Beauty & Business
This month, Standards puts the spotlight on women and femininity. And for this article, we wanted to interview these women entrepreneurs who shine through their values and achievements. Let’s take a closer look at these brands that combine beauty and commitment.
Where is the name KOBA from?
Thérèse M’Boungoubaya: The name KOBA, comes from “nkóbá”, who means turtle in lingala – one of the most spoken langage in Congo, my home country. This name celebrates the brand’s African legacy because our main ingredient, the safou oil comes from Congo and other central Africa countries.
How creating your brand came like an evidence for you?
Thérèse M’Boungoubaya: After working a lot of years in the cosmetic industry, I was frustrated to not find a feet cream efficient enough for my dry feet and that I like to use. It became more and more clear that there was an opportunity on the market for a feet cream considering the sensorial pleasure regarding texture, perfume and packaging. I then decided to create this ideal cream to bring some sexiness into feet care. That’s how KOBA was born. I then extended the line to other dry zones of the body.
What KOBA values are important to you?
Thérèse M’Boungoubaya: Efficiency, boldness and pleasure. Efficiency: our products brings visible results in a few applications. It’s what matters the most to me because results assure the customer’s faithfulness and per consequence brand’s lasting quality. Boldness: we’re not scared to target zones that are way too forgotten by the industry, nor talking about it without taboo. What matters is to love oneself from head to toe. And pleasure because the experience of using products is important. We want our clients to have pleasure by using our products, we want perfumes to remind them of a sweet memory, and textures to astonish them so they remember it.
What led you to create Rudolph Care?
Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph: In 2006, I was pregnant with my first child when I agreed to take part in a Greenpeace test about chemicals. My blood was tested for harmful substances – and the results were very worrying. As the second youngest of eight test subjects, I was the one who had the most chemicals in my blood. Many of the substances were proven to be harmful and were endocrine disruptors or suspected to be. I was shocked and angry. It turned out that many of the chemicals in my blood originated from my beauty products. From all the luxurious, expensive creams, oils and soaps that I had pampered myself with for years. That is why I started Rudolph Care in 2009, to create something I could not find elsewhere; advanced, luxury and effective skincare products that were not harmful for my body and the planet.
What makes Rudolph Care unique to you?
Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph: How sustainability and responsibility is so integral and deeply rooted in our business. We were the first ever to bring together Ecocert COSMOS Organic and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. Two certifications that combine the use of natural, organic ingredients with good, clean chemistry. A combination that protects your health and our environment throughout the life cycle of the beauty product. From growing, processing, and production to biodegradability and recycling of packaging. We have now also achieved B-corp certification. We also collaborate with Brazilian communities for the use of our key ingredient the açai berry from that comes from the Amazon, rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, to create some our core products, such as the açai facial oil.
What is your favourite Rudolph Care product(s)?
Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph: I love our Mist Delight. It refreshes and balances the skin, giving plenty of hydration. I spritz it before applying my facial oil, allowing your skin to better absorb the oil.
Which comes to my second favorite product, Açai Facial Oil, which is our most popular classic. Beautiful antioxidant drops of pure organic açai oil. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to rebuild and balance your skin. And it stimulates all the senses with a refined and revitalized feeling of pure luxury.
What was your procedure when you created Hana Kana (your mindset, what pushed you to create the brand)?
Devi Boscolo-Thiounn: I’ve always been passioned about alternative medicine approaches (lithotherapy, oriental medicin, phytotherapy) but I was blinded by my own self. At 28 years old, I’ve tried these medicines ways for my own fight against anorexia. I’ve gained an inner peace and serenity that I’ve never felt before.
I started sharing tools and my daily life during lockdown and people were curious to know more about what I was sharing. This is how Hana Kana was born. It’s a part of me and my journey.
If you would have to describe Hana Kana in a few words?
Devi Boscolo-Thiounn: Hana Kana means that plants got the answers regarding our wellness and our inner beauty. I use values that are important to me in ayurveda and Chinese medicine in order to create daily tools using biodiversity and nature’s wealth from the region I’m from, Perpignan. I’ve founded Hana Kana as a ritual because holistic wellness resides in the moments we take for ourselves.
Which advices would you give to those who want to pursue their own ways?
Devi Boscolo-Thiounn: I advice them to go for it! Beginning all alone can be scary by in France we’re nicely accompanied by few services like incubators for small businesses. Numerous structures are here to help us develop, form and perpetuate what can be at first just an idea.
This experience is full of emotions, responsibilities but above all the fact to feel align with oneself, it’s a huge source of happiness.
First of all, what was the click which pushed you to launch your own brand?
Anne-Sophie Nardy: I’ve worked for a long time in the cosmetic industry and saw new preoccupations emerged around environment and health. But it’s when I read the book named “Impliquons-nous” from Edgar Morin, that all my reflexions aligned. In his book, he explains that everyone in his own domain can act for change and that it’s from the additions of our initiatives that a new world can be born. It really resonates in me at the exact moment I wanted to become an entrepreneur and change my life. I’ve finally got into meaningful entrepreneurship pretty fast for my own happiness and enrichment.
Is the philosophy leading On The Wild Side always appeared like an evidence for you?
Anne-Sophie Nardy: I’ve grown up surrounded by pharmacy pots named after extraordinary plants with fascinating powers my mother always talked about. I’ve quickly got fascinated and it’s for this particular reason that I began to be interested in their virtues in order to develop our formulas. So this need to get closer to essentials and nature has always been in me in a certain way until I decided to move cosmetics lines for good. In my opinion, the futur of bio is the 100% natural, it’s reconciling ethics and beauty to find some meaning in what we do and what we give to our customers who are trusting us. And to bring back “real” nature into our formulas we choose to use actives from wild plants. Neither sown nor treated, they develop main actives with a rare efficiency.
Your choice to be based in the south west in Bordeaux came naturally?
Anne-Sophie Nardy: Really naturally, a real planet alignement which pushed my family and I to take the plunge. It was an idea we had in mind notably for the quality of life we offer our kids, everything came in place in March 2017. A friend moving in Bordeaux, a selling house coming to us, so we cut ties with Paris to settle in our new town. This change was almost written for us. And it’s in the renewal spirit that I started to feel the need to create with On The Wild Side. I couldn’t have done it in Paris, create the same brand, talk about wild plants while living in a huge city.