Entrepreneurs thrive by finding a niche market, often creating a product they have been unable to find elsewhere. Rivka Rose is no exception. Her vision is as clear today as it was when she founded the company way back in 1972. Over 30 years ago Rivka’s mission was to produce, from naturally derived sources, skin and hair care products that had no synthetic additives and which damaged neither the user nor the environment.
“I have always had a great passion for the natural power of plants, herbs and their extracts. At University, I originally majored in English but changed to Sociology and Psychology. In the end, my interest in natural sciences resulted in a life choice of studying plants and their benefits.
“I first studied nutrition and herbs, and then became a qualified aromatherapist. I soon learnt to appreciate the wonders of ancient formulations and the remedial and health benefits these preparations can provide for our skin and hair.”
Born in New York, Rivka lived there until she was 21 and then moved to California.
“I had always dreamed about living in the UK and my travels took me to a remote farm in Kirkcudbrightshire. I then moved to Edinburgh where I managed a friend’s business and eventually set up my own herbal toiletry business, Faith in Nature. I also met my husband Aaron in Scotland and we jointly manage the business together to this day.
“I had tried all of the ‘natural’ brands on the market. Most of them either irritated my skin or just didn’t suit my skin at all, so I thought the best option was to make my own.
“In the early days, I used to collect wild plant materials, and then moved on to growing some of my own. I sold some jewellery and bought some raw materials from a local chemist, along with some very basic jars and lids and set to work.
“Because I had a solid grounding in herbalism, I knew my plants, so I could begin to create products. My kitchen was Faith in Nature’s first factory and theearly products were pretty funky to begin with but they certainly worked.
“Initially, with distribution in mind we visited health storekeepers working hard to get our products stocked. It paid off as many readily accepted the idea of stocking Faith in Nature as we explained to them the value of providing a more holistic approach to body, skin and hair care and as the repeat orders encouragingly gathered pace, and it became apparent we would need to commit to larger-scale production.
“Over time and with much more learning and experience, our products became more refined and elegant, as they are now. We buy plant material in, from reputable sources, as our needs are greater than I could grow, even though I live on half an acre.
“My vision was, and still is, to help those with sensitive skin and to make suitable products that everyone can afford. So, I started with the basics, which meant using naturally derived ingredients, plant materials and essential oils. I also ensured no mineral oil was used in the formulations because this can draw important nutrients from the body, yet is actually still widely used by many companies. All this was underpinned by a commitment to manufacturing as naturally as possible.
“The more articles written in the press and on the radio and TV, not to mention through social media channels, the more it will help to educate and spread the word about the importance of using healthier products on our bodies. People want to improve their health and lifestyle; they want to live a healthier, longer life and it’s our responsibility to help make the information available to them.
“Faith in Nature products are formulated with skills and a knowledge of plants, which goes back thousands of years. Products have never been tested on animals at any stage of bringing them to market: contain no SLS, SLES or Parabens. No synthetic colouring or fragrance. No GM ingredients and all but one variety are Vegan Society approved and all are vegetarian.”