Let me ask you a question – would you go to any dentist in any town for your routine check-up? Are you happy to go to any hairdresser who has an appointment? The answer will be no! – we do business with those we like, know, and trust!
As customers we want to know if we can ‘like, know, and trust’ the companies we buy from, so in this series we ask the person behind some of my favourite natural and organic companies to step out into the spotlight.
It’s the turn of Taryn Rule from Umundu Ltd (UK Distributor of Africology Skincare Products)
Tell us about yourself and your company…
I was born and grew up in Johannesburg. I’m a beauty therapist by trade. I trained at The New You Academy of Beauty Technology in South Africa and have over 16 years’ experience in the field. I qualified as a Somatologist, Aromatherapist, Reflexologist and Sports Therapist in 1999 and have National Diplomas and ITEC Qualifications in all the above therapies.
My company is called Umundu Ltd and it’s a start-up company. Umundu is the UK distributor of Africology skincare products. Umundu in the Luhya language, spoken in parts of Kenya, stands for humanness, or the act of being humane to other human beings and to nature in general. It’s the same concept of ‘Ubuntu’ in the Xhosa culture, which means “I am because we are”.
Africology offers luxury, natural and eco-friendly skincare, body and lifestyle products, fragranced only with pure essential oils. Africology are an ethical company committed to fair trade while respecting the earth and supporting local communities.
We launched our online UK store in September 2016.
How did you get started?
I opened a mobile beauty therapy company in 2005. After just a few months of trading it was featured in an editorial by Kinvara Balfour of Daily Candy London. Inside Out Mobile Beauty grew significantly over the next few months and I recruited freelance therapists to join my team. Inside Out Mobile Beauty operated as one of the leading mobile beauty therapy companies in London receiving rave reviews in a press article by Glamour Magazine. It was featured on Imogen Lloyd Webber’s website, The Single Girls’ Guide to London, as the best mobile beauticians in London.
A couple of years after starting my business, my partner and I embarked on an overland adventure through Africa. We took a year out and drove from London to Cape Town and were continually captivated by the cultural diversity. I’m humbled by the generosity of the people and their willingness to share what little they have, never expecting anything in return. My heart belongs to Africa.
It was then that I started dreaming of establishing an African Day Spa in the UK. I continued running my mobile therapy business on a smaller scale on our return. Over the past few years and since starting a family, I’ve reduced the amount of treatments I perform. This has allowed me to spend precious time with my children and begin transforming my business. I love my industry so didn’t want to move away from it.
What were you doing in a previous life?
I started my career working for a renowned Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon before relocating to the UK in June 2001. I worked at a couple of salons before joining Spa at 51, which was voted as one of the top 100 Spas in the world during my employment.
Why natural / organic / sustainable?
It’s what I’m passionate about. It’s important to me, but more so to our beautiful world. We only have one world and it’s hurting. I strive to reduce my impact on the environment in every aspect of my life from how I choose to raise my kids to how I run my business. With every decision, I first think ‘What impact will this have on the environment?’.
What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
What sets me apart is my passion, love and knowledge of an industry that I have been part of for over 16 years. I’m always learning, bettering myself, staying on top of the industry – through theory and practical training. I’m good at what I do and my clients trust me. My treatments are tailored to the client’s specific needs – they are creative and holistic. It’s all about listening and understanding what each specific client wants and needs. There’s no ‘one model fits all’ for therapies.
What kind of feedback you have received from clients?
” Best treatment ever, knowledgeable, reliable.”
“I first experienced Africology on a trip to South Africa last year and completely fell in love with the products. I have the facial oil, Body Butter and Vanilla body scent and absolutely love all of them. We had the linen and pillow spray next to our bed and even my husband missed the wonderful smell when it was gone, hence my recent purchase. I am so pleased I have found where to buy this amazing product from in the UK and look forward to ordering more from a helpful, polite, responsive team!”
I think the best compliment I received was from a client who, after me telling her I was transforming my business and moving away from doing treatments, said that me no longer offering massages was a loss to humanity.
What’s the next big launch / project coming up for you?
Launch of Africology in the UK and working to create brand awareness.
What’s your big dream?
Once I have established the Africology brand in the UK, I plan on fulfilling my long-term dream of opening an African Day Spa where clients can experience the warmth and hospitality of African people through our signature Africology treatments, thus creating a unique therapeutic service. It will have sustainable development, social responsibility and empowerment of disadvantaged African communities as its core vision.
Ethical business practices, environmentally responsible policies and fair-trade will underpin this vision. We will add another R to reduce, reuse and recycle by reinvesting in the income potential of less fortunate communities in Africa by supporting their projects. This will be achieved by purchasing African products at a fair price thereby generating adequate income to improve living standards.
I believe that a little goes a long way, and if I can enrich a few lives and empower a handful of people through my vision, I have done what I set out to do, and that is giving back to the place and people to whom my heart belongs.
Where can we find your products?
You can purchase our products directly from our online store HERE>>