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 Rosie Khandwala from Sugar StripEase
Tell us about yourself and your company?
Aqua Natural was founded by my husband Hafiz and I in 1989 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, where we remain and continue to do our manufacturing in our own facility. We moved to the UK in 1987 and were looking to start our own business. I grew up on the North East coast of Tanzania and from my teenage years would help out my cousin by working in her salon during my spare time. In Tanzania and particularly amongst the Asian community there, strip-sugaring is the most common form of hair removal, with recipes and techniques handed down from mother to daughter. Upon arriving in the UK I began working as a mobile beauty therapist in the local area. However unable to find sugaring anywhere on the shelves in the shops I would make my own in the kitchen. Seeing a gap in the market we made some enquiries with suppliers and soon after became the first people to introduce strip-sugaring to the UK market. In 1991 we approached Body Shop about contract manufacturing and the product was a hit with Anita Roddick who loved the natural smell. This led to a long and fruitful relationship with Body Shop, as both companies’ ethos suited each other perfectly, until they were taken over by L’Oreal who terminated the long standing partnership in 2009.
A decision had to be made as we had lost our largest client and after discussing our options we felt the product was too good to stop there. This led to us launching our own brand, Sugar StripEase in 2010.
How did you get started?
With a young family a full time job was not an option and therefore I started working as a mobile therapist. I was used to making sugaring back home by simply mixing sugar, lemon juice & water. There was nothing like this available at the time and we realised there was a gap in the market for a strip-sugaring product. Along with my husband we started manufacturing at home using my traditional recipe. As the business grew and we moved into larger premises where we still manufacture ourselves to this day.
What were you doing in a previous life?
I began working in a family salon from the age of 13 that is where I gained experience and vast knowledge of beauty in general. I was able to use this base of knowledge when we began to make the product here. In order to gain a better understanding of the product we were producing I took a course in sugar chemistry, this added much value to my understanding of our manufacturing.
Why natural / organic / sustainable?
Many women are very conscious about what they put into their body but are not as concerned with what they put on it. We have created a product that is easy to use and is great for the skin; we feel that this is an important message to spread. We only use the best quality ingredients, and because there are only two of them we are able to produce a natural product that is gentle to use and environmentally and ethically sound.
What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
Sugar StripEase has gone a step further by making the product with special blends of sugar syrups. This gives the product consistency without changing its texture, smooth pliable application and a longer shelf life. It’s the only sugaring product manufactured in the U.K which has been approved by the BUAV, PETA & Vegan Society.
What kind of feedback you have received from clients?
Our 4.5 star reviews on Amazon, Boots and Feel Unique, as well numerous positive blogger reviews give us the required feedback to know our clients on the whole are happy.
What’s your big dream?
In our dream world we would convince all girls who start removing their hair to leave razors and hair removal creams alone and to use sugaring or waxing products. Removing hair from the roots every 4-6 weeks will eventually weaken the roots and make the re-growth finer, leading to less frequent treatments. It is much healthier for the skin and the hair to remove it from the root. We would like to educate all girls and women on the benefits of removing hair from the root.
Where can we find your products ?
Sugar StripEase can be found on many online platforms, Boots.com, Amazon.co.uk, Feel Unique, Love Lula and Victoria Health.