CPP-LUXURY has recently interviewed Bittu Kaushal, co-founder of MAULI Rituals an inspiring botanical based cosmetics brand.
1. How did you come up with the idea of setting up a natural beauty brand?
Both Anita and I previously worked in premium skincare development and distribution respectively. This gave us great insights into the superb synthetic products that delivered some promising results. My father is an Ayurvedic doctor and it was during a trip to his ancestral home that we re-discovered the healing power of India’s ancient wisdom, traditions and revered beauty rituals. We were also very familiar with the locally made natural and wellbeing products but for us, these lacked the scent, texture, application and indeed the manufacturing transparency we had come to expect. So, we decided to create our own.
2. In today’s highly competitive beauty market, what are the key differentiators of MAULI?
Yes the market is competitive but it’s also big and each brand brings their own uniqueness to what they do and then it comes down to resonance. As native Brits of Indian origin, we are in the privileged position of having a keen sense of British refinement and living an authentic modern Ayurvedic lifestyle. Our knowledge of and passion for India’s nutrient-dense botanicals combined with access to the UK’s most highly respected practitioners, aromatherapists and chemists results in powerful formulations that are efficacious, safe and exquisite for hair, skin and senses.
Our previous experience makes us both mindful of what both retailer and buyer need and want from a brand. Our obsession for excellence in natural products that are beautifully presented borders on mania but as a result, there is nothing quite like Mauli. From the sophisticated layering of our opulent botanicals, to the recyclable and reusable packaging to offering a sacred red thread with each product, our brand is imbued with intention.
3. Tell us more about your product development. What inspires a certain product/range?
The more products we have seen and worked with, the more we realise the power of our parents’ simple rituals. Anita’s mother is 82 and has the most striking, luminous skin and she only ever used oils on it. Anita’s grandmother was a midwife and the first thing she taught new mothers was the value of daily massage for building healthy bones and an alert mind. We both grew up being given weekly head massages. There is a reason these rituals have stood the test of time and while we push the limits in terms of efficacy and opulence, the essence remains – we honour our past by making it relevant for the present.
5. With your company based in the UK, which are your present key distribution markets?
We only launched in 2014 and are already in some of the most respected destinations including Liberty, Grace Belgravia and SpaceNK, plus in the beautiful Bulgari Spa. We want to give these and other UK retailers and spas our very best before looking at other markets. That said, 2016 will see us moving into new markets but only when we find distributors aligned with our values.
6. What is your sales approach in terms of retail versus Spa?
We will be more weighted towards Spas but retail will always remain part of the mix.
7. You recently launched at the Spa at Bulgari Hotel, one of the finest in London. Tell us more.
We are very similar to Bulgari in many ways. Both our brands undoubtedly look and feel beautiful, but there is a resonance beyond the five senses. Again, I come back to the word ‘intention’ and we share a desire to serve and offer wellbeing that goes beyond skin deep. The Bulgari Spa team and our own team give clients the means to disconnect, so they can truly reconnect. We share the same ethos and that makes Bulgari the perfect place in which to launch.
8. How important is social media and digital in general for your brand?
Right now it’s all done in house on a pretty basic level. While that means we have not really made the most of this powerful resource, it does mean we can get to know our customer and what they want from us. Again, we do want to work with a social media company but it has to be right and an authentic exchange.
9. What is your comp set?
Ours is an independent company and we collaborate with Ayurvedic practitioners, chemists and leading aromatherapists in England and NGO’s in India.
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