Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Reycel Baysa from Organic Fiji

 

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#Founderspotlight - Organic Fiji - Reycel Baysa

Organic Fiji offer a pampering whole body wellness line inspired by ancient Fijian traditions. Never compromising on purity or performance, they create artisan personal care products extracted from nature’s organic apothecary for the ultimate head-to-toe luxuriation.

Indulge in nourishing lotions, cleansing soaps, multi-functional oils, invigorating body scrubs and quenching lip balms. All powered by the active ingredients – raw, organic, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil and pure essential oils.

Clean, biodegradable, wilderness/marine safe, vegan, cruelty free, allergy friendly and packed full of exotic island vibes. This responsibly sourced and ethically produced line will nourish and holistically heal your whole body as well as invigorate your senses.

Dedicated to product purity, Organic Fiji is proud to have been USDA certified organic for over 13 years. Only the cleanest of plant powered ingredients pass their high standards. Safe for people and the planet!

What inspired you to start your business?

Organic Fiji products represent a simpler way of life to me. The products are all about people being able to feel healthier and more confident in their own skin, using the gifts that nature offers rather than feeling like they need to use toxic chemicals. I am passionate about sharing that feeling and my love for the products fuels me to keep working hard for the customers.

The roots and inspiration of these products run deep. I grew up on a small island, a haven of tropical natural beauty. The coastline of the island is skimmed by gentle coves, powder white sand beaches and stunning coral reefs. There are coconut trees everywhere and traditions that are in harmony with nature. The coconut is part of our island culture’s daily routines – coconut milk for cooking, coconut oil for skin and hair treatments, fresh coconut juice for drinking and fresh coconut meat as a delicious snack.

I want to bring the island traditions of holistic wellness to a market that is ready for mindful change, ready to make healthier decisions for themselves and ready to commit to cleaner (and greener!) beauty that is safer for them, their families and the planet.

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How have you prevailed?

We work hard to flush green washing out so it doesn’t stop us producing products at the standards we believe in. I make sure that I, and all our team, are educated on ingredients, real certifications and solid facts rather than marketing terms alone. This prevents us from getting caught up in green washing. We use vendors that have a long history of sourcing organic ingredients, have integrity in their work, provide us documentation for certifications and allow us to ask questions until we are comfortable. I really believe in knowledge translating to power, so we are dedicated to constantly learning how we can improve our products with cleaner, less toxic ingredients. We also enjoy connecting with our customers big and small, to be transparent, share our knowledge and combat any green washing myths.

What is one of your favourite products? Can you tell us more about this product?

It's so hard to pick a favorite product because I really enjoy them all. But I think in joint first place are the scrubs and the oils. I have super thick and curly hair, it can be very hard to manage, but the Organic Fiji oils have changed that. I cannot live without it. The oil makes my hair soft, manageable and healthy. It has even saved my hair from being permanently damaged from harsh treatments, and it encourages it to grow quickly too! After growing up with ‘hair-anxiety’ (it’s a real thing!) I have finally, with the help of these oils, grown to embrace and love my naturally curly hair.

Organic Fiji Scrubs are my lifesaver too. I am a typical South-Pacific woman who would love her skin to be lighter. It’s built into our culture unfortunately. When I was younger I even tried using whitening products. One day Karma hit me, I woke up with itchy skin and noticed I had a rash all the way from my arms to my legs. A dermatologist told me I had a really bad allergic reaction from the products because they were full of chemicals. She gave me some allergy medication and the rash started to vanish. But the saddest part is that the scars were still visible, a valuable reminder to not only embrace my natural skin, but also to make a commitment to myself to use products that are gentle, allergy friendly and organic. After formulating our organic body scrubs, I started using the Lemongrass Tangerine variation daily and after just a few uses, I noticed the scars on my arms and legs were getting lighter. After several months, all my scars had vanished and I am so happy. What a valuable lesson to learn about ingredients and confidence too.

Overall, I love Organic Fiji products because they changed my life and how I feel in my own skin. The products give me more confidence in my natural self and that’s what I hope to inspire in others too. Without the use of gimmicks or greenwashing, just simple island techniques with beautiful aromas, clean ingredients and the reassurance of organic certifications.

What are your favourite ingredients and why?

My favorite ingredient is of course our active ingredient – raw coconut oil! It just has so many great holistic uses, not just in beauty regimes but in general health and wellness too. Due to its molecular structure and high lauric acid and medium chain triglyceride (MCT) content there really is a benefit for everyone, and it’s wonderfully versatile. I make sure we use it in every single product and I make sure it’s the highest grade of coconut oil so customers don’t lose any of those great benefits. Not all coconut oil is created equal.

I also really love the organic tea tree essential oil that we use in our Tea Tree Spearmint products, it has such fabulous skin healing benefits that I call it my natural first aid kit!

Share your brand ethos and how you demonstrate credibility as it relates to your formulation and ingredients

We have been USDA certified organic by Oregon Tilth for over 13 years now. As with anything that brings true satisfaction there are always challenges. Certifications take a lot of work and are costly. Oregon Tilth in particular is known as being one of the oldest, most established and strict certifying agents there are, but going through their program ensures we are not settling for anything but the cleanest ingredients. It even means the products are organic to a food standard! A USDA certified organic product must be Non GMO to be approved too, so that rules out any synthetic or toxic ingredients. There’s no point in any of this unless we keep our standards high and do our best. We keep going until we get it right, no matter how many times it takes.

After looking at the journey of our products, we can feel proud that we’ve come a long way. Formulas have continued to evolve and improve as we’ve learned more and as better and cleaner ingredients have become available. We constantly challenge ourselves to strive and improve.

Our mission is not to sacrifice purity or performance – this too can be challenging. Many pure ingredients don’t have the desired effects people expect, and the ingredients that give the desired effect don’t usually pass our high standards, so we really work hard to make sure we find the cleanest ingredients that also perform well too.

I believe in plant power, so creating products that are truly vegan, cruelty free and against animal testing is important to me. I make sure that all our vendors hold the same integrity, because we are all connected and should all move closer towards ethical production together. We do laugh though, because our resident Organic Fiji office dog really enjoys a little of our culinary coconut oil on her kibble, but she tests that with her own free will 😉

What are some myths in the clean/green beauty sector that should be debunked?

The first common myth is that organic beauty is too expensive. A higher grade of product does mean that you pay a slightly higher price point for organic ingredients – but you’re not paying for the chemical side effects later on in life, or the costs it takes to remedy them, so it’s absolutely worth it and cost effective overall. It is a valuable investment that will pay you dividends in the future. We make our line very affordable, with constant sales and free shipping options too. Organic Fiji is meant for everyone, not just high-end spas or people with higher incomes. (But it sure does feel like a pampering home-spa treatment you can enjoy!).

The second myth is that organic products don’t perform as well as mainstream products. I believe the performance of a product, any product, is a direct reflection of the brand’s effort to source ingredients that are both clean and beneficial, as well as perfecting the formulation no matter how long it takes. Green beauty doesn’t have to sacrifice quality when the brand spends valuable time and effort making sure the product performance is at the highest.

What motivates you to get up every day and keep going after getting knocked down by obstacles constantly?

What keeps us going is the customers! Sounds cliche, but it’s true. Sometimes when you feel tired and knocked down by logistical hurdles and a sometimes savage industry, the phone rings (we still have humans answering our phones!) and we connect with a customer. A customer who is picking up their phone to tell us how the products have changed their life in some unique way. We get customers who tell us about their psoriasis being cured by our products. We get customers telling us how severe their allergies are, how they’ve felt held back their whole life and now they have found an organic product that finally works for them. We get doctors from practices like Harbor General UCLA Medical Center telling us our organic coconut oil works better for their patient’s eczema than the steroids they’ve been prescribing for years. We even get farmers telling us they use our products on their pigs sensitive skin! Dog owners saying how our coconut oil helped their dogs coat. Acne sufferers with new confidence from clearer skin! It’s wild how diverse the feedback is. And it keeps coming, every day, like a positive reminder to keep going, even through the challenges.

Thank you Reycel Baysa for sharing your powerful story behind Organic Fiji Your dedication for creating top quality products that are kind to the earth and kind to people is absolutely inspiring!

See Organic Fiji website, and follow them on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Reycel Baysa from Organic Fiji - Discover Honest Reviews Of Non Toxic & Organic Skincare