If you’ve met me you’ll know I like to talk to people and I love to hear their stories.
I started doing markets a few years ago – a complete surprise to me – but one of the greatest surprises was the wonderful market community. So many conversations ensued, as week after week, I set up my stall next to many different people: where they came from, how the products they sold came into being, what drove them and what’s the dream? I hear people regularly say their business happened to them. It still intrigues me when they say their business chose them. I connect with this as I feel this way about my journey with shashen jewels, but this is not about me . . .
Thank you to each of them for bringing some fun and joy to those sunny or rainy, warm or windy days.
One of these ‘market ladies’ is Marisol, a beautiful Chilean lady (inside and out) who sells organic rosehip oil. I use her beautiful organic rosehip oil daily as a moisturizer. (You know it’s a good product when your return to buy the supersized bottle.)
So here goes . . . (in an organic and informal Q&A kind of way)
Q – I find most small businesses emerge from a frustration, a want, a need or a desire. First, is that true for you and second, tell me a little about the journey for Araucana
A – I feel it happened to me rather than I chose it. Over a few years people would find Chilean rosehip oil and tell me how wonderful it was and how it comes from ‘your country’.
I had always wanted to start a business of my own, but I had no idea it was going to be this wonderful organic oil from Chile. When I was made redundant – and after recovering from the shock of that – rosehip oil kept coming to my mind. So I began researching and everything I discovered reinforced the wonderful things people were telling me. I could find nothing to contradict this so I went to Chile and found this wonderful producer and started from there.
I had never worked for myself before, so I knew little about starting a business. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and ask my husband, ‘Should I do this?’ He and my daughter would keep saying it’s your decision. I had so much fear that I would fail, but a greater part of me knew I would regret it if I never tried.
Q – Why rosehip oil?
A – During my research I discovered it has been used for centuries as a healing oil, as a moisturiser, to soothe and heal burns. It has so many uses. It’s a food. It has Vitamin AC and E. It absorbs into the skin faster than any other oil, so no oil stains on clothes or that oily film feeling of other oils such as olive, almond or argan. You can use in in your hair, on your face, your body, to reduce scarring, even ingest it (this is an edible oil, however Araucana is a skin care product and we cannot offer it as a food). It’s great as a day moisturiser, as a night moisturiser, and under makeup. It makes it a perfect travelling product as you only need to carry one thing.
Q – Everyone at the market did something before. Who or what were you in your previous life?
A – I worked with United Airlines in client services taking care of First Class passengers and their needs. I loved it.
Q – What tips and lesson have you learned that might help others with when developing their idea/product?
A – Cutting corners can result in paying more. I searched to find what I thought were the best and cheapest bottles for my very first batch. I felt a bit pleased with myself but it didn’t last long as the lids with droppers wouldn’t work with these bottles. I ended up throwing them out and buying the ones I found in the first place. So it cost me double and took a lot of time.
Presentation is also important. I sell at markets and everything from clean cloths on your table, to the little pots from where the clients test the oil, beautiful and presentable timber boards that the bottles sit on, the information cards and your personal appearance. These all make an impression on your potential customer. I learned this during my years at the airport: always fresh lipstick and polished nails when you greeted people and a smile of course.
Branding and design also. I t was so important to me that everything was presented beautifully – the logo, the website. I think the visuals are really important. Packaging, cards everything.
Q – What are the most asked questions or concerns your clients have?
A – There’s a medical side and a beauty side. How does it work for healing: itchy leg, eczema, with chemo, with burns. Is it safe and healing? 60-70% come for healing but then they begin to use it for beauty. Well, the women do.
It seems it’s the newest thing in beauty especially with young people. Young girls come and show their mother who know about it from their past. Older folk know the benefits of rosehip oil already. There lots of ways to use rosehip oil that are covered here
Q – How should people use it for their beauty routine and other ways. I’m beginning to think it’s a wonder drug, but of course it’s just nature one upping us again?
A – Use rosehip for your day moisturizer, your night cream, in your hair or on your body; when your legs are dry.
If your hair is dry. Comb rosehip oil through it, then wrap it in a towel and walk around the house all day. It will be smooth and soft. I promise you.
If you have a scar, or sore skin apply it to it daily.
I love that it is so simple, efficient, pure and organic. Check out more here
Q – What makes your rosehip oil different?
A – Chilean rosehip is known as being the best in the world. Rosehip oil is graded in the same olive oil is, for example. There is the refined rosehip oil, the natural or conventional and the certified organic one. Araucana only uses the certified organic one, the top grade. My oil comes directly from the producer, there is no middleman. The oil travels less and I can be certain of its optimum quality, storing conditions and freshness.
My oil comes from a small producer so I know the source. I have learned that sometimes you have to leave your country to learn the best things about it. In Chile we take it for granted. It’s always been there.
Q – What’s the why? Why are you doing this? What keeps you doing it?
A – I love it when someone comes back and they have solved something they have been trying to get a cure/solution for ages. Everyone should know the benefits of rosehip oil. It’s the right time now and people are open to it. It is pure and organic.
People want to get away from marketing hype that surrounds a lot of beauty products. They are connecting to what’s real. This is as pure and as real as you can get. People come back and say ‘I feel great. It’s working.’ It makes me feel good to help people and make them feel good.
Q – What’s your vision for Araucana?
A – I want it to grow but not too fast – that might scare me. 100 or 1,000 fold. I want it to grow organically and maintain its integrity. I have an English client who was ill with a tumour who has since returned to the UK. She wants to sell it there so we are beginning to investigate that now. It’s exciting and intimidating.
Q – I’m always curious about people not from here (Australia) what prompted you to come and what are the biggest cultural differences you have noticed in your time here?
A – We came in our early twenties for an adventure. There have been many. Life has a very different rhythm here than in Chile. There it is more about who you are than what your work is. People talk about life, Life is not about work it’s about living. There’s time for life. I still miss the mountains. It took me 10 years to realise I missed the mountains. My grandfather used to look at the mountains to predict the weather.
Q – What’s one thing people people don’t know about you?
A – I swim about 1km 3 times a week. It clears my head. The whole plan for the business happened in the pool
Q – What exciting about doing it now?
A – Being able to sit at home running a business is exciting to me. The possibilities, like exporting it to the UK. I began this from an idea and I had no clue what it might become and still don’t. I love that I don’t have to know everything. You can figure out how to find things and do things you couldn’t do before the internet. I love that it keeps changing and growing,
Q – What has been your biggest challenge?
A – Reinventing myself after being retrenched. I had to dust myself off and find a new call in life. Starting Araucana meant an exciting and risky thing to do. I have learned you can play safe, but if I didn’t do it. I’d have regretted not trying – I had to try. ‘Letting go of the edge to get to the other side.’
Q – What’s your big dream?
A – I would love if Araucana becomes a household name. That everyone in this great place called Australia, and beyond, get to experience its effectiveness, simplicity and honesty. It is a true gift from Mother Nature!
Q – So where can people buy it and learn more about it?
A – Online is easiest or I’m at Orange market in Sydney at Lilyfield, 3 Saturdays a month. You can also find me at North Sydney market once a month as well as and Palm Beach monthly market on a Sunday by the sea!
You’ll also find me at in the Blue Mountains in Katoomba at their Winter Magic in June and at the Leura Festival in October.
Thank you to Marisol for sharing your story and thank you for reading it. Please share this post if you like it or think anyone might like to know about rosehip oil. If you try Araucana rosehip oil please let me know your comments.
There’s a full moon the 16th. Check in for the full moon post and ritual.