Conscious consumers—beauty shoppers looking for ethical, sustainable businesses creating products that connect to a greater purpose—seem to be influencing the decisions that cosmetics and personal care businesses are making lately; and this may simply be a matter of supply and demand. But there are some businesses, like Shaffali, that began as mindful beauty brands and stand ready to welcome each consumer who comes looking for an intentional indie alternative to the status quo.
Here, entrepreneur Shaffali Miglani shares a profile of herself and the ayurvedic and aromatherapy – based skin care brand that is Shaffali.
Name: Shaffali Miglani, Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Shaffali
Launched: 8/8/08 (yes, this was intentional)
Cash flow: Shaffali is 100% self-funded. I worked in the spa and skincare industry from 18-28 and used my savings to launch the brand.
It took me a long time to get my company to six figures; and finally reaching six figures after 10 years is something I am extremely proud of. And, I have learned to let go of the judgement that would have been there in the past about how long such a milestone took. I launched my company at a time when I had so much growth to be had and basically grew up with my company. I am full of gratitude that my passion allows me to provide for my family.
I have come to understand the independent entrepreneurial journey can be full of ups and downs and that it can be a long, winding road to the destination - I knew this conceptually when I began but now it’s been actually experienced. And many factors played a role in this - including my abilities and resilience as a solo entrepreneur as well as the market readiness and appreciation for clean and spiritual beauty.
Indie how? To me, a beauty brand is independent if it is born of the passion from an individual or individual(s) and is majority owned by that individual.
Team work: 1 full-time employee and 2 part-time
Distribution: We reach consumers globally through our ecommerce site and continue to see a rise in sales to Europe and Australia. We also partner across the US with spas, boutiques, wellness centers and yoga studios. Our next level of growth is to partner with brand-aligned National Retailers and resort spas.
Years in beauty: My whole life! I have been making products since I can remember, around age 11 or 12; and then worked at my first spa at age 18 during my first year studying Business at Boston University.
Years at Shaffali: Next month will be 11 years (!!!)
Entrepreneurial experience: This is my first company, though I launched it at a time when I ran it more as a passion project versus a company - I have grown up with it over the past 11 years. Actually, this brand will always be a passion project which I have learned to run as a company. I had always wanted to do something in the spa and wellness industry - thinking perhaps I would open a spa, yoga studio or wellness center - I even wrote business plans for spas as a student of Entrepreneurship at Boston University.
After working in spas for years in roles that varied from concierge to facialist to manager, I got a job offer from a skincare line and after working as an executive there for 3 years, a lightbulb went off, especially as I had been making products at home on a weekly basis since…I took my passion for the healing and relaxation found at spas, as well as the level of quality found in many spa skincare lines and combined it with the beautiful recipes I had been refining for 15 years - which were born from my Indian roots, influenced by my exposure to European and California spas, combined with my innate passion for balance and wellness in mind, body and spirit.
The business: My goal has always been to help people feel beautiful in their own skin and also in their soul. Hence, Shaffali skincare products are meant to be an experience for skin and spirit through beautiful ayurvedic and aromatherapy – based formulas combined with mantras—positive affirmations to be repeated in the mind whilst applying the product.
Our formulas are rooted in Ayurvedic herbs and spices that my mother introduced me to as a child, including turmeric straight out of her kitchen cabinet. Each product has its own signature aromatherapy experience which correlates both to the effect on the skin as well as the mantra. I am a facialist, yogini and pranic healer, as well as a woman of business and all of these personalities have shaped Shaffali Skincare, which is born of extreme passion for wanting people to feel beautiful in their skin AND spirit.
The wow-factor: Our skincare line offers a meditative moment of peace as if your yoga or meditation teacher were guiding you in your skincare rituals at home, which helps one in having a glow from deep within, which can illuminate one’s aura - the energy surrounding one’s physical being. Our formulas further enhance the meditative experience through signature aromatherapy journeys and effective ancient herbs and spices.
The consumer: The Shaffali customer is a savvy wellness minded individual who appreciates quality in clean beauty, conscious formulas, intention, and results. People who practice yoga or meditation appreciate the mantras and mindfulness. I have noticed over the years that as the practices of yoga and meditation have grown and become more mainstream, our customer base has grown and spread.
Milestone moment: My brand has been blessed to have some great media mentions including in publications such as well + good, and The New York Times as well as celebrity testimonials, especially one early on by Alicia Silverstone, who is passionate about veganism and something I am proud our brand is. We are also carried at Heyday - which is a fast-growing brand of facial shops in NYC and LA - and has been voted Best Facial in NYC by NY Magazine - it makes me proud that we have been with them since they launched in 2015 and our products are used in their facials.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Your entrepreneurial journey is very much going to be a journey of your own growth - stay curious, open, resilient and no matter what - connected to your passion and how you are helping people. Your belief is something no one can mess with and it will help you persevere - with obtaining the right people to help you, the right vendors, the right customers and will serve to help you connect to a greater purpose in your life.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Miglani admits that she’s torn between 2 products. And this is connected to my belief in balancing the skin - the first is Shaffali Pineapple + Peppermint Facial Exfoliant - I LOVE this product because, it is like a complete facial in a jar - a manual exfoliant with a fruit enzyme peel. It makes a noticeable difference after a single use…the skin [appears] to be softer, clearer, brighter and glowing. The product which pairs so well with this and compliments its effect is the Shaffali Neem + Neroli Facial Moisturizer, which just completely feeds the skin and spirit with what is the most luxurious of essential oils - neroli - and the most rich and refined oil - neem.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.