This month, I'm helping to host a special challenge with a new company called Alapure that makes quality natural body butters and lotions that I have fallen in love with. Because they are a new company, I wanted you all to have a chance to learn a little bit more about this brand and the founder, Jill Riley. I am a true fan of their products and their healthy lifestyle mission!
Jill Riley packaging Alapure lotions
2012-Learning about an African tribe and culture in South AfricaThe biggest challenge I face with running a small premium cosmetic company is getting people to take a step up from the mass-produced, chemically-laden inexpensive products that are so abundant in the marketplace to an all-natural product that is a little bit more expensive. That is where confidence comes in. You know you have a quality product that people are going to love so you just keep plugging away. It’s also why the Alapure Icon symbolizes Strength, Confidence and Persistence.
The Tamanu tree (Calophyllum inophyllum) at the botanic gardens in Singapore. Tamanu Oil is used in Alapure Body Butters.All my products contain ingredients that promote lasting benefits for the skin like Aloe, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Rosehip Oil and Jojoba Oil to name a few, so a little usually goes a long way with maximum benefit. I know what benefits I wanted the product to produce as well, how I wanted the product to feel. After that, it was a matter of working with experts to determine the right percentages of ingredients to formulate the final product. Another important point was what I did not want in my products – things like parabens that your skin doesn’t need.3. On your website, you mention the Alapure lifestyle. Can you explain what that entails?The Alapure Lifestyle encompasses everything positive that goes into revealing one’s beautiful self. I realize that the lotions, creams and products we put on our bodies are great at enhancing what is already there. The Alapure Lifestyle focuses on what is already there. I believe that having a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and rest as well as staying hydrated all play vital roles in one’s skin health. In other words, the most radiant beauty emanates from the inside to the outside and the Alapure Lifestyle embodies this belief.4. Can you tell us about the women's cooperative you work with in Africa in obtaining the Marula oil?Fair trade is the exchange of goods where fair prices are paid to the producers in developing countries. I made sure to work with a company that shares my position on fair trade. The company from which I source the Marula Oil has a community based empowerment program for the production of high quality products from raw materials gathered by the women in the local South African communities. Their aim is to empower the workers by providing far-reaching economic and social benefits, while upholding the highest international environmental and fair trade standards. I am pleased to know that I can help to empower these hardworking women and their families. I am planning to visit South Africa again in 2014 to establish direct connections with the workers.http://alapure.com/african-fair-trade-support/
- Don’t try to offer all things to everyone. Instead, focus on what you know and care the most about and use that as your starting point.
- Research thoroughly, the partners (suppliers, labs, designers, etc.) with whom you wish to work. A good partnership is key to success.
- There will be challenges along the way. Don’t become discouraged by them. Let them strengthen you. Stay positive, stay focused and enjoy the journey.
- If you are working with a shoe-string budget as I did, be prepared to wear many hats in the beginning. You will have to do and learn all aspects of the business. It is not always as easy as it seems but there are benefits to knowing your business inside out.