Fairer skin, longer lashes, smaller waist, fuller lips—we’re guilty of following the conventional standards of beauty peddled by multinational brands. Take a closer look at our TVCs and mainstream cinema if you don’t believe us. But a homegrown brand is attempting to redefine beauty as we know it.
VedaEarth stands for natural beauty, selling products that use the science of Ayurveda and aromatherapy. In an interview with IndiBeat, the young founder Divya Dinesh shares the inspiring story of her life and her brand.
IB: Why did you feel the need to redefine beauty standards in India?
Divya: Being born with a cleft lip made me realise how small imperfections can bring down people’s confidence. Until they accept themselves, they will never be happy about themselves. In this case, beauty lies in the perception that you have of yourself.
I truly accepted myself cleft lip and all, only in 2015 at the age of 24, and thus began my journey. My family helped me to realise my potential, and aromatherapy opened my mind to using alternative therapy to elevate one’s life. With that in mind, I wanted to change the perception of beauty that other people have as well.
IB: How do you ensure that the quality of VedaEarth products in never compromised?
Divya: We believe in giving genuinely good quality products and being transparent with our customers. All the oils were tested at the vendor selection stage, as you find a lot of adulterated ingredients nowadays. This helped us in narrowing down good quality suppliers, even though the cost was higher.
Also during our search we looked out for organic ingredients. There were suppliers ready to give us so-called ‘organic’ ingredients but refused to provide any certification. Makes you rethink what you can believe in. We didn’t want to use and claim something we are not, so we went with only those ingredients for which we got certificates. That’s why we are not 100% organic and we are open about it.
IB: What are some of the challenges you faced when you went up to people with a revised concept of beauty?
Divya: One of the basic challenges we faced and do face even to this day is getting people to believe in us when we say that oil is the solution to your problems, or when we say oil is good for oily skin. It takes some explaining about the science behind how our skin works to get them convinced.
IB: You offer a limited range of products despite the cutthroat competition in the beauty industry. Reason?
Divya: Although the numbers are less, our oils, packs, soaps and other products provide multiple benefits – you don’t need an array of products for your hair, skin or body.
IB: Tell us more about VedaEarth being planet-friendly.
Divya: Whenever I used to see at the back of any pack of beauty products, I would see so many chemical ingredients that I would doubt whether this product is really doing me any good? I’m also a big animal lover and hated to use products that were said to have been tested on animals. They deserve to be free without undergoing torture, be it for taking ingredients from them or testing products on them.
When nature has all the answers, why not embrace it? Use it, just don’t misuse it. That’s why I decided all our products should be Vegan—good for people, good for animals as well.
IB: A piece of advice for the young entrepreneurs today, especially women.
Divya: Each one of us has been there! We react, sometimes shout, get upset, get dejected but that’s natural, after all, we are human. There have been times when I have thought of giving up, but it is in those times that others come to your aid. Their encouraging words and shining light brings me back on track. Once in a while you require that push to get going.
VedaEarth has also taken up the initiative to highlight the achievements of empowered women through a project called The VE Women. Read more about it here.