Anne Dolbeau founded INARA with an inspiring brand mission. Based on values she learned as a child, INARA promises to appreciate the beauty of nature and its healing power, respect traditions held by others and to help those less fortunate. These core beliefs are important values for an individual, but they work on so much more a powerful scale when adopted by an entire company. Anne succeeded in her mission by using Babassu oil as the signature ingredient in the INARA organic body care line. The nurturing kernel oil has been used for its healing moisture properties for centuries. They get the oil through a fair trade co-op that makes life better for the people of Maranhao, Brazil. These people have been harvesting the Babassu for centuries. And it’s people like Anne and others who participate in the co-ops who have helped protect the land and Babassu trees and the people who depend on them. Click here to learn more about the fair trade cooperatives or about Babassu oil. Here’s what Anne had to say about creating INARA, Babassu oil and the inspiration behind it all:
With so many ‘organic’ brands out there, what makes INARA stand out?
I believe INARA stands out for several reasons: we only use the highest quality certified organic ingredients, we use Babassu for the base of all our products and we are very selective about who we let market our products. What is great about INARA is that we have always been ahead of the curve. We saw a need in the marketplace for an organic body care line that was truly ‘organic’ and have been using certified organic ingredients since we launched our company in 2001.
Until recently, I did not see a need to carry the USDA mark on our products, but with the demand from consumers and the media, I think it only prudent for us to do so. In late 2008 INARA will carry the USDA certification on all the products.
Tell us what made you fall in love with the Babassu?
Not only did it prove to be an incredibly nourishing and hydrating oil, equally it gave purpose to our business. By purchasing directly from the co-op we are able to support the livelihood of many people while offering high-quality organic products.
What was your inspiration for INARA and why did you dedicate your line to the women of the southeastern Amazon region of Brazil?
I did not start INARA with the idea of Babassu. It came to me quite by accident while we were searching for organic oils to use. It was the best thing that could have happened. We realized that it gave purpose and meaning to our work. There was no other option and that is why Babassu is found in every product we offer.
What’s the most inspiring thing you experience when you are at the indigenous women’s cooperative in Maranhao, Brazil?
It may sound simple but their genuine happiness and love of life was what inspired me more than anything. Their generous spirit and open hearts moved me to action. I came home with a renewed sense of purpose.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, what does ‘fair trade’ mean and why is it important?
Fair trade is a term we use to talk about our relationship with the women we support. At INARA we purchase our raw material—Babassu Oil—directly from those women. This then guarantees that they will benefit directly as there is no middleman to take a cut of their wages. We know that each time we purchase the oil the money goes right to them. We do not participate in a sponsored fair trade organization, but on our own.
Tell me a little about the organic ingredients in your products.
Babassu is unique in that it has a cooling effect when applied to the skin.
It also feels like you have a layer of velvet on your skin once it has dried. It’s a wonderful sensation. We chose the Enliven blend of Grapefruit, Rose Geranium, Mandarin and Sage because the pleasant aroma appealed to men and women. The oils create a wonderful scent that is invigorating but never overpowering.
Words you live by?
Make your mark and leave a legacy that your children will cherish!
Do you have any favorite products in your line?
While I love our Sugar Rub and the way it makes my skin feel, it is our Babassu Body Crème that I simply cannot live without. I live in Colorado and regardless of the beautiful sunny skies; we have the altitude and dry climate that is a killer on our skin. I love the nourishing Olive oil and Babassu. It’s like giving my skin a drink of water!