Seven Questions with Jesslynn Schlamm
In this new edition of Seven Questions, Highlights invites you to discover an inspirational skincare brand: Lulu and Marula. The brand is all about natural, ethically sourced skin care products, handmade in South Africa!
How did you come up with the brand Lulu and Marula?
I went through a period where I really struggled with my skin - mostly hormonal breakouts that wouldn't get better. I'd read a lot about the benefits of cleansing balms and facial oils, but there weren’t a lot of options here in South Africa. My mother made a lot of her own soaps and body butters, so I joined in and made a few of my own skin care products and my skin completely changed for the better. Things grew from there.
Why is the name Lulu and Marula and is there any meaning attached to it?
Lulu is my dog - I'm a total crazy dog lady - so that's where part of the name comes from. Then Marula because we use Marula oil in every product in our collection. It's an amazing ingredient rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are amazing at repairing and hydrating skin. It's super lightweight too so it can be used across all skin types.
What are your favorite products from your collections?
Oooh, this changes depending on how my skin is feeling. Right now I’m loving my Purifying Treatment Oil. I use it day and night, all over my face, neck, and chest. It’s super lightweight, absorbs really easily, and makes my skin feel so soft. I'm also obsessed with our Nourishing Mask & Polish. It's a two-in-one mask and exfoliator that makes my skin so much smoother and brighter.
How is Lulu and Marula contributing to a major change in the cosmetic/skin care industry?
We're educating our customers on the benefits of oils, that natural products do work if you choose the right products for your skin, and that where and how your products are made, matter. We take care in our manufacturing process and aim to create a sustainable supply chain for every product we produce.
Which designer(s)/brand(s) inspire(s) you and why?
There are so many amazing female run businesses in South Africa, it makes me so proud! Right now I'm really loving For Lorne Jewellery, I think their stuff is really unique and just fun. We've just done a collaborative photo series that captures Gillian, the boss lady behind the brand, which will launch soon. I also love the swimwear brand Akina Label. There's something to be said about clean, classic design - everyone needs a simple black swimsuit. I also love that they use sustainable materials.
As an opinion leader in your sector, what objectives and values are you aiming to communicate via your products?
Sustainable, cruelty-free, self-care. There's a whole conscious, wellness movement that everyone is feeding into, from the food that we eat, the clothing that we buy, and the products we use on our skins. Up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream. We create products that are safe to use, that are effective, and encourage mindfulness by promoting self-care in today's modern world.
What would be your pieces of advice to young designers trying to build their own brands?
Don't overthink it, and don't think that you need to solve everything at once. You have to start somewhere, and there's no better time than now.