Meet the Maker: Spardha’s NaturalPosted on 10th September 2021
Tell us about your business, what is it you do and how did you get into it?
Hi, I am Spardha, a professional beauty therapist and I make Ayurveda based skincare products in Bristol. With my products, I would like to bring the essence of India in your home. I was born and raised in India and my products have been greatly influenced by the skincare recipes passed down the generation within my family. When you use my products, the fragrances will transport you to a life that I once lived back in India.
Effectiveness, high quality and sustainability has always been the core behind all my products. Therefore, they are all 100% natural, made with organic ingredients and come in eco-friendly packaging that can be widely recycled.
My journey started with a thought in 2013 that sparked when I was using other skincare brands. Just looking at the ingredients was enough to put me off using them. The plethora of chemicals you certainly don’t need in your body, filled up the bottles of those big brand names. You won’t realise how many unseen chemicals you can put in your body on a daily basis.
We lost some loved ones to cancer so my husband and myself switched to an all-organic lifestyle, choosing only organic foods to eat and using daily essentials which were as natural as possible. I also did my course in making skincare products and started making my own products to make sure I knew exactly what I was putting in my body. Skin being your largest organ of course.
I took a break for 4 years in between to raise our beautiful daughter until she was ready to go to school on a full-time basis. Then, it was my time to get back to my passion again, which was in 2019…before Covid happened.
I based my products on Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian medical system spanning over 5000 yrs, and still very much prevalent today. It treats mind, body and soul as a whole and teaches us that everything in this universe is connected.
Where do you source your materials and how do you choose them?
My suppliers are all UK based who have gone through rigorous process of ensuring that the quality of ingredients meet the UK and EU standards. Some of the ingredients are also sourced from India but the suppliers have already done the leg work for ensuring they are of highest quality.
When choosing my suppliers for ingredients, I make sure they are Cosmos, Soil Association and Ethical Trade approved. For other packaging requirements, I always check the business’ core values, ethics and their sustainability commitment.
What do you find the most and least rewarding aspects of being your own boss?
The most rewarding aspect of being my own boss is the freedom and flexibility. Since I am a mum and have a beauty business as well, it gives me flexibility to juggle spending time with my daughter, doing beauty treatments, making products, managing skincare business and covering daily life chores. It is also feels good to know that all the blood, sweat and tears that you pour in your business, comes back multi-fold when your work gets appreciated and you have repeat orders from customers.
The least rewarding aspect of being your own boss, in my opinion, is the loneliness you sometimes feel due to the lack of social contact. In a normal work environment, you have work colleagues who can become friends and you tend to go on social outings with them. You don’t get that when you’re working for yourself at home. The lack of social contact sometimes leaves a void in your life. But I guess it has both positive and negative aspects to it.
Also, you have to drive yourself to meet deadlines and tasks. Sometimes there is no clear boundary between work life and home life. To keep yourself motivated and in a positive state of mind is the biggest challenge when the sales are low or your creative process hits a brick wall or you are dealing with a difficult situation or a client.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I am off work, I like to spend quality time with my family. Going for family outings, being in nature, finding lovely little cafés to enjoy coffee and cake are my simple pleasures. I am big foodie and I love cooking and baking. So I’d often find myself concocting different baking and dinner recipes in the kitchen.
Apart from that, I am a fanatic Korean dramaholic. I like learning new things and focus on self-development. At the moment, I am learning to play the Guitar and also learning to speak, read and write Korean, Japanese and Spanish languages.
Do you have music you listen to or a ritual to create the right atmosphere to help you create and concentrate?
I do prefer it when I have my favourite music on when I am making products. I tend to listen to more ambient, chill and lounge music. Sometimes I would light up a sandalwood incense stick to help me feel relaxed, focused, spiritually uplifted and for cleansing the space before I embark on any product making, batch processing or admin work. It also helps me feel connected to the real me and produce authentic Indian inspired products.
What does the future have in store? What plans do you have for your business in the future, and how would you like it to develop over time?
I do have a few more new products lined up for developing and testing. I am just sorting out the logistics of production and packaging. I am planning to keep releasing one or two new products every year and see how the expansion process evolves.
I am quite low key but you might find me at some pop up shops, market stalls or craft fairs through summer and autumn (possibly winters too) seasons, in and around Bristol/Bath area. I am working to make my range more accessible and that you would see more Spardha’s Natural products in a shop near you that support handmade, sustainable, eco conscious and local makers.
My aim is to see more smiling and happy patrons who believe in me and my work.