A while ago I featured on my instagram stories the most amazing, vegan friendly, organic, pregnancy safe cosmetic products from Natralogic. All proudly made in South Africa. I can honestly say I have been using Natralogic for a little over a month now and I’m slightly obsessed. In fact, as bad as it sounds, I can’t get over the fact that something of such high quality and “prestige” is literally manufactured in our own back yard! That’s a whole different story however, and in a few weeks when I post my review of the range I’ll be launching a giveaway to go with it. Whether you are pregnant or not, trust me, this is not a giveaway you’ll want to miss out on, so keep your eyes locked on my page 🙂
For now I want to tell you more about Lauren’s journey in creating Natralogic. I’ve said it before but motherhood opened my eyes to a hugely creative, influential community of strong powerhouse mama’s. They continue to inspire me and push me further everyday and Lauren’s story is no different. So read on to see how she went about starting this incredible range, and what her plans are for the future. I hope her story inspires you to go out there and achieve your dreams, it is possible!
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I was born in Cape Town but was raised and schooled in Durban. I attended the University of KwaZulu-Natal and after qualifying, I began a career in the cosmetic industry as a formulation chemist. I currently work as a Consulting Cosmetic Research and Development Chemist with a cosmetic manufacturer in Durban. I have been with my husband Donald for 15 years and we have been married for 8 years. We have a 4-year old son, Connor, and live in Hillcrest, Durban.
How did “Natralogic” come about?
When I became pregnant with Connor, I became very discouraged in trying to find safe and effective skincare products to use during my pregnancy. The majority of products available in South Africa for pregnant mothers contained harmful ingredients that are not recommended for use during pregnancy as they have been associated with miscarriage, bleeding complications, congenital disabilities, disruption in foetal growth and some are known carcinogens. The limited natural products that I could find were mostly just thick oils and balms that made me feel so sticky and hot, which as you know isn’t ideal during pregnancy, and did not have sufficient concentration levels of active ingredients to be effective. Being involved in the skincare industry, I was fortunate to be able to develop products to use during my pregnancy, which I made sure contained only the safest, most effective natural ingredients. This then inspired me to launch Natralogic, South Africa’s first all-natural skincare range developed specifically for the needs of pregnant women, with the intention of helping other moms feel empowered and at ease over their pregnancy skincare choices.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I hold a Master’s Degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where I graduated with several Certificates of Merit and Deans Commendations. I also hold a 2-year Diploma in Cosmetic Chemistry from the Society of Cosmetic Science South Africa where I graduated top in the country and received the Norman Sanan Award for most innovative product design. During my studies, I also published several articles in peer review Journals including the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics and the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Review. My Master’s thesis at the time of publication was also considered to be a viable cure for cancer.
Whilst my Diploma in Cosmetic Chemistry is very specific to my field, my Master’s Degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry is probably more suited to pharmaceutical research and development. This Master’s Degree has however given me a greater understanding of how various cosmetic ingredients interact with each other, resulting in high quality formulations, and at what levels these ingredients become effective or harmful to the human body.
What was your first job and how did you progress to this?
When I finished University, my first job was as a laboratory technician which wasn’t very challenging and at times extremely tedious. It was always my dream to work in the cosmetics industry and in 2011 I was lucky to find a job with a cosmetic manufacturer in Durban. I have since left that company and currently work as a Consulting Cosmetic Research and Development Chemist with another cosmetic manufacturer in Durban. Over the years I have been involved with the formulation and manufacturing of some of South Africa’s leading brands including, Woolworths, Lil-Lets, Clicks, Sorbet, Oh So Heavenly, Island Tribe and The Tan Lab to name a few.
What’s the best part of your job?
I know this may sound really cheesy, but the best part of my job really is being able to do what I love. I love cosmetic products and more importantly, I love developing and creating new and innovative products. Also, having been fortunate enough to work with so many leading brands, it is uncommon for me to meet a woman who hasn’t used at least one of the products I developed and I find it very rewarding to have been able to develop products that can improve and add value to people’s lives.
What have been the highlights of starting your own business?
Seeing my passion actually materialising into something real. When I started this journey 4 years ago it was my dream to develop a product which was truly the best at what it was formulated to do. At times I was ready to throw in the towel and give up, but somehow everything seemed to come together in the end, and for me, that sense of achievement has made everything worthwhile.
What is the most challenging part?
They say that the three most stressful things in life are getting married, building a house, and getting a divorce. I’ve already done the first two and hopefully never do the third, but I would have to say starting a business is probably the next item on that list. Getting things up and running required a lot of time which is something I had very little of while working full-time and being a mother to a newborn baby. But like everything else on that list (except divorce) it has been all worth it in the end.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I get up in the morning, get Connor ready for school, head off to work, pick Connor up 5:00 pm from his Nana’s house, make him dinner, feed him, bath him and get him ready for bed. After he is asleep my husband and I try to watch a little TV together and I try to get into bed by 9:30 pm (I need my 8 plus hours). Somewhere, somehow, I managed to fit Natralogic in between all of that. Luckily, I have some repose on the weekends which is then dedicated to family.
What are the “secrets” to your success?
I am not really sure if I would call Natralogic a “success” at this point. We’ve done well so far but there is still a long way to go. However, in every other aspect of my life, I have always strived to never accept anything but the best. I’ve applied this same principle to formulating Natralogic and this principle hasn’t let me down yet, but check back in a year or two and hopefully by then, I will have all the tips you need.
How do you balance being a mummy and starting your own business?
I know it may sound like I have everything worked out, but to be brutally honest, I don’t. My life is a chaotic whirlwind of commitments. However, I have found that it all really comes down to priorities. If you make something in your life a priority then you will always find the time. Fortunately for me I work on a contract basis so my days are somewhat flexible and I am always able to attend all the important events in Connor’s life. But when I am not with my family, I am formulating products for other leading brands, and when I am not doing that, I am squeezing in as much Natralogic time as possible. Donald has also been a huge help with the “business” side of Natralogic, a couple of times working until the early hours in the morning. I really could not have gotten this far without his support. My mom and dad are also a huge help with Connor and I am greatly indebted to them for all they do for me.
What is your dream for Natralogic?
To one day become a household name in SA for pregnant women. Right now, I honestly believe Natralogic to be the best quality, safest and most effective product available on the market for pregnant mothers. This range has more quality and safety certifications than the vast majority of any other brands available, both locally and internationally. We use only the safest natural and organic ingredients which have been chosen by a unique 7-step pharmaceutical grade ingredient selection process. I hope that one day all women realise the importance of using safe products on their skin, especially during pregnancy.
Any tips for people wanting to take the leap and start their own business?
Starting a new business is actually a bit like having a baby. Just like a baby it will keep you up at night, you’ll spend all your extra cash on it and just when you think you have solved one problem, another problem will start. But it is important to persevere and just like having a baby I can guarantee you it is all worth it in the end.