Shankara: how to prosper responsibly.
Care for your customer, Sales will follow.
During Gina’s presentation at this year’s healing summit in Berlin themed ‘building a global healing business community’, I was very impressed to learn more details how a real business in our industry can prosper responsibly. Naturally I asked Gina a lot of questions, which she answered very patiently for me. I am happy and grateful I can share this knowledge with you now.
Shankara is the name for Ayurveda-inspired natural products. Since 2001, Shankara has been making all-natural and handcrafted beauty and wellness products that are deeply rooted in the complete science that is Ayurveda.
In Sanskrit, Shankara means Sham = Peace and Kara = to bring about.
Spa Geek Knowledge: What is Ayurveda?
“Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential”.
Shankara’s offerings nourish the mind, body and spirit as they blend the ancient wisdom of the East and modern scientific alchemy of the West. They include skincare and beauty formulations, aromatherapy oils and wellness formulas.
Gina, you run a business, seemingly ‘without business’? Can a company be successful by focusing on people’s lives and not on ‘numbers’?
‘Shankara was formed in 2001 as a socially responsible company. It was determined at that time that we would donate 100% of our net profits to the International Association for Human Values. (IAHV.org offers programs to reduce stress and develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities). We give all of our net profits to this organization to further their work around the world.
The group involved in the startup wanted to create products that were healthy and natural to assist people on all levels to achieve true wellness. Then be able to donate money to people who are less fortunate.’
Gina, you treat your products very differently from conventional manufacturers?
‘It is important for us to produce products that have life! Since we use a cold-processing method for our product line, the integrity of our ingredients is maintained. Our storage in a high-vibrational room helps to infuse calm and peace into our products. Many of our team members meditate daily, therefore, infusing the products with love and joy.’
(Their Wellness Formulas are prepared in accordance with ancient Ayurvedic texts, these formulations promote all-round health.)
Gina, what did you do before joining Shankara and how did you experience the change?
‘I have worked in the cosmetic and spa industry for over 30 years. Although, I would not change any of my experiences, I have worked for companies whose main focus was only to bring in sales, and profit was the bottom line. When I found Shankara, I knew it was different because the team cares about what is right for our customers, and for our partners first. We know that the sales will follow.
When I accepted the position with Shankara, it was with pure love of the brand and the story. This was not going to be a job that I would make the money that I had in the past. I negotiated my salary so that I would be able to live my life more simply than in the past. I knew that I could drive sales and bring more profit/donations to the bottom line. Feeling good about this decision was essential, since it was a financial sacrifice on my part to belong to a company that truly gives back. I have not regretted this decision.’
Why Ayurveda in the Western world? Compared to Europe, where ‘wellness’ and ‘natural’ is more at the focus of skincare, I experience the US as being more into beauty… do you confirm, Gina? Is there a shift to more natural skincare and mindfulness in the US?
‘I believe the US is catching on to alternative medicine and the importance of natural and organic ingredients. There is a big movement here for full disclosure of ingredients, and education on the part of skincare companies. When consumers understand how important it is what they put on their skin, they will want to use an all-natural product.
Many women in the US still just want a quick fix; however, this trend of mindfulness, yoga, meditation and natural/organic products have really caught on here, finally!‘
How do you see the demand for luxurious and all natural skincare, Gina?
‘We are competing in the upscale luxury skincare market, yet, no other line blends the best of east and west. We have created products with Ayurvedic wisdom combined with anti-aging science allowing immediate skin transformation and working to balance conditions from within.
I cannot speak about the statistics of such products, however, I can say that it resonates with most in the Health and Wellness Field. It is a growing industry and the trend is that it will continue to grow with more awareness.’
And then, Gina adds…
‘…When a company’s main intent is to improve people’s lives, it can only be successful. I love being part of a company that is truly committed to their team and to their customers. Every day is a joy!’
“At Shankara, our mission is to bring about Peace & Love inside and out. Behind everything we do is a strong intent to serve humanity – from producing the finest, most energetic products possible to the donation of 100% of net proceeds to global humanitarian work.”
More about Gina
Besides being VP of Sales and Marketing for Shankara, Gina also continues to be the principal of a retail consulting company. She utilizes her varied experiences to assist others in generating multi-million dollar revenues, and realizing maximum profit potential. Her true specialty is to assist her clients in creating a vision to not only generate profit, but to create a story that resonates with themselves, and their customers. Her varied experience, along with a candid and passionate approach to the retail and spa industry offers fresh ideas, and thought-provoking concepts that fulfill people’s dreams on a deeper level.
Had you heard about Shankara before? I admit I had not and I cannot wait to try out the products for myself! In the meantime I have done my skin dosha test on the Shankara website. The outcome is…. tah-dah: I have Vata skin. Going to check out my personal recommendations from their website now. see you later!