Welcome back to Hashtag Love Local (#Love Local), the initiative that highlights the importance of the economic pillar of sustainability and the benefits of shopping locally. Here at The Sustainability Strategy, we are standing behind and supporting six of our favourite Irish businesses. Today, we sit down for an interview with Jan from Nami Naturale, a conscious Irish skincare brand that promotes luxury and moments of bliss through their sustainable collection.
How long has your business been in operation?
I officially registered the company in May 2019 but didn’t launch the website till September 2019. At the start of the year and in between May and September, I was just selling to friends, family, and tried selling to markets. When the website launched, it was then I started reaching out to the broader Irish Market.
What inspired you to set up your business?
Before Nami, I love using luxury, high street cosmetics, and when I decided to make the switch to using natural skincare, I couldn’t find natural, high-performance skincare in Ireland. The natural skincare brands offering advanced formulations I found were mostly based abroad. Being a full-time mother of two, it didn’t feel right to spend a lot of money on shipping & this was the turning point where I started digging deeper and started formulating skincare. When I did my market research, I realized there was a gap in the Irish Market for safe, efficient, sustainable, and advanced natural skincare products. When I started selling my products in markets, I found a lot of small brands selling skincare that was not following the EU Cosmetic Regulation. It really made me think and question why not? Is it the lack of information, or they simply didn’t care? Even though I was just starting and was a very small brand, it didn’t feel right to sell my products in the markets because I did not want to be perceived as a brand that is not knowledgeable of manufacturing safe skincare products. And for this main reason, I stop selling in the market. This discovery has fueled me to thrive harder and build a brand based on transparency and trust.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
Nami means beautiful in my Ilonggo. In Hiligyanon, an Austronesian regional language in the Philippines and the native language of my mother. She was the one who introduced me to sustainability, natural remedies, and herbal plants at a very young age. I remember her washing plastic bags and hanging it dry on the clothesline so she can reuse them. She was also thrifty in saving empty tubs of ice cream, which she uses to store random bits and pieces of things. Growing up, I remember my Mum, a registered midwife, tagging me along when she pays her patients a follow-up visit. I listened to their stories on herbal medicines’ therapeutic benefits when used for teas, baths, steam, and infusing oils to use for post-natal massages. And whenever I get a bad cold, she’ll make a concoction of ampalaya (bitter leaves), and calamansi (our local lemon) blended with honey to relieve decongestion. My Logo is “N” and it also stands for Nanay, which means mother. Nami Naturale is my ode of love to my Mum.
To what do you attribute your success?
Having a positive mindset, transparency, genuine care, and cultivating positive relations are crucial values any start up founder needs to have to build a sustainable skincare business. Being a start-up founder is difficult, and the hardship we are facing now is 1000-fold with the current business climate. But I work hard and fight to live another day for Nami Naturale to survive amidst the pandemic. Genuine care meaning in its core essence – to the people around us and our environment. And cultivating positive relations with everyone we meet from the bottom line to the top. It does not cost us anything to be kind.
What is unique about your business?
I am a certified Organic Cosmetic Formulator/Scientist, which gives me an edge in delivering premium and advanced natural skincare in Ireland. The green beauty culture is still young in Ireland, but I believe it will continue to grow and flourish. Being able to offer an advanced natural skincare brand and being at the forefront of Ireland’s green beauty industry makes Nami Naturale different from the rest.
How does your business help the customer/community?
Nami Naturale is a conscious brand. Honesty and transparency are some of the core values of our brand. I only use certified organic premium ingredients not because I am jumping on the natural beauty industry bandwagon but because organic ingredients are safer for our health and our environment. A lot of time and work has been invested for us to stay true to our ethos, from sourcing our suppliers, manufacturing practices right up to delivering our products to our customer’s front door. In addition, we also commit one Euro to plant a tree for every product we sell online.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far from setting up your business?
There are no shortcuts and cutting corners I can make in running a sustainable skincare brand, and I genuinely mean this in my heart. Every step and decision I make, I stay true to our ethos because I care, and sometimes it makes my process slow and takes longer for me to achieve my goals, but it’s okay; I will get there eventually.
Has your business set any sustainability policies? If so, would you care to share them?
As I mentioned earlier, I only source and use certified and premium organic ingredients. I also use nature-derived ingredients to replace active ingredients that are originally sourced from animals or endangered plants. One good example is Allantoin which is commonly derived from an animal, but I source mine from Comfrey. In terms of packaging, I only use UV resistant dark glass and jars and, this is very important in protecting the integrity of the formulation. If you must notice, most medicines we purchase from the chemist are packaged in matt or dark bottles, and there is a very good reason for this. The same applies to any skincare formulations. I also source FSC certified paper and packaging. “FSC Certified” means that the wood used in the product and the manufacturer that made it met the Forest Stewardship Council’s requirements.
Where can the reader find more out about your business?
I would really appreciate it if you can follow our Instagram and Facebook Page @naminaturale and help me spread the word about our brand. Just by actively following my brand and any other small business already means a lot. When you follow us, it means you are supporting our business to thrive in the busy network of social media.
Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share?
We are launching a new website on the 30th of November, and I encourage you to visit www.naminaturale.com. The pandemic has helped us improve our services to deliver premium Irish Luxury skincare within your reach. Try our products and get ready to fall in love with your newly radiant skin and give back to mother earth at the same time!
Thank You For Reading
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this interview with Jan Fay from Nami Naturale and her sustainable skincare brand. Every two weeks, The Sustainability Strategy will run a feature blog on one of the six brands featuring in Hashtag Love Local, giving them the platform to discuss their business and showcase their sustainability policies.
The Sustainability Strategy aims to build a community that feels free to discuss their environmental views openly. If you would like to continue to see similar sustainable content, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Keep it Green,