Hi guys! I’m back again with another interview and this time I’m getting to know the founder of itha London, Kelly. Itha is a London based natural brand most famously known for it’s Organic Lip Conditioners. I first noticed them on the beautiful Rachael from Naturlily (who I had the pleasure of briefly meeting at Clean Cult 2016) and the lovely Paula Khan. They are packed with lovely natural ingredients such as jojoba wax and organic cocoa butter. Vegans will be delighted to know that this is also vegan friendly.
So without further ado, let’s find out a little more about the beauty behind the brand.
Aliya: So Kelly, tell us your Green Beauty story…
Kelly: I have always had a love affair with lipsticks / lip gloss. However, suffering from dry & chapped lips makes it impossible to wear any harsh chemical based lip products. I started searching for products with better, gentle and effective ingredients without the high price tag but nothing was available at the time. Lip balm is probably the most common cosmetic that most people own, and I felt perhaps I could start with creating an array of tinted lip balms that can be used all year round but with fine organic ingredients that actually work. After a long time of preparation and planning, the itha brand was born.
Aliya: Before you started itha and even up until now did you find it hard to find natural cosmetics and skincare?
Kelly: Back at that time it was definitely hard as brands had less transparency with their ingredients. Now however things have changed thanks to the new EU regulations that changed the whole cosmetics industry. Marketing words and claims can easily mislead customers, so I’m glad to see this big step forward in the industry.
When it comes to choosing natural cosmetics and skincare, I tend to pick from trusted retailers and brands that have a full understanding of their products and ingredients so there’s no issues on the customers’ side. Moreover, I like to discover “cult” brands with good ingredients. Sometimes, you will be surprised as you can get better quality from smaller brands that offer fresher stock and very effective results.
Aliya: How challenging was setting up your own business? And is it still challenging?
Kelly: From initial thoughts of the idea on paper to where it is now was a big challenge, there are millions of steps to achieve. Luckily I have plenty of support from friends, family and our social media friends / customers who have been helping the itha brand grow – so thank you all very much! There are still challenges now managing the brand and carrying out various tasks on a daily basis, so it’s an ongoing journey but I do enjoy it. I think it is important to remember “always keep the faith, hope to the end.”
Aliya: How has converting to natural products changed your life?
Kelly: Opting for natural cosmetics, personal care, and household products was a great choice as they are not just good for your health, I have been impressed with their effectiveness as well. Besides, once you are used to the natural aroma from the natural products, it’s hard to turn back to those with synthetic perfume and harsh chemicals.
Aliya: Your favourite itha lip conditioner…
Kelly: I love all of them but i would say that the tinted red rose shade – “Rouge de love” (our award winning product) is my all-time favourite. It’s just so versatile and flattering on everyone.
Aliya: Your favourite natural product/brand (aside from itha)…
Kelly: There are many great natural brands out there but I’m currently loving the MV Organic skin care range as I can really see the difference after trying them for a few weeks.
Aliya: Your favourite healthy meal/snack?
Kelly: Fresh or dried fruit is my favourite healthy snack, they keep me going between meals and just love the sweet aroma.
Aliya: Your favourite unhealthy meal/snack?
Kelly: Raw baking vegan coffee and chocolate truffles – unhealthy but it tastes so good and is hard to stop once you start.
Aliya: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Kelly: Super speed just like Quicksilver, with this power i would be doing everything I love to do – unstoppable.
Aliya: Which meme describes you best… (send us a screenshot)
When people ask if I work out, I will borrow this classic line from sex & the city’s Carrie Bradshaw.