My lightbulb moment: Herbal beauty pioneer reveals the inspiration behind her business

Rivka Rose, 74, founded sustainable beauty brand, Faith In Nature, in 1974. It’s now sold in more than 40 countries. She lives in Manchester with her husband, Aaron, who works in the business. They have two grown-up sons.

I’ve always been passionate about herbalism, nutrition and aromatherapy. Growing up in New York, I started collecting plants and creating my own natural herbal products which I sold door-to-door.

Then in 1972, aged 26, I came over to the UK to visit a friend who was living by the Solway Firth in Scotland, and he asked me to run his shop. The winds were strong and the climate was harsh, so I looked for a moisturiser in a health food store. Nothing worked. Back then green beauty didn’t exist in the UK. So I decided to make my own range of beauty products in my kitchen, using beeswax instead of paraffin, and essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances.

Rivka Rose, 74, (pictured) who lives in Manchester, revealed the inspiration behind her sustainable beauty brand, Faith In Nature

Rivka Rose, 74, (pictured) who lives in Manchester, revealed the inspiration behind her sustainable beauty brand, Faith In Nature

Rivka Rose, 74, (pictured) who lives in Manchester, revealed the inspiration behind her sustainable beauty brand, Faith In Nature

I had to pawn a gold watch, given to me by my parents, to buy some ingredients, and I gathered seaweed from the beach to make the Organic Seaweed Shampoo.

I gave the products to friends and everybody raved about them. So I went down to London and knocked on the doors of health food stores. Orders poured in. In 1974, Faith In Nature was born. Later I bought two buildings, cheaply, in Edinburgh — one was my first factory, and the other was where I sold my products.

Eco-friendly: faithinnature.co.uk

Eco-friendly: faithinnature.co.uk

Eco-friendly: faithinnature.co.uk

In 1989 we moved to Manchester, and have a manufacturing site in Radcliffe, Bury, powered by sustainable biomass energy. We’ve just bought a site in an old iron foundry which we’re renovating to be our new home.

I’ve always been passionate about recycling. Early on, I made shampoo and conditioner available in five litre and 25 litre sizes (to cut down packaging) which was considered outrageous then. Today, our products are certified 99 to 100 per cent natural origin, cruelty-free and vegan, with no artificial colours or synthetic perfumes. We are stocked in Holland & Barrett, Waitrose and Boots.

In your 20s you think you can do anything, but I was focused and didn’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of what I wanted to do. 

Link hienalouca.com

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