HAPPI: How are Weleda products different from others in the marketplace?
RUEHLMAN: The first and foremost difference lies in the incredible uniqueness of Weleda.Our story begins in 1921, long before “organic” and “natural” were buzzwords.Our founders, the renowned natural scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner and Dr. Ita Wegman, worked with a team of doctors and scientists to support the needs of patients worldwide.They understood that a human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself, but sometimes it needs a little help. So they developed a personal approach to health care using natural ingredients that can holistically work with and support our own body’s healing tendencies. Weleda’s natural ingredients and raw materials are tested throughout the production process, from harvest to bottling, to ensure that our products meet our high quality standards. Many of our ingredients are grown organically and biodynamically; our plants are picked under the early-morning sun because this is the time of day when their nutrient content is the highest. All of our products are 100-percent natural. We never use synthetic chemicals or fragrances. We deliver these pure plant ingredients straight from nature to you—the consumer.
RUEHLMAN: At Weleda, we like to say that beautiful relationships yield beautiful ingredients. We believe that we can’t bring beautiful products to you if we don’t nurture and take care of our partners. Just as we use agricultural methods that give back to the land, our aim is to always give back to our farmers. We source our raw materials from both small and large farms as well as cooperatives, while committing to fair trade practices.
For example, seven years ago, we began a partnership with a rose farmer and distillery in Turkey.We provided them and local farmers with resources and a cultivation consultant who helped them transition their rose fields from conventional to organic agriculture. This has had a profound effect on the rose farmers in Turkey and has guided and inspired other small farmers—271 to date—who have since converted their fields to organic. So there is really a domino effect happening. We pay Sebat fair wages and guarantee a market for their products. Recently we worked with our local Turkish partners to help them set up a new kindergarten in their community. You can see that we’re really cultivating beauty in many ways—not just in the products we make, but also through the relationships we nurture.
HAPPI: Why did Weleda decide to add a pomegranate variety to your skin care collection?
RUEHLMAN: We offer an incredibly vast array of lifestyle skin care products for nearly everyone—for use from birth and throughout life. However, we did not yet have a line specifically formulated for aging skin and specifically women over 40.
Our Pomegranate Regenerating Body Care is ideally suited for women who are concerned with the signs of aging—especially on their hands décolleté and the rest of their body. We looked at the pomegranate and saw that it is truly a natural wonder—it has incredible skin-regenerating benefits. Pomegranate Regenerating Body Care is our most powerful beauty line yet. We use seeds from Turkish-grown from 100-percent organic pomegranates, which are rich in essential fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants that nourish, protect and revitalize the skin. We blend the oil from the pomegranate seeds with other potent, natural ingredients like millet seed extract, sesame seed oil, macadamia seed oil, and many plant ingredients. Efficacy tests show that our Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil helps accelerate natural skin renewal by 50 percent. It’s proven effective in preventing and reversing premature signs of aging, such as dryness, diminished skin elasticity, wrinkles and age spots. Also, our Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream helps increase the moisture levels in skin by 34 percent. It’s really an amazing line. Its skin smoothing and moisturizing abilities are unmatched.
HAPPI: Future plans for the company in 2010?
RUEHLMAN: In 2010 we’ll be celebrating our 89th year of cultivating beauty for you—our customer—and our world.In this momentous year—the year before we turn 90—we’ll be touching our consumer, more personally than ever.In 2009 we built our Facebook (www.facebook.com/weleda) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/weleda) communities, and this is just the beginning.We have some fun ideas in store that will give our loyal fans and new customers the chance to touch, feel and experience our brand through the products themselves, through social media, through The Weleda Blog (http://usa.weleda.com/community/weleda-blog.aspx), through contests and giveaways, through our lifestyle magazine “we,” and in many more ways.So, keep your eyes, ears, face and hands on us because we’ll be cultivating beauty with you.
More info: www.weleda.com