I love discovering new beauty lines and learning about who’s behind them. I recently discovered NIU BODY and found out it was created by two Canadian women! After chatting with NIU BODY’s co-founders Connie and Laura I knew I had to interview them and share their story. Below is my interview with them,
When and why did you decide to start your own skincare line? Can you give a brief background on the story behind NIU BODY?
Laura: When I was a student completing my final year of university, I began using coconut oil as a natural makeup remover. I loved how effective it was and that it didn’t sting my eyes but couldn’t stand how messy it was to use! Not to mention that the jar was an eyesore on my bathroom counter. I was shocked when I struggled to find a natural coconut oil based makeup remover on the market and so created my own! From this, NIU BODY’s first line of cleansing oils was born.
A friend of mine suggested that I meet with Connie to show her the idea that I had for NIU BODY as she was the go-to natural beauty guru of their group. From the moment that we met, we hit it off and had the same vision of what the brand would represent and grow towards. After a 3 hour dinner, I asked her to be my co-founder and the rest is history!
How did you come up with the name NIU?
Laura: NIU is coconut in Hawaiian, since our initial line of products was coconut oil based it aligned with our hero ingredient.
Are all of your products cruelty-free?
Connie: Yes, all of our products are not only certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, but also vegan. This means we don’t test on animals and also don’t have any animal by-products in our skincare line. We LOVE animals and would never test on or harm our furry friends!
Are all of your products made and sourced naturally?
Laura: Yep! We believe in keeping all of our products 100% natural. Your skin is your largest organ and 60% of what you put onto your skin goes into your bloodstream. It’s so important to be aware of the ingredients that are in your products and taking as natural of an approach to beauty as possible will pay dividends for you in the future! Kind of like the importance of a whole food based diet.
Why was it important to you both to have a natural beauty line?
Connie: I started experiencing breakouts during my pre-teen years. Desperate to fix my skin, I’d often wander the aisles of the local drug store testing whatever products would claim to give me that glowy, flawless complexion I was so desperate to achieve. During this time, I experienced many adverse reactions to products with lots of chemicals in them, including rashes, dryness, and allergic reactions.
Luckily my mom is very into natural ingredients and educated me on the benefits of using natural products for my skin (it’s very true that moms always seem to know what’s best for you!). I started playing around with different ingredients I could find in my kitchen, and started seeing results from my DIY masks and concoctions!
Through this experience, I learned that natural, plant-based ingredients are just as great, if not better for your skin than synthetic materials. This is why it is so important for me to spread the word of everything green beauty has to offer.
What are some of the challenges of starting your own business?
Connie: It’s challenging to be a team of two new female entrepreneurs entering an industry that’s so established. It can make us feel a bit insecure at times. We’re also both perfectionists, so it was challenging for us to learn that we couldn’t perfect everything before putting ourselves out there (who knew, right?). It’s better to launch fast and correct as you go.
Another challenge that’s proven to be extremely difficult for me is finding a way to balance time with family, friends, NIU BODY, and me-time. As an extrovert, I love being in social gatherings and spending quality time with loved ones. I’m still learning how to say no to social events without feeling guilty. One method I’ve been using is scheduling in me-time (literally entering a meeting with myself into my calendar) and making it a priority. It’s definitely a work in progress!
What would be a piece of advice you’d give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Laura: Just get started! It’s impossible to know everything that you need to know from the start. Get your minimum viable product out into the hands of customers and tweak as you go based on their feedback. I think that a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs over complicate what it takes to get going. Oh, and always know your numbers! It’s super important for new brands to know their margins inside and out.
What are 3 of your favorite products from your brand and why?
Connie: Oooh.. it’s so hard to choose, but I’d probably say:
- Glow Facial Serum – just an overall super easy to use, light-weight magical oil that helps to minimize pores and hydrate your skin
- Awake Rose Toning Mist – I’m a sucker for rose scents, and this toning mist smells like a secret garden. It also reduces redness and fine lines, as well as balances your skin!
- Detox Green Clay Mask – I use this once a week for #selfcaresunday. It gets rid of any nasties and brightens my skin!
Are there any other fun facts you would like us to know?
Fun fact: Laura and I have completely opposite Myers-Briggs personality types! I’m an ESFJ (“The Consul”), while Laura is an INTP (“The Logician”). It’s amazing because we tackle problems in different ways, and come to obstacles with unique perspectives. People love telling us that we balance each other out, and it’s so true!
Shop NIU BODY natural and vegan skincare: www.niubody.com
Hit up their DM’s: www.instagram.com/niu.body