In our latest in the series of Interviews with Founders, former scientist Dara Scott of Nuasan, shares with us how his obsession with Bees led to the launch of a range of skin-care products aimed specifically at athletes and sports people.
I’ve always had an interest in environmental issues and felt compelled to turn my passions into my business. With a background in science, I spent a decade working with an underwater research robot for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. I travelled all over the world exploring the deepest parts of our oceans. I met amazing people and learned a lot. One thing that stands out in my memory is my first experience with honeybees and beekeeping when on a trip to New Zealand. I was obsessed from the beginning and decided this was a hobby I wanted to bring home with me. As much as I loved travelling around the world, I missed my home and my family, so I returned home and got my first hive.
I always naturally looked at ways of improving things through science. I noticed a need for nutritional supplementation for my beehives that would keep my honeybees healthy. I didn’t realise that in 2013, I was embarking on a journey that would see me and my team creating a world leading nutritional feed for honeybees called HiveAlive, which is distributed to over 40 countries around the world.
HiveAlive harnesses the power of natural, active ingredients to keep honeybees healthy and thriving. Having grown the brand around the world, I decided it was time to take these learnings and apply them to a new category, skincare for people. Being an active and sporty person myself, I noticed that there was a need for tailored natural skincare for active people that targeted the issues these people face on a regular basis as a result of the life they lead. I researched what was being offered to this target group and found it was primarily synthetic, mostly male orientated body washes with the word “SPORT” on the front, that didn’t actually do anything and didn’t carry any of the natural and environmental ethos that I wanted for my brand.
Recognising this demand amongst our increasingly active and sporty population for products that help our skin and bodies and are kind to the environment, we spent four years working on R&D. In January 2020, my team and I launched Nuasan Active Skin & Bodycare. Needless to say, 2020 was a challenging time to launch a new brand. Nonetheless, we persevered, and the brand has grown from strength to strength thanks to our hard-working team, loyal customers and fantastic retail partners.
Nuasan is natural, ethical skin and body care developed for athletes, loved by everyone. It comes with a range of products tailored to deal with the issues that leading an active lifestyle can cause.
At the core of the brand is the scientifically proven Nuasan Active Foot Care, which prevents athlete’s foot, nail fungus and foot odour; Nuasan Active Body Wash, enriched with arnica and magnesium to help tired muscles recover faster; our plant-based, 100% Biodegradable Body Wipes, designed for on-the-go freshness and the Nuasan Active Bodycare Kit, which is the perfect introduction to the brand and makes a great gift. The entire range is plant-based and vegan, sustainable, powered by science, trusted by professional athletes and has an array of five-star ratings from direct customers.
It has been a tough year to launch and grow the business with restrictions on retail, events and gyms all having a significant effect on our plans but we have been overwhelmed with the response from customers willing to support new and local businesses. And once they try the products, they are hooked! Over 45% of our customers are returning customers so we are very thankful to all those who have supported us so far.
R&D is very important to us and we think growing the product range is key to getting us in front of larger distributors. The new products we intend to add to the range in 2021, include an Active Moisturiser, also enriched with arnica and magnesium, a muscle relief gel and an innovative bath product, all of which will harness active natural ingredients to aid in post-sport recovery or injury as well as relaxation post-activity.
In addition to caring for bees and bodies, caring for our planet is hugely important to me. From wind powered offices to using recycled plastic and paper in our products, we do all that we can to minimise our environmental impact. But I believe instead of just minimising their impact, companies should have a positive effect and that is why we are donating 10% of our profits to climate action groups and sustainable charities. It’s a small start but we are a small company and as we grow we will continue to do more.
In addition to a growing customer base in Ireland and the UK, the products are being shipped throughout Europe with plans in place to specifically grow North America, Australia and Northern European markets in 2021. We are looking forward to the year ahead and to growing the market for natural, sustainable, active skin and bodycare.
Visit www.nuasan.com and Join in the conversation @Nuasan__ on Instagram and @NuasanActive on Facebook and @_Nuasan on Twitter.