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Skincare goes vegan
Rashi Bahel Mehra, a young woman entrepreneur, and founder of Alanna, a 100 natural and vegan skin care brand believes in a simple mantra for life, simplicity is the best sophistication Rashis Journey with Alanna, natural and vegan skincare brand, began when she noticed a gap in the beauty industry in India
Rashi Bahel Mehra, a young woman entrepreneur, and founder of ‘Alanna’, a 100% natural and vegan skin care brand believes in a simple mantra for life, “simplicity is the best sophistication”. Rashi’s Journey with ‘Alanna’, natural and vegan skincare brand, began when she noticed a gap in the beauty industry in India. Skin care industry was flooded with chemically-infused products whereas, the natural or organic products were priced at premium points.
Being a woman entrepreneur, Rashi realised that every girl deserves equal opportunities and a chance to fulfil her dreams. It was here that Rashi started working with UNICEF to raise funds for their campaign of ‘Girl Child Education’. ‘Alanna’ also employs women from socially backward zones of Maharashtra in order to empower them and sources every herb from Indian forests and farms making it a truly Indian brand for a true Indian.
Why did you choose to start ‘Alanna’?
I was working with an MNC when I realised that there is a gap in the skincare range segment across the Indian market. Consumers had two options to choose from, chemical infused products offered by cosmetic giants and organic products at premium price points that made it impossible for a regular consumer to afford for everyday use. I feel that natural ingredients are sourced from Mother Nature, it should be a right and not a luxury for every earth being to be able to access the benefits mother earth has to offer.
Thus, I planned a breakthrough with ‘Alanna’, a 100 % natural and vegan skin care brand that is affordable for an average Indian consumer. I began with homemade batches, initially, selling them only to friends and family. The reviews I received were exhilarating and therefore, I formally launched ‘Alanna’ on August 25, 2015, with an array of 28 products. Since then the journey has been beautiful and the brand has organically grown creating a loyal user base.
How are ‘Alanna’ products different from other cosmetic products?
Some of our best-selling products are the under-eye gels, dry scrubs, lip scrubs and the charcoal range and include lip balms, face packs, moisturisers, toners and body mists, hair-oils, SLS free shower-gels, cold-processed soaps and shampoo – bars. An ‘Alanna’ product contains essential oils, fruit and nut extracts with misty fragrances that help in nourishing the skin and enhancing beauty. All the ingredients are sourced from around states of India that they are popular in.
'Alanna’ products can be used as a daily treatment of skin nourishment without worrying about any side-effects. Our products can be used by people with all skin types. ‘Alanna’ is not only cruelty-free but also PETA approved, and FDA approved which ensures that our product undergo the highest level of test and checks. With ‘Alanna’ our objective is to not only bring ethical beauty products which are cruelty free and vegan free, to our consumers, but also bring it with sensitive price points so that more and more people can access organic products.
Why do you think we need natural and vegan products for skin or hair?
I personally feel all types of chemicals and chemical-based products are destructive for the skin, if not immediately, then in the long run. The use of synthetic products will either speed up the aging process or leave some or the other side-effects on the skin. For example, the use of two most widely used ingredients sulphate and parabens are volatile for the skin as they rob the skin of its health and moisture in the long run.
Did you face any challenge in achieving your goals?
One of the turning points for the brand was, when we started receiving too many orders and were unable to create them in-house. This meant we now had to scale up and outsource manufacturing process. That meant our baby is in the hands of a stranger and it was very difficult for me to trust an external manufacturer with regards to the quality. I finally identified a few and it took me sometime and several sample batches to be assured that the quality as desired. This also needed more investment which means more risk.But, I took the leap of faith and so far, there have been no regrets whatsoever.