Shop Talk: Tata Harper Farm Visit

Written by on February 19, 2014 in Lifestyle, Shop Talk - 3 Comments
Shop Talk: Tata Harper Farm Visit

 

You may remember us mentioning our unforgettable trip to Tata Harper’s farm in Vermont at the end of last year. We were beyond excited at the chance to peek inside one of our favorite natural skincare brands. We’re finally sharing some photos from the farm, plus an interview with the beauty guru behind the business—Tata Harper herself!

Tata Harper is offering Glitter Guide readers 10% off purchases through the end of the month with the code GGFARMTOUR !

Photography: Sarah Culver

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  • Tell us about your brand + business!
    I am the founder of Tata Harper Skincare, a 100% natural & non-toxic, high-performance, anti-aging skincare line that is handcrafted on my farm in Vermont. The whole company is based here—all of our offices and our entire production facility. It’s where our products are batched in small, fresh amounts and where we do all of our filling, packaging and shipping.

  • The fact that we are our own manufacturers really makes us unique in the skincare world. Most brands outsource all of the elements of production, but we realized from the beginning that if we wanted to produce the highest-quality, most powerful all-natural skincare products in the world, we needed to handle the production ourselves. This way, we have total control over the freshness of the ingredients and the purity of the end result. We don’t compromise on anything! 

    What did you do before developing your skincare line?
    I worked in real estate development in Miami with my husband.

  • Why is it important for people to know about the benefits of using natural products?
    The conversation in the natural product world often revolves around the environmental benefits of using natural instead of synthetic chemicals. This is definitely a really important element, but I think sometimes it’s not clear that this natural product movement is also about our health as consumers. To me, that was the main inspiration for creating a 100% non-toxic line: I wanted skincare that was truly safe and actually healthy, in that it nourished the skin and provided the natural vitamins and nutrients that it needs to glow.

    As consumers, there are certain products that we use every single day, and those are really the ones to take a closer look at. Daily exposure to synthetic chemicals in everything—shampoo, toothpaste, cleansers, foundation, hair spray, deodorant—all adds up, and the scientific community doesn’t know yet the long-term health results of that exposure. I’d rather play it safe and produce products for consumers that are 100% natural and non-toxic for real, so that there’s no threat to anyone’s health.

  • What inspired you to use natural products and develop a product line that contains no chemicals?
    Basically, I created the line that I was looking for and could not find: a 100% natural, zero-synthetic skincare line that produced real, visible results and contained really high-performance technology. I started searching for natural replacements for most of the products I used in my everyday life when my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. I was exposed to the idea that synthetic chemicals in the products we use could possibly lead to negative health effects. I wanted to lead the healthiest life possible, and that involved finding non-toxic luxury skincare. I couldn’t find that anywhere, so I decided to make my own line.

  • What are some natural products that you swear by?
    I love Lavanila deodorant, Priti nail polish, Aura Cacia aromatherapy bath soaks and—of course—I use my own skincare products every day.

  • Thanks for having us stay in your guest house! We loved the décor. Can you tell us a bit about the pictures + the bathroom?
    The pictures all over the walls of the staircase and hallways are a collection of memories from all over the place. We have lived in a lot of places, so our friends and family are scattered about, but every time we get together, we make a point to take a lot of new pictures to add to the wall. It’s like a tour back through time! As for the upstairs bathroom, when we bought the house, that room was a disaster with a huge hole in it. I had an inspiration to make it very spacious, and I decorated it with vintage pieces. It reminds me of the bathroom my grandmother used to have.

  • Tell us about your product development process. How long does it take for an idea to come to fruition and be sold online?
    The amount of time it takes to develop from start to finish depends on the product. For example, our SuperNatural serums took a little over two years to develop. There needs to be time for research, developing and testing lots of different options, tinkering with the formula to get it just right and then even more testing. And then, there’s packaging development and marketing. It’s a long process but a fun one!

  • Do you have any advice for young women aspiring to start their own business?
    I think it’s important to know that to really bring a business idea to life, you have to be very, very passionate about the idea. Believe in it 100%, because it’s going to be a long, difficult process. You need to be ready to make sacrifices in terms of lifestyle for all of the hard work it takes, and all of that work needs to be driven by total focus and passion. It’s an amazing process, but realizing that it’s going to be a challenge from day one is super key. But, if you have an idea that you’re passionate about, don’t give up!

  • Where are some of your favorite places to gather inspiration? Do you have any favorite websites or blogs?
    I gather inspiration from all over the place. I travel a lot, so visiting new places and experiencing new cities and cultures inspires me. I read a lot of books, and our house is full of books for inspiration. But there isn’t a particular website or blog I go to. My inspiration mostly comes from life around me: new places, friends, the beauty of my farm and the natural setting here in Vermont.

  • Tell us about your farm and where you source your ingredients.
    We grow a lot of herbs and flowers that go into our products, like alfalfa and lemon balm, arnica, borage, meadowsweet, calendula and lavender. The rest of our ingredients come from all over the world, including really amazing exotic locations like an island off the coast of Madagascar called La Reunion—as well as Egypt, Israel, the Amazon, the Czech Republic, Paris and Barcelona.

    Our formulas are truly global. My team of chemists and researchers is constantly searching for the next generation of ingredient technology, and we find it all over the world. We go to great lengths to get the best of the best, and it’s almost always more expensive than the synthetic alternative, but we believe in all-natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. It’s an amazing process of research and discovery!

  • “I love having everything happen here, because I get to be involved in all aspects. We even grow a lot of the ingredients in our products (as many as we can, given our climate) on our organic farm! This means there’s a little bit of Vermont in each bottle.”

  • Tata in her office. 

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