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Our Meet the Maker series interviews inspiring founders about their businesses and passions. We are deeply inspired by these people and we hope our readers will be too! This week, we speak with Nicola Connolly of Nunaïa.
Nicola, a pleasure to meet you! Can you tell us a little about Nunaïa?
Nunaïa is an Irish beauty wellness brand that helps people create moments of connection in their day through their daily beauty wellness rituals. We create high-performance ethical and sustainable superfood skincare rituals that restore skin health, bring greater calm and fit seamlessly into your beauty routine.
What brought you to South America initially? And how/why did you create Nunaïa?
The idea for Nunaïa was born from a journey of self-exploration and discovery. I felt a sense of disconnection in my own life so embarked on a journey to re-connect with what it was I truly wanted out of life. I spent over a decade working, researching and living with traditional communities on the Galapagos islands, Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains of Peru studying the techniques they used for maintaining their health and wellness and what I call the "art of living well".
As I delved into these fascinating cultures in some of the most pristine and remote parts of the world, I became fascinated by how they were using plants from their natural environment to heal their body and minds. They were blending these natural remedies with their ancestral traditions and wisdom that they had been using for thousands of years. Despite the harsh conditions they were incredibly content and healthy.
The idea for Nunaïa was born from these experiences as a way to share this fascinating knowledge and help to bring moments of connection and balance back into people’s daily lives.
How does the brand reflect the ancient wisdom of the communities you worked with?
By introducing rituals – a series of simple steps that help you bring more mindfulness and calm into your skincare routine. It works whether you have 2 minutes or ten minutes and allows you to re-set and re-balance at the end of the day. Instead of thinking about your to-do list for tomorrow you can carve out a few moments of time to check in with how you feel, ease out any stress or tension in your face and allow yourself a little moment to rest and thank yourself for all the amazing work you do every day.
Can you tell us a little about how you work with your producers in Peru and why working with these types of ingredients makes Nunaïa so different from traditional skincare brands?
We believe that no one should suffer from what you put on your skin – either you or others, as well as our growers and our shared environment. We work directly with small farmer growers, primarily in the Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest of Peru, who use sustainable, certified organic farming practices that don’t damage the earth, and which empower them to preserve their cultural traditions and build sustainable futures for their families.
The difference is that we have full visibility across our supply chain and can stand by the quality of every single ingredient we use in terms of how It is grown, harvested and processed. Our growers are all treated fairly and with kindness.
Should consumers be careful about using high street cosmetic brands? Why should we avoid buying these types of products?
I think we have incredible power every time we buy something. Personally, I choose to support smaller, ethical and sustainable brands that genuinely care about people and planet. I believe this is a great way to make positive change in today’s world with every euro I spend.
Have you any other habits or routines that you swear by for living a healthy and happy life in our Western World?
I have a whole raft of rituals I use in my daily life including everything from my morning meditation and yoga practice to stopping for my tea ritual in the middle of my work day. Anything that helps me stay grounded and calm I try to do more of particularly at the moment in these unsettled times!
Any other favourite sustainable and ethical brands that you are a fan of?
I’m a big fan of White & Green and I also love the ethical sleepwear range by Moon and Mellow, another lovely Irish brand.
Nicola has kindly offered all White & Green readers a discount code WG15 available for a limited time only! Shop now here.