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Homegrown goodness

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Is it even good skincare if you are slathering your skin with chemicals, silicones, and parabens? Wanting to get the perfect flawless skin, people often turn to expensive brands and overlook the toxic components hiding behind the grand packaging.

Having grown up using natural, homegrown remedies, Thrissur-native Anciya K A never had to deal with skin conditions. Through her entrepreneurial venture, ‘Ummees Naturals’, the 24-year-old is spreading the goodness of homemade natural beauty products. Started in the year 2017, Anciya now sells over 38 varieties of skincare products that are made from natural ingredients available at home.

“My mother never allowed me to use the skin and body care products available in the market. Instead, she prepares natural remedies at home with medicinal, organic items growing in our backyard. She was known for her hair oil. It was so popular that our neighbours would ask for it before they travel abroad,” says Anciya.

It all started when Anciya posted an image of her mother making the homemade hair oil. “I love to write and my writings get a fair readership on social media. In the post, I described the product and the effort my mother takes to make it. Soon, enquiries came in for the hair oil, and some even placed orders,” says Anciya. The oil contains aloe vera, vetiver, goat milk, coconut oil and gooseberry among other ingredients.

“My customers had sent me Rs 5,000 as an advance, and that was my first investment. To date, I haven’t spent a single penny on Ummees. I only re-invest the amount I get from selling the products,” she adds. For a year, Ummees made just hair oil. Positive feedbacks started flowing in. Understanding the demand for natural products, Anciya decided to expand her venture.

Getting help from Ayurveda doctors, Anciya made several products at home, including, herbal soap, face pack, lip balm, henna powder, kajal, face wash and shampoo. “I spent two years researching the making process,” she adds.

The youngster says that 98% of ingredients are homegrown. Few items sourced from the market are edible preservatives, camphor, and packaging material.

Price: Below Rs 1,000 Instagram: @ummees_naturals

Crossing borders
Many women would approach Anciya for work when Ummees took off. Due to space constraints, she couldn’t set up a unit in her house. “I still give the women ingredients so they could farm them in their space. Once it is harvested and the produces are handed over to me, they are paid accordingly. I have people farming the ingredients in almost every district,” says Anciya.Anciya receives over 60 orders daily now. Her husband Ramsheed, a graphic designer, also joined the venture recently and manages the labelling and visual marketing.

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