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Keeping Things Simple: An Interview with Saha of Mayur Naturals

As a child, Mayur Naturals creator Saha spent a lot of days fleeing from a grandmother determined to smear papaya on her face. But as an adult, she's now deeply grateful for the lessons learned about natural skincare at her grandmother's side, and she brings these philosophies to her customers through her range of simple, nourishing products. Follow along on her journey and learn why the simplest things are sometimes the best.

Navago: How did you get started with natural skincare and Mayur Naturals?

Saha: Prior to Mayur Naturals my entire career was in the corporate world, related to online and ecommerce. Then I came home sick after a long trip. I'd been travelling extensively in India and while I was there I didn't realize the effects the pollution in the air and food had on my body. When I got home, I was really quite unwell. I had hives, allergies from top to bottom, and I just knew that I had to detox. I'd been doing my own skincare for about ten years and my approach was based on the ideas of nourishment and detox. When I started using the same natural skincare products again, the purity of it and the ingredients made such huge improvements to my skin. When I saw that, I wanted to help other people in a similar position, so I started Mayur Naturals.

Navago: What are the core values of your business?

Saha: My core values are to let my customers know what they're putting on their skin and to keep my products as simple as possible. I don't use 25 different ingredients, my philosophy is very minimalist. I hold fast to what has worked for me and that is to keep it simple and to put the maximum amount of the key ingredient in every product. So my ingredient lists are very simple and straightforward. When you read them, you'll understand exactly what you're putting on your skin.

Navago: Is there something in your background that influences your natural skincare products?

Saha: I grew up in India with my grandmother chasing us around with stuff from the kitchen. She had the most beautiful skin and she always used stuff out of her kitchen. Sometimes it was fruit that was mashed up, or cream from whole milk. I used to run from this as a child, but now I really appreciate what she did and what she taught me about these ingredients. Some of my face masks are my way of bringing these ideas to the modern world. They're as close as you can get to what grandma used to do but without the hassle.

Navago: How did you choose the name of your company?

Saha: I think it was almost divine intervention. I didn't know what to call it, I'm not very creative in that way, and the name Mayur just came to me when I was in the car. I didn't know what it meant, but I looked it up when I got home and in Sanskrit Mayur is a peacock. I looked up the spiritual meaning of the peacock and it spoke absolutely, directly to what I wanted to build. The peacock symbolizes inner beauty, as well as integrity, and those are the ideas I wanted to build Mayur around.

Navago: What are some of your favorite products?

Saha: The face elixir is the first thing I made when I was about 40 and the wrinkles were coming, and I made it just playing around with stuff. The difference to my skin was so extreme and I actually wrote to my sister saying "Stop with the Botox, I have something better for you." The natural face masks are also really personal to me because of my grandma. The challenge with these was to bring what I'd learned from her to the modern world, keeping it as authentic as possible.

Navago: What were your biggest struggles building this business?

Saha: I think the biggest challenge was that this is a completely new line of work for me. I've never done retail and I'm a relatively shy person as well. It's been a process to learn to communicate with people about my products. I've also learned through this process that if you believe in something and you keep doing it with integrity, the next step just opens up. You don't have to know five steps ahead, you'll just discover it as you go along.

Navago: Are men and women becoming more knowledgeable about natural skincare?

Saha: I think the beauty industry tends to market to women. That's why we've seen a huge increase in women's knowledge of the ingredients in skincare over the last two years. But in my experience, men are happily unaware of what they use on their skin and they don't ask questions. I think this needs to change. When I started this business, I was aware of all this, so I made a special effort to keep my natural skincare products unisex. Some of them may have a more feminine fragrance, but that's the exception, not the rule.

Navago: What type of feedback do you get from your customers?

Saha: I'm always really surprised by the customer feedback, particularly when a customer comes back after using one of my products surprised that it actually worked. It just makes my day because they have so many purchase choices and yet they take the time to write on my website and give me that feedback.