Where did your idea to create the MaterNatura brand come from?
From an early age through the example of my parents who pursued inner and outer well-being through yoga and meditation, the importance of always seeking a balance between mind and body has been rooted in me. If the mind is stable, the body is stable too and you can face everyday life better without feeling at the mercy of events. This way of life, however, made me feel different from my peers especially during adolescence. When I was giving advice to my friends based on this lifestyle, they didn’t understand me. Then the moment came when I rebelled against all this and at the same time my mom started to feel bad. The anger inside me has grown more and more: do we follow a sustainable lifestyle, do our actions aim to save the world and then get sick? For a long time I have lived with this question mark. I needed to find an answer. Having grown up in a family where the basic attitude was optimism, I decided to also see this critical situation as an opportunity for growth. I wanted to strengthen myself and understand why I was here in this world. I thought I could die tomorrow and if it did, did I really accomplish the purpose of my life? From there I reconnected to all the values with which I was raised. I felt that regardless of the fact that life could have ended at any moment, if I was in line with my values, death would have been a passage. I understood that in order to be well, people must first of all be satisfied with themselves and I started reading a series of books on personal growth to understand what my purpose was. This positive energy supported me in going back to pick up the Mater Natura brand already launched in herbal medicine by my mom in 2000. My parents had exhausted the quantities of cosmetics and then this adventure had died there too. I thought “Let’s take it back and let it bloom again!”. Trying to find my mother’s heart and passion that is part of me and joining what I am, I dived into this adventure.
How did the project evolve?
When I had the idea of restarting the brand, I was working in Shanghai in a cosmetic company. In the evening I worked on Skype with Italy. Then when I got back in 2013 I started it all. With a stand of one meter by two and some posters I went to a fair in Bolzano. There I wrote about twenty interested stores. Graphics, history, product liked. During Christmas I finished the site, I started preparing social media and contacting bloggers. Slowly I created the customers. After the first year, a dear friend of mine who is passionate about cosmetics and organic products came to work with me.
How far has your brand spread to date?
Over the years the company has grown. Today we are 15 people and we are present in a dozen countries. But it is only the beginning. I feel that there are many other activities and projects to be carried out. Starting from the Mater Natura Academy which will leave for our stores. It is dedicated to our customers to bring the culture of values in which we believe. We want to sensitize them to the culture of sustainability, the eco-bio world and help them manage their activities in the best way. Suppliers, taxes, warehouse, social media. Sometimes they find themselves to be only two in managing a business reality. We want to support them in managing everyday life.
Why did you choose to specialize in hair products?
Three years ago at SANA a customer pointed out to us that it was difficult for him to choose because organic companies make any type of product: from soap to cream and so on. We were among those. I said to myself, “Let’s try to understand the customer’s problem well.” We made a series of consultations with an expert and a series of analyzes. How we are different, how we are better, how others perceive us. What is that thing that the customer recognizes in us? Their reviews showed that they were passionate about our hair products. So we thought: if we are so strong on the hair, if we have an expert at home, we try to do only this so we can do it better. Instead of doing everything we do what we do well and like. When you focus on a single product you can improve faster. On the other hand, when you want to do all the risk, it is not being able to really pursue excellence.
Let’s talk about the beautiful graphics. The watercolor drawings give a touch of grace and at the same time great dynamism and liveliness. What were you inspired by?
My mom had studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, she was an artist. He painted flowers at home with chalks and watercolors. I have beautiful memories. I then brought this artistic technique back to tell our products. My aim is to bring well-being and beauty and I always do it also in my personal and corporate daily life. When I leave home, everything must be perfect and beautiful because when I return, this makes me feel peaceful. Or when I cook. I recently took a Korean cooking class based on the 5 elements and the use of colors in food. I feel attracted to this type of activity. I think beauty is the very reflection of well-being. It is important for me, for example, that corporate offices are functional but they must also be beautiful. They all have light, pastel colors because they are welcoming, sweet, loving colors. The space we created last September at the Sana fair reflected what the company philosophy is. We chose to make a stand like a small house. Because we are welcoming, we want to welcome and understand people’s needs.
What you’re talking about goes beyond selling a product. It is a truly revolutionary approach to life.
Yes, Mater Natura is a philosophy. It is taking care of others but starting from ourselves. It is very important for me to listen to the team and have contaminations also from people who are not operating in the sector but who can bring new ideas and ideas for continuous evolutions. There are open spaces in the company where we do internal training: “How to do marketing, how to manage your emotions, very successful biographies”. For example, the story of Luisa Spagnoli was of great inspiration to me. During the war, she launched a business that even she herself could not be a member of. He did it to bring well-being to the world, to help those who were not happy at the time. For this reason it is linked to Perugina. During that time of war, chocolate was a luxury item and she made it accessible to everyone. The strength of the human being if we bring it out allows us to positively influence everything around us.
What does your love for beauty and well-being that you inherited from your mother represent for you?
My mom has always loved art as a form of communication and beauty. He used it to bring us well-being. I remember that he had painted a trompe d’oeil in a beautiful house with beautiful colors. This thing unconsciously developed in me. We once made a trip to Tibet when I was in elementary school and watched monks make mandalas. Well-being for me is appreciating what you are in the present moment. The full presence of the monks, the beauty of the mandalas is as if unconsciously they have clearly transmitted this connection to me. Even now in Ayurvedic contexts the same thought occurs: the positive or negative conditions we experience on our body are a reflection of our inner well-being or malaise. I strongly believe in psychosomatics and I also studied naturopathy a lot. All strands, all the various disciplines say the same thing: when there is an external beauty there is an internal well-being. If a person transmits to you a light, an energy, it depends on the inner state. So I think it’s really important to start feeling good ourselves. The world is a reflection of people. Nature is beautiful because there is a balance. When there is a lack, a malaise nature tends to deteriorate. Well-being and beauty are therefore two communicating vessels that continue to work together. When you are well you can influence yourself and others. This is why the search for balance is continuous and fundamental for me. As well as traveling to new countries to get to know new cultures and discover a new part of you every time.