Often in business, the inspiration comes from a passion for something and the desire to turn that passion into a sustainable product or service that can benefit others. For Lynette Murua and her sister, Deidrè Akaloo, the starting point was a need to find natural and environmentally friendly skin care solutions for her family. What resulted on this journey was the emergence of a new company, Earth Elements, a new organic and natural body care brand with a conscience.
LoA was fascinated to find out more about this new company and brand, and the aspirations of its founder.
What does your company do?
We hand-make organic & natural body products, 100% suitable for Vegans, which soothes various skin and scalp ailments and also nourishes the entire body. Every product we create stems from our own need for "natural comfort" without harming the environment. We are members of various groups which share our business ethos of fair and ethical trade, and we are accredited by various regulatory bodies within the industry. Our stance is true to form and all our products are tested on our family, never on animals!
"From a very early age we learnt about the "magical" properties and benefits that the earth has to offer."
What inspired you to start your company?
From a very early age we learnt about the "magical" properties and benefits that the earth has to offer. We learnt so much from our Granny, who really had all sorts of interesting brews and remedies for various ailments. I was intrigued by mixing together different oils and herbs and loved using my blends on family and friends. As I grew older, it was so hard to find natural products for my hair and skin that worked. When my daughter developed eczema, I did research on the healing properties of Shea Butter. Around the same time, my sister and business partner was going through a rough time at work that she literally started losing her hair. We then did research on the amazing properties of Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Together, we founded Earth Elements as a business and we've since been creating organic and natural products suitable for everyone.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We believe in what we create and to rubber stamp our "love in a jar" creations we've become members of the right associations and we've had our products endorsed by various bodies in the industry, to give not only the comfort but also the security that our ethos firmly stands to produce products with sustainable ingredients.
"Every product we create stems from our own need for "natural comfort" without harming the environment."
Tell us a little about your team
We are an intimate team currently steered by my sister, an assistant who helps us on the days we fill our jars for trade, and myself. I have a longstanding background in the travel Industry, which has opened a window to some of the most beautiful sights, smells and creations of our planet. My inspiration draws from my Granny and her influence encouraged me to dive into the world of Aromatherapy and Homeopathy. My sister, Deidre, has a background in Industrial Psychology and Life Coaching and she is responsible for our Social Media and Marketing. For now, we all do a lot of everything. It's the beauty of teamwork and humble beginnings.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Our Mom was always a go-getter! She would take up any challenge and make it work. I'd say yes, we come from a background of artisanal entrepreneurs. We started our journey fearlessly and after years of testing, trial and error on what works and what works quicker, we turned our passion for natural remedies into a business. Our journey has just begun as we started trading our products for cash and honest feedback in 2016.
"We started our journey fearlessly and after years of testing, trial and error on what works and what works quicker, we turned our passion for natural remedies into a business."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our plans are to grow our company to become a brand familiar to everyone, to have it accessible and cost-effective so nobody is really restricted from using Earth Elements products. We'd like to employ a good number of people and to empower them by playing a part in creating a little slice of heaven on earth.
We plan on adding valuable hand made accessories to our brand in the form of facial and hair brushes; cosmetic pouches with designs unique to our continent as well as body scrubs made of natural African fibres and we intend to maintain the status of 100% vegan friendly.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I love knowing that every creation we put out there actually benefits someone in a really great way. The feedback and results are heart-warming and gives me the motivation to keep on, keeping on.
"Our plans are to grow our company to become a brand familiar to everyone, to have it accessible and cost-effective so nobody is really restricted from using Earth Elements products."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Believe in what you do and the rest will follow. Live fearlessly with the vision only to succeed, in any way or form which positively contributes to all.
Contact or follow Earth Elements
Why LoA loves it….
Creating products, companies and brands that tread lightly on the earth whilst at the same finding solutions to key problems and challenges is becoming increasingly more pertinent in our society. So it’s always good to see entrepreneurs emerging on the African continent who understand how to achieve environmental sustainability with a viable business model. Lynnette Murua and her Earth Elements brand will be ones to watch in this exciting new business space over the coming months and years. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa