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Interview to Karmen Novak, founder of Flower & Spice

1- What is your inspiration behind launching your very own skincare line?

For me launching a skincare brand can almost be seen as a coincidence, but it’s a result of a passion for wellness that I had from a young age. I always enjoyed visiting natural stores, spas. At age 35, I found myself at a crossroads about what will I do in the next period of my life. After a pretty stressful career in fashion, marketing and video production, I moved to a new country, The Netherlands. After searching for a while for a job in the marketing field, I realized that this is not the thing I would enjoy doing. I decided to learn how to formulate natural products and fell in love with it. This is how it has all begun.

2- What does the term Sustainability in the Beauty Industry mean to you? How do you ensure this is followed with your brand?

When I think about sustainability, I think about sustainability in all we do and consume. I believe that we all need to implement sustainable practices in all areas of our life. With beauty, I think that mindset “less is more” is an excellent place to start. That’s why I try to create products that address many concerns, so we don’t have to use too many products to complete our skincare routine. Our ingredients are sustainably sourced wherever possible, and our products are manufactured in a Swiss laboratory with CSE – a Certified Sustainable Economics Standard. We also provide our products in glass packaging.

3- How do you choose the ingredients for your products? Do you have a Hero ingredient?

I choose ingredients by two parameters, what are they good for to treat skin concerns and how they affect our mind. It’s known that, for example, essential oils can have a fantastic aromatherapy effect while address many skin issues. So I never look at price when I formulate, but solely on benefits.

I absolutely love FENNEL; it reminds me of my childhood when my mom made me fennel tea to make me feel better. Fennel is an amazing ingredient that prevents TAW – trans epidermal water loss, is anti – inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-fungal.

4- What do your daily, weekly and monthly rituals look like?

As an owner of a growing company, I had to learn how to take time for myself regularly because otherwise, I notice that stress can have a devastating effect on my health.    

Daily I can say I do anything special. I try to do around 20-30 minutes of yoga to stretch, I am trying to get enough sleep, 8 hours if possible, and I feel this is already helping me feel better. I also try to eat clean and healthy.

Weekly I go to a massage; I love massages, so I don’t even have to make myself do that. I never forget it! Another thing that relaxes me is taking a bath, and I do that at any time of the day that I need it. So if I feel stressed or tense, I can prepare myself a relaxing bath even in-between meetings. 15-20 minutes is all I need.

Monthly I try to go with my partner to visit some new city for a few days. I love weekend getaways! I love to explore new locations, different types of food, since I am a big food lover and take time for the two of us.

5- Any exciting plans for 2022?

There are many plans in my head, and I love to make new ones daily. I love the creative part of being an entrepreneur. Nobody stands in your way, and you can do whatever you want. With the brand, we are launching at least one new product! One is already in the testing and coming hopefully in spring, and I am already working on another one. We will also try to expand in professional salons. Now that covid is a bit more manageable, we are already doing it, and customers seem to enjoy having a natural option for their facials

6- What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?

When I was 15, I was pretty timid. I would tell myself not to be too afraid of the future, that most of the decisions you make at that time do not have a significant effect on your later life. Life is full of surprises, and you can always affect the course of your destiny.

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