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We've launched! Finally. So who are we and what is Malavara?


We've launched! Finally. So who are we and what is Malavara?
So this is it - we finally launched! Malavara is here. A few words from us about who we are, why we set about creating an Ayurvedic beauty brand and our journey so far.
The early days....our very first conversation was what feels like ages ago in a London restaurant on one of Tejal's visits back from the US. We had met years beforehand on the trading floor of a US bank and had bonded over our obsession with beauty products. 
But as busy professionals we found ourselves burning-out. Frequently. Overwhelmed and stressed, we’d splurge on chemical-laden ‘quick-fixes’ and end up feeling worse. Occupational hazard had also resulted in a slipped disc and subsequent back surgery for me and the stress-induced onslaught of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for Tejal.

We loved the natural, holistic approach..I was trying Acupuncture, which did wonders for my back and enabled me to ditch the daily painkillers I was on post-surgery. It also left me very intrigued by alternative therapies and wellness rituals in general. Tejal would tell me about her hair rituals involving family recipes of herbs, oils and marma massage, and we’d have long chats at work about doing something meaningful and creative – a fun fantasy when you’re at your desk at 6am ploughing through the latest releases.

It wasn’t until I was in Jodhpur for Tejal's wedding that I experienced some incredible Indian wellness rituals firsthand and became enthralled by Ayurveda. That was when I saw the opportunity to bring these time-honoured traditions to modernity in a way that would complement the stressful lives we lead. We were aware of the incredible benefits of Ayurveda’s beauty and wellness traditions but hadn’t found anything that suited our lifestyles or captured our imaginations. So, we decided to figure it out ourselves!

So it began..After several years of research and development with British organic chemists, French aromatherapists and Ayurvedic ritual experts, Malavara was born.

We have been hands on at literally every step. Our initial research trip to India was for 4 weeks, where we met with Ayurvedic experts, visited yoga centres and checked out the products in department stores and boutiques to try and understand what modern India expects from beauty products. Back home, we spent months sourcing everything ourselves: we visited trade shows for packaging and factories for bottles; we travelled to Grasse in France to visit perfume factories and worked with an expert to develop our fragrance; we followed numerous recommendations in our quest to find our brand designer and became experts in fonts, colours and typeface. We have taught ourselves about some weird and wonderful things, from how to formulate a body lotion to how design a website to a rudimentary knowledge of European import/ export laws. Not forgetting of course, the complex task of understanding principles and rituals of Ayurveda.

But that's just part of the story: Ayurveda has been part of Tejal's life since she was a child, thanks to Granny Ramnathkar and her rituals. What was cringeworthy to Tejal growing up (she used to chase her to the bus stop with various Ayurvedic breakfast concoctions that Tejal tried to leave behind) she since realised have powerful, natural benefits. And it doesn't stop there, the peacocks in our design were inspired by one of Granny R's intricate chairs!
What is it all about? Ayurveda is the centuries-old Indian 'knowledge of life' that delivers beauty through wellbeing. It has so much to offer by way of natural and sustainable rituals, herbs and oils that deliver amazing results over time and are good for you both in the near and long term. But it's vast, complex and esoteric -- where and how do you start? 
While most begin with the elements and the philosophy, we're focused on finding Ayurveda's simplest and most powerful rituals for hair and body and making them easy and accessible -- so the insanely busy can take a crack at deeper wellbeing. Think of it as turning regular yoga into hot yoga. Hot yoga gives you a deeper, faster workout, and you feel the results the very next day. Malavara is similar. Our product + marma (acupressure) massage combo is based on ancient principles, but it's working harder and delivering faster due to its powerful natural active ingredients and easy to follow, targeted techniques. It exists because we don't have the time they had in India 5,000 years ago. We want results. Yesterday

As if that's not enough..we believe in our mantra of beauty through wellbeing. We genuinely believe we are delivering something that’s different from the typical hair and bodycare offering and highly relevant to our chemical-laden modern lifestyles. We believe in the power of our rituals and products. We haven’t seen any other beauty or personal care companies with ‘How to Use’ sections that are as elaborate as the Ritual tabs on each of our product pages. Most brands are solely focused on product, but with hair and body care especially, the ritual truly activates the product and maximizes its potential benefits

So which are our favourites? Tejal: Ultra Luxuriant Hair oil: I had regular hair oil massages throughout my Indian childhood and really noticed the nourishing effects fall away when I moved abroad to study in my teens and abandoned the ritual. A long battle with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) brought me back to oiling and now the thick silky hair of my teens is steadily returning with the help of our supercharged Hair Elixir.  Check out the powerful natural ingredients we use in this product here

Alix: Lime Vetiver Dry Silk Body oil. Since childhood I have been a swimmer and have always had dry skin from the  effect of the chlorine and chemicals in the pool. Discovering Body oils has been a game changer for me: they are so much more hydrating than lotions, and are generally natural too, so I know I am avoiding putting even more chemicals onto my skin, which is crucial for a leave-on product. Now that I am training to be an Aromatherapist, I sometimes make me my own and add in a few drops of one of my essential oils, depending on what extra boost I am after on the day.

And another thing close to our hearts...female child education and conversation in India are two causes that are very close to our hearts. We have a tree-planting project we support in Nashik, India and we pay for the schooling of 10 young girls at a school in Mumbai. 

Oh, and one last thing: we wish we looked this young now :)

Alix

Alix

Alexandra Turner, better known as Alix, is the co-founder of Malavara. Having spent 15 years working with European Luxury Goods brands, Alix's passion for wellness, aromatherapy and travel led her to India and Ayurveda. Alix lives in London and keeps busy with a day job, a toddler and our exciting Malavara journey.

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