Lulu & Marula is a natural, ethically produced skin and body care collection developed in Cape Town, South Africa. Jesslynn Shepherd, the founding owner of Lulu & Marula, has created conscious, scientifically formulated skin care that works with your skin to balance and boost its natural processes for healthier, happier skin.
Jesslynn Shepherd takes up behind the scenes of the locally made all-natural skincare brand ...
Jesslynn Shepherd, the founding owner of Lulu & Marula
When and how was the brand born?
Lulu & Marula started, mostly by accident, in 2013 when I was a junior strategist working in advertising.
Skincare has always been a huge interest of mine, and having struggled with my own skin since my (mostly awkward) teenage years, I gathered a lot of knowledge on different ingredients and formulations and started experimenting with my own concoctions in my kitchen.
The plan was never to launch a product range that people could purchase, but a friend of mine offered to help me create a brand around my hobby, and before really thinking about it I had a real brand and an online store.
The timing was good as there weren't a lot of local, natural skincare brands around then and I think it was something that people were starting to be more conscious of.
Lulu is my family dog. She just brings me so much love and happiness! And Marula is from Marula oil, which is the hero ingredient in our range. We've included it in every product we have as it's such a skin-loving, lightweight oil that suits every skin concern, and is packed with vitamins, omegas and other incredible properties.
What’s your vision for the brand?
We have a lot on the go at the moment as we build out our distribution, product offering, and brand awareness. We want to be South Africa's most loved natural skincare brand.
Lulu & Marula is a natural, cruelty-free skincare range that doesn't just look and smell beautiful, it works. It's a simple, everyday skincare routine that targets different skin concerns.
The range harnesses the properties of pure botanical ingredients to feed and nourish your skin, working to boost its natural processes for healthier skin.
We source a lot of unique ingredients to ensure our products deliver amazing benefits to the skin, and we've created an experience around using the products so that taking care of your skin doesn't feel like a chore, it feels like an indulgence.
Are the products locally manufactured/produced in South Africa?What has your experience been like?
Yes, all our products are manufactured, bottled and labeled in South Africa.
It's been a process to build up our supplier base as we strive to work with other like-minded businesses. As you expand you have to let go of some of your control which is always difficult. We've learned a lot along the way, some good and some bad, but every experience has led us to where we are now.
Do you have any new products lined up?
Yes we do! We have a few exciting launches and formulation improvements lined up for next year.
The Purifying Face Range
How long have your products been in the market?
Lulu & Marula started in 2013, but I would say officially since 2014. So that's six years now!
What are some of the challenges of getting your products out there?
Brand awareness is one thing, but with skincare comes a whole education and trust factor that is very important in driving consideration and trialling of the product. Getting people to take the first step, and showing them how to use the product correctly, is probably the biggest challenge.
Then there's distribution, which is key in getting your product in front of consumers and making it accessible.
As a small or new brand, getting buy in from retailers can always be challenging.
How can consumers get their hands on your products?
We have our own online store where we offer door-to-door courier. We are also available on Superbalist and in selected Truworths Context stores, and are soon launching in selected Woolworths and Foschini stores.
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