Meet the founder of Wild Azur, Clare Hoar. Clare talks about moving her family to Bali for the benefit of their education and working with the Ibu-Ibu Street Mums project. Clare created the Wild Azur facial range using the super oil – frankincense. Clare chats about their life in Bali and what next for Wild Azur including a very special Costa Women 40% discount offer off her natural facial products and download the FREE ebook (more here http://bit.ly/wildazur) The offer will be centred around the miraculous medicinal and anti ageing properties of Boswellia sacra from Oman.
Hello Clare – very excited with the first ‘live’ interview with you! Tell us about your inpat (inpat is an integrated expat!) experience, how did you end up living in Bali?
Originally we went for a family ‘green camp’ holiday, situated next to Green School. We had been living for 4 years on Cote d’Azur in a very privileged world, sunshine, skiing in the mountains on weekends, beautiful beaches etc. and were curious and keen to expose the kids to alternative living and another culture.
In green camp we lived simply in yurts with compostable toilets, learning about organic farming, medicinal plants, making chocolate from the cacao plant on site, climbing coconut trees, making a raft and floating down the river, learning about sustainability. It was a wonderful bonding experience for all of us. These were real life lessons we were learning – mud wrestling, laughing yoga, getting down with nature.
After visiting the school we wanted to share these experiences and bring them back to our own family and community but first we had to dig deeper and so we up camped and moved to Bali.
Bali has been one of the most incredible inspirational experiences of my life. I have felt huge personal growth and am proud to have given this opportunity to the kids too.
The Balinese people, their values and their hindu culture are so different to ours. Success is measured not by what you have or who you are but what you give to others and contribute to your community – so kind, helpful, grateful for everything when they have so little. People are so happy and huge importance put on offerings, ceremonies, gatherings in the community etc. – much less of a work culture.
The Green School was a big part of why we moved there. No other school like it. The International school is pretty much in the middle of the jungle; they call it the bamboo cathedral – awall-less learning environment – surrounded by nature. Natural, holistic education – very student focused and student led. Inspiring and empowering students in entrepreneurial thinking to become change makers and green leaders (big focus on sustainability) Instead of exams they do a Ted talk style presentation looking deep within themselves and the impact and change they want to make in the world so these kids really leave confident and sure of themselves.
Applied learning– the whole campus is surrounded by organic vegetables, coconut trees. The kids are responsible for animals on campus too – chickens, rabbits, geese. There is a huge sense of community for parents, teachers, staff and kids working and playing together and encouraging each other to live purposeful lives. Daily gong for mindfulness, daily yoga etc.
Out of the school – I spent a lot of time hanging out with the locals, doing workshops on learning about medicinal plants and formulating products, researching ingredients for Wild Azur while also training to become a yoga instructor. The Balinese truly nourish themselves with their surrounding plants and herbs and knowledge is passed down from ancestors unlike our culture where food is often based around convenience and pleasure.
They seem to sit for hours and just chat with no sense of urgency.
Whilst in France you created Wild Azur – tell us about your journey into creating beauty products?
Wild Azur was born in France on the Cote D’azur but has only really started to get going since I moved to Bali.
I never set out to be in the beauty industry – Wild Azur is more about health and wellness with a focus on anti-ageing and longevity. Focus on purest and medicinal ingredients from all over.
And whilst you use lots of essential oils in your products, tell us about the super product – frankincense.
I am totally obsessed with this product and use it everyday all over. Amazing for skin rejuvenation, anti- ageing but also great for the mind too – clarity concentration, uplifts spirits. I keep a bottle in my bag so i can have a quick snort and immediately feel better! It works on the skin at a cellular level- full of powerful phytochemicals – target free radicals and incredible results have been found in dis-ease prevention.
“My first experience was when my sister in-law gave a bottle to my husband to heal some angry moles from over-exposure to the sun. It sat on the side for several weeks then he gave it a go and within 2 weeks there was a noticeable difference and within a couple of months they totally disappeared. I gave to my mother too and the same thing happened – this was a real wow moment – not just a perfumed oil!”
How to use – Apply direct to skin for intense antioxidant boost (I apply a couple of drops direct to cheek bones for a natural botox but you do need to build up to this slowly as it’s powerful stuff- most people see a visible difference within weeks – skin uplifted and less wrinkles)
The oil can be used directly to heal problem areas such as age spots, acne, scars, moles but also can be diluted into your everyday skincare creams and balms, or in the bath etc.
- Direct to problem areas – acne, scars, age spots, wrinkles
- Drops in bath
- steamer/ inhalation– every night to calm mind ( kids) and next to desk for clarity and concentration
- Massage oil
- Raw chocolate! Mmm mmm
We have seen an insurgence of ‘healthy’ products in recent years – why do you think this is?
Yes. There is definitely a change in attitude towards eco and natural products. People are slowly becoming more aware and conscious of the importance of looking after your body as we see the rise of autoimmune diseases and sickness such as cancers, diabetes and obesity – this is not just from the processed and nutrient poor food we eat but the toxicity of our lifestyle and environment and the products we put on our skin.
The most shocking truth of all is how misinformed we are. The products themselves are fairly unregulated and it is difficult for the consumer to trust in what they are buying. It’s really important to be clear as a supplier about what is in the products and I feel the educational element of why it is of benefit is really helpful too. We see every day beautiful looking packaging, full of empty promises that is not only harmful to us but has a devastating effect on our planet and marine life too in terms of packaging and plastics. 80% of what we put on our skin is absorbed directly into our bloodstream, at least food our stomach has enzymes to break a lot of this down.
This interview series is for Women who want to make it happen in their business and life. For you, you have taken a passion and made it a business. What would be your top three tips for other Women thinking about taking the plunge?
There are a lot of people who will always talk you out of an idea and put doubt in your mind but it’s really important to only take advice from the people you aspire to or who are already doing it. Likewise don’t always get feedback just from close family and friends as they will always want to please you which might not be to your advantage in the long run. Know why you are doing it – what impact you are trying to have. What are your emotional needs? Then only do it if you are truly passionate about it and it fits into the lifestyle you want. I love learning and have this huge desire to share what I have learnt and to help empower and inspire others. Already I have been reading books and doing yoga and so love meeting like minded people.
Be true to yourself – Be you.
Listen to your customers – ask them for feedback – give them value and educate them on why your products are truly transformational to them.
Let’s talk about branding – where did the name and logo come from and how did you decide on the gorgeous packaging?
The name became almost ying yang. Coming from Cote d’Azur, where it first began, I wanted something raw and earthy, a bit edgey but also luxurious, serene and beautiful so this needed to be present in the packaging but also in how my customer would feel when they buy into my brand and product.
WILD – meaning raw, earthy, edgey, back to nature – wild purest form product, wild authentic true self
AZUR – serene, water element, luxurious, intuitive, emotional, runs deep like a river, sky/ sea blue, flow, calm turquoise waters of cote d’azur.
As far as the packaging – Oils should always be in dark containers as even minmal lighting can effect the ingredients so I searched for ultimate quality containers and found the miron glass containers which filter out uv light and help to preserve and enhance the product inside.
‘From the earth to your skin…’ slogan really sums up to me what we are about – pure, natural finest ingredients direct from the earth to your skin.
The containers speak for themselves and so we kept the branding simple so that they are classy and stand out.
And you have been working with native Women living in Bali – tell us more about that project?
Working with the street mums was extremely rewarding in Bali and we will continue to do this. ‘Ibu-Ibu Bali Street Mums’ (more here) is an amazing initiative set up to give mums safety from the streets and trash dumps – also providing kids free meals, schooling and medical attention. I actually took my own kids down to the refuge and they were very quiet on the way home, I think they realised how lucky they are to have the opportunities they have.
We spent time listening to their stories and were so humbled by their courage and willingless to survive against all odds. The ladies make all our Wild Zzur bags which gives so much more meaning to what we do – knowing that we are helping these ladies and their children.
What challenges have you faced creating products whilst living in Bali with production based in the UK?
We have a wonderfully reliable production base in the UK but it has had it’s challenges being on different time zones and delivering things out of Indonesia can take a long time!
We source ingredients from all over such as wild lavender from Provence, sweet almond oil from Italy, wild harvested sacra from Oman – all of which are sent to our manufacturing base, formulated and produced by hand, where they are then labelled and delivered direct to the customer. It’s actually worked brilliantly but I am looking forward to being more available and hands on again.
What do you wish you had known now that you didn’t know when you started your business?
I’ve been in business but you can never underestimate how much time and energy you need to put into a new business before you start to see any positive results but they do eventually come so drip drip drip – persist persist persist and you will get there!
It’s been a roller coaster of highs and lows but when I get a happy email from a customer it is so worth! This means the world to me
What next for Wild Azur?
We hope to introduce further products to the range such as a mask, body balms and an eye cream.
Although I will be making roots back in UK, I’m looking forward to still venturing out to Bali often, working with the ‘Ibu-Ibu Street Mums’ on bigger projects and continuing to globally research the best possible ingredients for anti-ageing and longevity.
Continuing to empower, educate and inspire by building on personal relationships with each and every one of my customers who have given so much support on this journey.
“Our goal is to further raise awareness about the positive impact we can all make on the environment, the population and our beautiful planet while also radiating naturally based health and beauty, reducing disease and living as optimally and harmoniously as we can” Clare Hoar, Wild Azur.
Grab the special Costa Women 40% discount offer and download the FREE EBOOK here http://bit.ly/wildazur