Reinventing Jeddah’s beauty industry
Reinventing Jeddah’s beauty industry
The beauty entrepreneur set out to create a brand that focuses on creating natural, handmade products in Saudi Arabia in 2014, but launched it to the public in 2015 and has not looked back since.
“Skincare is my passion! I always had an interest in creating something related to it and the transition from being a graphic designer to creating natural body products was a big decision,” she told Arab News, explaining that as well as being a wife, mother and entrepreneur, she is also currently studying for a master’s degree in nutrition and herbal medicine.
The road to success was not easy, however.
“It had some level of turbulence, but as the saying goes ‘rough seas make better sailors.’ I worked hard and learned to appreciate my unique journey in the skincare industry,” she said.
“Besides being interested in nature and natural products, health and nutrition have always been a major part of my life… I wanted to take it further by focusing on what I apply on my skin. Hence, the idea of creating my very own natural handmade body products came and Nanu Body was launched.”
When asked about her inspiration, Al-Wassia said that her family and her love for nature inspired her the most. In addition to this, certain essential oils motivated her to develop products for the benefit of people’s skin.
“Every recipe starts as a vague idea, which is transformed into a prototype that undergoes several testing stages. Also, most of the time, I use them on myself for a while before it gets commercialized, in order to ensure a high quality natural products,” she said.
The first product line that Nanu Body released was the body scrub collection, which was a great success. By then, other products, including body butter, deodorant, soap, fragrance and lip balm, had completed the testing phase and were released.
“Though the formulation development process is extensive, I make sure to take notes as to what I feel is missing and then slowly add more components to the products,” Al-Wassia explained.
She advised customers wanting to transition from conventional cosmetics to natural products to be aware and attentive of natural products and keep a track of what they hear and read about natural beauty products as well as do their own research. It is important to have an understanding of particular ingredients or to have knowledge about what to avoid in order having a true conviction that natural beauty care products are right for anyone.
The beauty businesswoman is involved in every step of the process, from product concepts to sales plans. She even played a major role in sourcing raw materials from the US to ensure all her products are natural.
“I have no other go-to beauty products. I am 100% natural and this motivates me more to create natural products that are chemical free. Besides, I am obsessed with quality so I can make the best, most effective skincare. If there is something in my life that I would like to replace with a handmade alternative, it would be make-up. (I would like to introduce) natural cosmetics at Nanu Body. Thus, we are looking at possibly launching that in near future,” she revealed.
Sharing her opinion on being compared to high-end makeup brands, she said that Nanu Body is a natural, handmade body product and cannot be likened to any make-up brands on the market.
When asked what her favorite product is, she chose Nanu Body Butter due to its rich texture and the natural ingredients that moisturize the skin. She also shared news of the recent launch of Nanu Body’s latest product, a body salve that also acts as a natural mosquito repellent — perfect for the winter months when many across the region spend more and more time outdoors.
“This year, it’s been tough, we have gone through many ups and downs like any other business,” she revealed. “But the key is to accept that life will not always be perfectly balanced. The most important thing in life is to focus and not sweat the small stuff. We managed to launch our products in two shops in Jeddah and that was a goal we achieved against all odds.
“I was up for the challenges and could surpass them with hard work and effort,” she added.
Al-Wassia says she has been surprised by the number of people in the country who have shown an interest in handmade natural body products and the level of brand loyalty that has been shown to Nanu Body.
“At Nanu Body, the customer is always right and we love to hear feedback from our customers, whether it is good or bad. We take our costumers comments into consideration and use the feedback in our product development,” she said.
Shanina Shaik stars in campaign for Revolve
DUBAI: She may not be at Miami Swim Week, but Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik certainly got into the spirit on Instagram, posting shots from her trip to Bermuda with US-based e-tail platform Revolve and giving a special mention to the swimwear event.
“Because it’s swim week,” Shaik captioned a photo of herself wearing a red-and-white vertically striped bikini, by swimwear label Tularosa, against a rocky backdrop in Bermuda. Miami Swim Week is set to continue until July 17 and sees swimwear designers from across the world show off their latest perfect-for-the-pool creations on the sunny shores of the Floridian city.
However, the model is on another sun-drenched shoreline for a photoshoot and launch party celebrating a collaboration between clothing brands The Naven Twins and NBD in Bermuda this week.
Shaik, whose father is Pakistani and mother is Lithuanian-Australian, wasn’t the only fashionable it-girl on the island, however. Revolve handpicked a group of stylish influencers and models to star in the Bermudian snaps.
Designer and marketing guru Draya Michele, model Kara Del Toro and influencer Jill Wallace also took part in the color-packed photoshoot.
For her part, Shaik starred in a series of shots wearing a glittering array of beach-ready outfits. In one windswept photo, the model wears a lilac bandeau top with draped sleeves, paired with a jungle-print pair of high-waisted shorts — “a real-life mermaid,” the Revolve social media team captioned the picture on Instagram.
Revolve carries more than 500 menswear and womenswear brands and has a dedicated beauty section on its website, revolve.com. Launched in 2003, the e-tail website claims to have 40 million page visits per month, so it makes sense that Shaik, an already successful runway model, would jump on the bandwagon.
Shaik is newly married, having tied the knot with musician DJ Ruckus at a family-filled ceremony in the Bahamas in May. The couple promptly followed it up with a bash in Miami that was attended by likes of Bella Hadid and model Hailey Baldwin.
The model married her long-time beau Gregory Andrews on musician Lenny Kravitz’s private island of Eleuthera.
Reverend Run of Run DMC performed the ceremony as family, friends and a handful of celebrity guests gathered for the nuptials, including Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross, as well as models Nadine Leopold and Hannah Ferguson.
The happy couple got engaged in December 2015 after dating for less than a year. He reportedly presented her with two Lorraine Schwartz rings and let her take her pick. She eventually chose a gold band that featured an amethyst and a diamond, according to media reports.