Anita Kaushal of ‘Mauli Rituals’ On Harnessing The Magic Of Ayurveda To Create An Eco-Luxe Brand
- IWB Post
- July 18, 2019
A life-changing incident in 2012 lead Anita and Bittu Kaushal to contemplate life and its ephemeral nature. Deeply impacted by the incident, the couple started a fund-raising initiative to support women and children. But there was something more that had to be done.
Anita and Bittu, native Brits of Indian origin, were both raised to appreciate holistic health and always had a deep understanding of Ayurveda, imparted to them from their very childhood.
While Anita’s grandmom was a herbalist, Bittu’s father happened to be an exceptional Ayurvedic doctor. They kept taking all this for granted until life compelled them to re-think how they wanted to spend their days.
The couple thus sought refuge in their roots and that’s where they found solace. Anita shares, “The deeper we delved into our heritage, the power of India’s herbs and Vedic traditions; the more we knew we had to follow our passion. In honesty, we did not focus on the commercials, wrote plans or saw the trend for wellbeing and Ayurveda taking up. We just put one foot in front of the other and hoped for the best.” Thus, Mauli Rituals was born.
Anita adds, “Mauli Rituals was a labour of love and we had faith that it would resonate with those who appreciated genuine quality and the power of nature.”
The name Mauli itself has a beautiful significance thus adding to the rootedness of their brand and emotions invested in its making. “A sacred red thread known as ‘mauli’ forms an integral part of India’s blessing rituals. It is given to friends and family as a symbol of protection, connection, and well-being.”
Here are excerpts from a conversation that I recently had with Anita:
How do you aspire to enrich individual lives by infusing beauty products with the science of Ayurveda at Mauli Rituals?
The practice of cleansing, anointing and layering with oils, herbs and flowers remain an integral part of Ayurveda. Bathing in exquisite scented water, detoxing delicate skin with purifying clays, nourishing scalp with potent herbs, enveloping from tip to toe with deliciously seductive oils and applying pure fragrant blends to pulse points go beyond being physically nourishing and are acts of devotion that signal respect for the body housing the soul. Mauli sets out to engage individuals in a sacred celebration of Self. In the moments we step away from an overly stimulated world to show ourselves kindness, we become energised and are able to authentically give to others.
How are you creating a niche for yourself in the eco-luxe sector in the UK while preserving the authenticity of Ayurveda far away from the land of Ayurveda?
There are so many superb eco-luxe brands out there and I view them all with appreciation and respect. That said, I’m mindful not to look at other brands in any detail, as it might sub-consciously take us away from our essence. We fuse Ayurvedic wisdom from India, with a sense of British refinement, with natural products made in England. Ours is a celebration love, nature, tradition and all that makes life meaningful and worth honouring and Mauli is the story of all those who are part of the thread that is offered with a wish for your well-being.
Give us a sneak peek into the making of one of your best selling products.
Our hero product is Grow Strong Hair Oil, which is made in a traditional manner, where fresh herbs are sun-dried at the source, then macerated in separate batches over a period of 2-3 months before the pure potent oil is mixed into our nourishing base oils. It’s a time consuming, precise method but it brings astonishing results.
What would be that one beauty ritual that you inherited from your family and would like to share with our readers?
My grandmother was a midwife and a herbalist. She would teach new mothers in her village the value of daily massage in building strong, healthy bones, glowing skin and an alert mind and this tender ritual is one that babies take into adulthood. The Vedas prescribe massage as a vital part of detoxification, rejuvenation, and nourishment for mind and body. Indeed, the Sanskrit word for oil is ‘sneha’ which also means ‘loving kindness’. In nourishing and nurturing our bodies we go beyond physical benefits to a place of valuing our sacredness.
What would you say are the star ingredients that make Mauli Rituals all that it is?
Our star ingredients are Amla (Indian gooseberry), which has 20 x more vitamin C than an orange, powerful adaptogen turmeric and moringa, for its exceptionally high active content. Our sumptuous essential oils include jasmine sambac, vetiver, rose, frankincense.
When it comes to personal care, what are the beauty ingredients that you source from your own kitchen?
Coconut oil, because it’s cooling in nature, and not too heavy. Some women swear by ghee (clarified butter), which you could try as a quick moisturising mask.
Sugar, because it helps boost cell turnover and retains moisture, and it’s considered cooling (not heating), which makes it good for summer. You can mix it with cooling, rejuvenating herbs and botanicals such as rose petals, slippery elm, and bhringraj for a facial scrub.
Mysore sandalwood to help soothe skin and diminish scars.
Kashmiri saffron to even skin tone and texture to impart a healthy glow to the pigmented skin.
Pure rose otto heals and conditions dry, inflamed skin while refining texture.
Vetiver to help strengthen, while powerful adaptogenic turmeric acts as a natural anti-irritant and provides a barrier that inhibits melanin production.
Can you share with us a holistic guide to your beauty and self-care routine?
I’m quite low maintenance in the mornings and my main beauty fixes are a warm water and lemon infusion followed by a shower, in which I’ll use our new body scrub and wash. I’ll then brush my teeth, scrap my tongue and do a quick oil pulling session. Then I’ll apply our Supreme Skin Serum, a little concealer, and mascara and massage my body with Sacred Union. I might then add some Grow Strong to my hair, tie it back and walk to the office, which is moments from the house. Slow, unhurried self-nurturing beauty rituals are reserved for the evening, where I’ll wash away that day that’s been and enjoy my silent reprieve.
How do you want people to perceive India through your products?
Healing, calming and uplifting at the same time and just as complex and simple. Above all else, once experienced, the love affair remains eternal.
As a woman entrepreneur, have you ever faced any gender bias?
I began my career in the corporate sector in a male-dominated industry. The sexist jokes soon stopped, when I proved my worth and earned their respect by treating the company as if it were my own and going above and beyond.
As an entrepreneur, I have not faced any gender bias as I happen to be in a female-led industry. For the most part, women are wonderfully supportive.
How does your husband and wife relationship nurture the business growth?
There is no one I trust more than my husband and it’s a value I hold above all else in everyone I work with. We are a perfect match in that I’m the busy bee who does a little of everything and he is the focused, considered one who does fewer things but well. We don’t work in the same building, so I don’t see him much in the day and when we are together in the evening, we’ve agreed to limit shop talk to a maximum of 15 minutes.
What would be your advice to beauty entrepreneurs who take inspiration for their products from their roots?
Taking inspiration from one’s roots is a really positive way to go, as passion and authenticity resonate and make the journey easier. I am loving the learning. As for the business, I’m going through a phase of finding the very best people, who really want to be part of the team and can own their area of expertise enough for me to do what I’m best at.