Founder Spotlight - Alida Boer of Nolé Care
For those not familiar, Alida Boer is a force of nature (though, unassuming as she is, she hates it that we put it that way). A beauty queen from Guatemala who quit modeling for entrepreneurship. She started Marias Bags in 2011 to share the ancient art of centuries-old Guatemalan textile weaving and treat it for what it is: Latin American haute couture.
After giving birth and months of intense stress, Alida Boer's hair took a toll. Shedding, dullness, split ends, and, for the first time in her life, bald spots.
During a trip to Honduras to give a talk on sustainable fashion, she kept hearing about a local product that was "a miracle for hair loss." Skeptical yet desperate, she tried the famous batana oil everyone talked about. It was rustic and unfamiliar, but it worked. Her hair stopped shedding. It felt softer and looked shinier. And, best of all, she noticed baby hairs.
She couldn't help but share her discovery. When friends and family reported similar results, she realized that she needed to start Nolé to share this ingredient with the world.
Nolé Care is a new way to shampoo and condition your hair. On a quest to eliminate plastic packaging, Nolé Care offers a vast assortment of shampoo and conditioner bars for every hair type. The secret sauce to this planet and hair-friendly brand is Batana Oil. A nut from the American Palm Tree, Batana grows wild in Central and South America. It’s hand-pressed by locals, releasing oil packed with good acids (oleic and linoleic) and lower levels of saturated fatty acids.
Nolé Care is a plastic-free, clean, effective, woman-powered company with one and only mission: help everyone rock their most beautiful hair, naturally.
What does ethical beauty mean to you?
To me, these are products that highlight your natural beauty (i.e. make your hair stronger and more radiant) while leaving behind no environmental damage (i.e. plastic or chemical waste), abusing no animals, or harming your skin or health.
What inspired you to start your brand?
After the birth of my firstborn and a really stressful breakup, I was losing hair by the handfuls. Desperate and mortified, I tried every recommendation, but batana oil, an ingredient I discovered in Honduras, was the only thing that helped. I felt an urge to share it with the world.
What is your favorite product from your brand?
It's hard to pick only one:) it depends, for example, last year when I had my second baby I was using arnica for Volume but now that is summer I am using coconut for frizz but my go-to most of the time is citrus deep clean.
Has transparency and sustainability always been a priority for you as a brand founder?
Absolutely. When developing my products, it never even occurred to me to package them in plastic. Making zero-waste products has been my goal since day 1.
How has your background influenced your work as a founder?
I am from Guatemala and growing community was very important and for me still is, so all my projects start with the question “How is this going to have a positive impact in my community?”
What is it about the beauty industry that inspires you?
As a woman, I like to pamper myself, I want to feel good and the beauty industry plays an important roll in it. By offering products that pamper you in clean and effective ways from the makeup you use to the shampoo bars:)
What is your personal beauty credo?
Less is more:) It's about quality.
What are your hobbies?
I like to do pilates, hike, read and learn:)
Who or what influenced your thoughts on beauty growing up?
More than beauty, I would say self-care which definitely came from my mom. She would always share homemade recipes for stronger hair such as avocado and honey.
How do you practice self-care?
I wake up early to work out, I usually do pilates. Is my sacred hour and it just makes me start my day on the right foot. But I also love a bath, with a face mask and a glass of wine:)
What has been the biggest challenge in creating your brand so far?
Navigating the complicated and ultra-competitive world of e-commerce and wholesale:) It's truly intimidating.
What has been your biggest win as a brand founder so far?
Creating a great product. It's pretty easy to get good feedback from friends, but you know you're onto something when strangers leave you passionate reviews and become repeat customers.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to ingredient sourcing?
Transparency, of course, and education. I have learned so much about ingredients in this journey.
How do you think the beauty industry could take better care of the ingredient producers and farmers responsible for many of the ingredients used in beauty products?
I think we have a lot to learn from food industry counterparts such as specialty coffee roasters, some of which have changed the landscape for certain coffee growers by paying them fairly and investing in their business, in turn creating a better ingredient and ultimately a better cup of coffee. That's exactly what I'm trying to do with Batana Oil.