Nadia Narain has been a yoga teacher for over 20 years and now has a range of chemical-free candles, DVDs, apparel and a natural perfume too. We find out more about her products, how she juggles the different elements of her work, and discover her journey so far.
Can you introduce us to who you are and everything that you do?
I’m Nadia Narain and I’m a yoga teacher. When I’m not teaching, I help people with a wellness programme to grow new habits and integrate a healthier way of being into their lives. I also have started a small product range of chemical-free candles and a perfume.
How would you say your background in well-being as a yoga teacher has influenced the way you have built and developed your company?
I’ve been teaching for over 20 years now and, as well as teaching, I like to keep my creative juices flowing. I always burn candles in my classes and in my house and noticed the ones people were giving me were always black around the edges and giving me headaches. So I decided to create something that was natural that I could use and in turn, that my students would like. All the products we have are either organic cotton (the tote bag), ethically sourced (the vests) or the perfume, which is all natural, wild-crafted and organic.
Can you introduce us to Lua Perfume and how/why you went about creating this fragrance? What challenges did it bring creating a perfume that has nothing synthetic added?
Lua is very, very special to me. I created it with Michelle Roques-O’Neil, who is an incredible aromatherapist and a bit a “witchy” in the most beautiful way. It took us nearly two years to come up with something I liked. I have always worn pure aromatherapy oils and everyone commented on the smell, so I decided to try a scent. I came up with how I wanted a woman to feel, and all the smells that surround her and how I wanted the scent to create the feeling of self-love. After many tries, we got it.
The main difficulty with it not being synthetic is that it doesn’t last; you have to keep putting it on, but as I’m used to aromatherapy oils, I’m used to it. A lot of women like to spray perfume on and then that’s it for the day, but Lua doesn’t work like that. It’s so beautiful I wear it daily. I gave a bottle as a gift to a friend – we were on our way out to a party so she put it on. As we walked in and people greeted her, everyone said “Wow, you smell divine!!” I just stood next to her nodding and smiling. It wasn’t just me that loved it!
What you can get with 10 per cent oil is the same as what you can get with one drop of synthetic perfume, so you can understand why people choose perfume. It’s easier and cheaper!
You’ve also got a range of aromatherapy candles made from 100% plant wax and aromatherapy oils. They are chemical-free and recycled. Can you talk us through the production of these, how you source the various elements for them, and why it’s so important to use products like yours around the home?
I have a candle maker in the countryside that hand pours the candles. I wanted to ensure there was no synthetic perfume in them, so we increased the percentage of oil to get the strongest smell we can. What you can get with 10 per cent oil is the same as what you can get with one drop of synthetic perfume, so you can understand why people choose perfume. It’s easier and cheaper!
Aromatherapy oils are subtle compared to perfumed candles so it’s not for everyone. But when you get a more acquired taste to more natural products, you start to notice the difference between the strong, perfumed smelling products and the natural ones. Just as when you start to eat healthier, you start to notice things that have too much sugar or flavour in them and prefer tastes that are more simple, whole and organic.
What golden advice have you learnt along the way that you would pass on to inspired entrepreneurs?
Learn your business well. You have to be the one that knows everything about it from the beginning, from sending an invoice to replying to a customer, to packing the boxes to everything! I wanted to avoid that at the beginning and hire someone but I didn’t have the money, so I had to do it all myself – and still do a lot of the time. Before Christmas I was teaching 3-4 classes then going and packing 12 orders and taking them to the post office to send. It was hard but was also fulfilling in watching it grow. Where it goes, I don’t know – but for now I’m enjoying it!