

Sales of rose scented Spacemasks support The Royal Marsden Cancer Centre and sales of chamomile scented Spacemasks support Little Lifts. £1 from each box purchased is donated to the respective charities.

Creating a community

Harriet loves hearing from customers all about how Spacemasks have transformed their day. She also enjoys sharing snippets of her life and has built a community on Instagram of like-minded individuals who love to see what she’s been up to. She’s an open and often hilarious voice, sharing relatable stories of motherhood, the life-work juggle and Spacemasks updates too, of course. Look out for her in the odd Instagram live – she likes to make you laugh. For an insight into her world, join the community and follow Harriet on Instagram.

Harriet is also a founder member of Buy Women Built; an organisation dedicated to championing female-founded businesses, something she feels strongly about.

It’s fair to say many of the experiences Harriet had on her journey to entrepreneurship helped shape her into the person you see today and paved the way for her to creating the original self-heating mask. From a young girl brought up in Clapham to witty entrepreneur; this is Harriet’s story and the “why” behind Spacemasks.