The Unique Story Behind Calithea’s Skincare Ingredients and Manufacturing Process
From the very beginning of building Calithea, I knew that one of the greatest challenges we would need to overcome would be identifying the best possible manufacturing partners for Calithea’s natural skincare products. How are we going to make these? Where will they be made? How will we source natural ingredients? These questions were on the forefront of my mind. These aspects of our product development process had to be done right to ensure the best possible natural solutions to skincare for our amazing customers.
I knew right away that I wanted to partner with a facility located in Greece, not only to help support the flourishing economic communities there, but also to ensure the natural ingredients we sourced were grown as locally as possible, and that all our formulations adhered to the EU’s regulations of natural and organic skincare (which are far stricter than those currently enforced in the US). Also, as my Yiayia and her teachings were a big inspiration for the brand, it was only appropriate to base the creation of Calithea out of her home country.
After countless hours of research, and numerous meetings with potential partners, it felt as though we might never find the right fit for my brand vision, but I refused to abandon these important values set when I started this journey. I knew with time, patience, and enough diligent research, I could find the right fit for Calithea, and I was right! Finally, in the fall of 2017 I came across the perfect manufacturing company in Greece. I knew right away this was exactly what we were looking for all along.
Just outside the window of formulation labs at the manufacturing company, I could see this beautiful olive grove. What I had yet to realize was that this was the very grove they sourced their olives from to make their extra virgin olive oil. This was the first time I encountered a local greek manufacturing and farming facility in one!
As we discussed more with them what we were looking for in a manufacturing partner, it became clear so many of their values aligned with ours. Their commitment to natural and organic ingredient sourcing meant that a large majority of our ingredients (ie. all of those which are native to Greece), would come directly from their farm or the farms of their local agricultural partners. It was also so refreshing to see a team of female chemists, who were not only talented and innovative, but also loved natural skincare products as much as I did and were so open to collaborating with me from day one. They were also excited to partner with us since their business, like ours here at Calithea, is also family run, and they wanted to see their natural ingredients used beyond Greece and in countries around the world, especially the US beauty market where there is so much opportunity for growth.
To this day, I am so thankful to have found such an amazing partnership for Calithea. Every time we begin developing a new product I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I love to play with different prototypes and work with our manufactures’ talented chemists to create the best possible products. If I had it my way, I’d be coming out with a new product every day! While the entrepreneurial journey can be quite unpredictable at times, it’s this kind of passion that keeps me going each day and I’m so happy to have found a way to create such amazing products to help people embrace their natural, unique beauty!
~ Elena xoxo