jolu Naturkosmetik is a family business that Carina Benkert, her husband and their two sons have all devoted themselves to. The family runs a natural cosmetics factory, a shop and an online store in the small town of Dargun, which is located in Mecklenburg Switzerland. Mrs Benkert has been making cosmetics herself since 2010. One of her sons skin problems and conventional creams weren’t producing any satisfactory results, so she studied the ingredients in them and came to the conclusion that better creams could be made. By boiling soap and creating her first creams, which were a success – among friends and neighbours as well as in her own family – she learnt more and more about the subject. She eventually gave up her job and dedicated herself completely to making and marketing jolu Naturkosmetik products.
The development of Mrs Benkert’s products revolves around her conviction that less is more and her knowledge that nature offers an abundance of treasures for our nourishment, health and well-being. It is important to her here that her products are based on a deep understanding of natural relationships and that they are “healthy nourishment for the skin”. To her, industrial production is off limits. The next logical step was to obtain organic varieties of the ingredients and to obtain them via the most direct route. On a trip to Uganda, the Benkert family visited the cooperative “Blessed Organic Release” and has purchased shea butter and oil directly from the cooperative ever since. “By doing this, we are helping to secure the village cooperative’s income,” said a delighted Mrs Benket. In addition, jolu donates 50 cents from every shea product sold to a school project in Uganda.
Sustainable packaging is also important to jolu. A deposit is paid for its tubs and jars, which is then refunded when customers return these. But the company decided it wanted to achieve even more in this area. So last year, the Benkerts used a crowdfunding campaign (www.startnext.com/jolu-eu) to initiate the development of shower gel packaging made from sugar cane and deodorant packaging made from cardboard for their brand. Mrs Benkert said, “We enjoy experimenting and do that a lot. We never stand still.” She now has about 100 products and would like to make them available in other regions, so is looking for trade partners for jolu Naturkosmetik.
jolu (www.jolu.eu) will be one of the exhibitors in the Pavilion for Young Innovative Companies. This pavilion is being supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and is aimed at newcomers and start-ups based in Germany. 10 companies altogether will be presenting products there in hall 7A at VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care, (www.vivaness.de), which takes place from 14 to 17 February 2018.