Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Interview with Steffany Boldrini from Ecobold

This is the first (hopefully) in a series of interviews of lovely people who dedicate their lives to creating or distributing natural and safe products. Steffany Boldrini, the CEO of Ecobold has kindly spent time to answer my questions!

We may know that we want green and natural products, but the question is where does one find them, and if you are making such products, where does one sell them? That is where Ecobold comes in: it is a US-based market place for people to buy and sell natural, green and non-toxic products. Ecobold currently has over 3,000 products from over 130 sellers and is growing fast! You can find anything green on it: products in categories like skincare, cleaning products, books, gardening, food and much much more! It is a great way to shop for everything green under one online roof. At the same time it is great for manufacturers to have such a website where they can present their products. If someone wants to sell their product on Ecobold, it undergoes thorough checks to ensure that it meets all the health and environmental requirements. Ecobold team consists of experts on green and non-toxic products, who do research, investigate the ingredients and also provide the very handy video reviews of different products to educate the customer. Ecobold was founded by Steffany Boldrini, who I have the pleasure of asking a few questions about her experience with her business as well as green products.  

Steffany Boldrini
Hi Steffany, thank you for taking time to do an interview for Core Beauty. How did you come about in being interested in green and non-toxic products and wanted to make this your job? 
The person who influenced me the most has been my mom, she always made sure that we read the ingredients of the food we buy and she keeps feeding me information on why our products are much safer for our health than convenient products out there. The most amazing part of all this is that even if you pay 10% more for a non-toxic product, it ends up being much cheaper than the pain you might go through when they get all kinds of diseases that ingredients in “bad” products can cause. Plus the vast majority of the products on our site have a price that’s the same, if not cheaper, than conventional products!  
How was the idea for Ecobold born? 
Ecobold was born out of my personal mission to teach people how to shop better, I initially wanted to be a consultant and go to people’s houses, wipe out all nasty products, go to the grocery store with them and teach how to shop better. Later I decided that the one-on-one basis of consulting wouldn’t make such a big impact as having something where everyone could access online. Helping manufacturers of these awesome products sell online was also another driver to make the switch.  
What was the process of setting up your own business like? 
Setting it up wasn’t the hardest part, the hard part is getting the word out to the people who care and have them come back for more, a.k.a. marketing!  
What would you say was the biggest challenge you faced in developing Ecobold?  
Everyday there is a different challenge! In the beginning it was finding the right co-founder, then it was launching, and now we are in the process of looking for investment - the hardest part at this time.  
What was the most difficult thing about switching to non-toxic products? Were there some products that you found most difficult to find a natural substitute for? 
It’s actually not hard at all. If you look you’ll find that there’s a safe alternative for almost everything you use: lipstick, makeup, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, cleanser, body lotion, perfume, anti-aging lotions, and the list goes on and on. There are a few products that I still sin with because I haven’t found an alternative that works yet: nail polish, nail polish remover, deodorant and the things that my hairdresser users for my highlights – that’s it!  
Can tell us about your favourite natural skincare and cosmetics brands?  
There are so many good ones out there, it’s hard to choose! I’ve used these serums before, gave to friends and family and we all love them: http://www.ecobold.com/shops/anthoorganic I also can’t wait to try this makeup and lipsticks: http://www.ecobold.com/shops/FreshFace For soaps, I love these: http://www.ecobold.com/shops/blueridgegypsy and http:// www.ecobold.com/shops/Beecology  
What is the morning skincare routine of the Ecobold’s CEO?  
Wash my face with water, spray a fruit mist that my mom gave me the other day, put on my mineral makeup and I’m out the door! I also sometimes I use olive oil around my eyes which I heard works really well for a beautiful skin.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo

Well, as some of you may have noticed I have not done a post in a little while... The reasons are the same as always: work, general business etc. etc... But now I am back! I have not been completely out of the natural and organic loop, as during this time I have tried and used various interesting natural products which I will now be reviewing.
I thought I'd start with a review of a natural shapoo. It seems to be quite a basic part of the personal care regime, and some may be surprised that I have not done review of a natural shampoo already. The reason for that is that until now I have not used a natural shampoo that I was satisfied with. That changed after I tried the John Masters Organics Bare Unscented shampoo.
I have gone on about John Masters as a brand, and my other favourite of their products (and perhaps of all products in the world!) the Blood Orange and Vanilla body wash here
As the name of the shampoo suggests, it was created for someone who is not so keen or is allergic to overly-fragranced (even if natural) products. I am not such a person, I just wanted to try it as all the other shampoos did not really fit my hair description. The biggest difficulty with natural shampoos that many of you may have experienced is that it is hard to find one that actually cleans hair thoroughly, without leaving that slightly oily residue at the back of your head. The JM shampoo came the closest at giving me a fresh and clean feeling after washing my hair. I won't lie, it is not exactly the same as if I washed my hair with a  'dirty' shampoo, but the difference is really negligible. I am prepared for this in order to avoid the nasty chemicals in other shampoos. But that said, JM shampoo was significantly better at giving me a clean hair feeling compared to some other naturals that I have tried. After blow drying, my hair was soft and full of volume, which I really like, it was not weighted down at all. 
The shampoo contains organic extracts of chamomile, white tea and jojoba in order to gently cleanse the hair. In addition it contains wheat amino acids that add shine and smoothness, and evening primrose to nourish and moisturize hair. 
It is suitable for all hair types, which I liked a lot. I have relatively normal, quite fine brown hair with a tendency to become greasy in a couple of days, and this shampoo has been great at cleaning and nourishing hair and scalp, without over-stripping. 
In all honesty, you have to give a natural shampoo a few tries, before you make a decision about whether or not it is suitable for you. If you judge it from the first wash, you will be putting lots of bottles in the bin. Give it a few washes and see your hair and scalp adapt to a more gentle, less harsh shampoo, and if you are looking for one, I would highly recommend the JM Bare Unscented shampoo!