Anne Hubel - Natura Siberica was founded in 2007 in Russia by Andrei Trubnikov, a visionary entrepreneur. His idea was to use Russia’s and Siberia’s richness to create an organic beauty brand based on plants from Siberia, this vast area whose preserved ecosystem offers a flora with highly beneficial qualities.
Based on this natural wealth, the brand’s founder imagined a varied range of face, hair, and body care products. Andrei Trubnikov wanted this very qualitative line of Ecocert and COSMOS-certified products to be affordable to the general public with an interesting price positioning. Cherry on top, every product is adorned with sophisticated packaging as a nod to his passion for design.
Premium Beauty News - How many points of sale are there in Russia today?
Anne Hubel - It all started with a wholly-owned store in Saint Petersburg. Today, we count 40 of them across the country, with a presence in all major beauty channels.
Premium Beauty News - Can you tell us more about Russia’s biodiversity?
Anne Hubel - Siberian plants live under extreme climate conditions. What we call “adaptogenic” plants survived the ice age by adapting to one of the harshest environments on Earth. To resist temperatures of -50 °C, violent winds, and very short growing seasons, they synthesize powerful protective actives and are endowed with antioxidant properties above average.
Premium Beauty News - How do you take advantage of this biodiversity?
Anne Hubel - Siberia is a vast area comprising four time zones, from the Ural to the Pacific, and from the far north to the southern steppes. We have built four organic farms that each benefit from diverse climates and botanical species. They are all located in regions preserved from any human activity: in Khakassia, on the bank of the Yenisei, in Kamtchatka, along the Pacific Ocean, on the Sakhalin peninsula, and in Kunashir, on the Kuril Islands archipelago.
The advantage of an organic farm is that it preserves the natural growth cycles of plants, the optimum harvesting periods, and the fallow times for the soil. When our materials do not come from our farms, but from their surroundings, we choose hand picking, which has been practised for thousands of years according to the rites of local tribes’ ancestors. The harvest should take place when the plant has accumulated the maximum of nutrients and actives.
Six hand picking areas were defined, including one in TUVA, in the south of Siberia, on the borders of China and Mongolia. It inspired our new TUVA SIBERICA line, which will be exclusively launched in Monoprix stores in late October 2018. We have an agreement with the local tribes which takes into account sustainable development and preserves their own culture and traditions.
Outside Siberia, we have been enriching our ingredient range by turning towards regions whose climate imposes the same harshness as Siberia, like the Highlands in Scotland (thistle harvesting) or the Faroe Islands, off the Danish coast (algae picking).
Premium Beauty News - As a matter of fact, you have recently developed a range with the Grasse rose, Sibérie Mon Amour.
Anne Hubel - After the brand’s success in France, we wanted to pay tribute to the country with one of its culture’s iconic plants, by combining it with Siberian herbs. We chose Rose de Grasse, in particular for its cosmetics virtues.
We used a Grasse rose hydrolate obtained by distillation: it is an ingredient rich in vitamins A, C, and E. It is excellent for the skin’s youth and much concentrated in essential fatty acids. It enhances the synthesis of collagen and ensures efficient protection against free radicals. We mixed it with Siberian plants grown in our organic farms. This mixture of ingredients resulted in an Ecocert-certified range of face and body care products which recently arrived in Parashop and Nocibé stores, in Birchbox boxes, and in a few parapharmacies.Premium Beauty News - Apart from Monoprix, what are your points of sale in France today?
Matthieu Sipp - We have set up a pyramid-like distribution system. Our products have been available in Monoprix and Monop’Beauty stores since late 2015, and since the beginning of the year in Nocibé and Parashop stores and beautiful independent pharmacies. Birchbox also offers them.
Premium Beauty News - What is your development strategy in France in terms of growth and point-of-sale openings?
Matthieu Sipp - We want to find a place in all beauty networks in France, from department stores to supermarkets, from the selective network to pharmacies.
The richness of our products helps us offer exclusive ranges adapted to every channel to best meet distributors’ demand and consumer expectations.
For example, with Système U, we have designed a range which is gradually settling in the natural brand department of the new U beauty concept. As a result, Natura Siberica customers will be able to find their favourite brand in their different beauty shopping places in France, whenever they want to.
Premium Beauty News - Can we talk about your presence in Europe?
Matthieu Sipp - We are present in all EU countries. The brand successfully settled in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and the UK. We have a nice challenge ahead with Germany, where the brand is gradually finding a place in ‘organic’ networks and drugstores. Our production in Tallinn, Estonia, makes it easier for us to export to Europe and across the world and deal with logistics and the required authorizations.
Premium Beauty News - Do you consider developing the brand in other countries?
Matthieu Sipp - Apart from Germany, our main challenge remains Asia. The huge success of our brand in France is an advantage, since it can be felt by our global customers. Paradoxically, the craze for our products in France is a guarantee for quality in Russia. It makes Natura Siberica seem more valuable to Russian consumers. That is why we first chose Europe – to make our brand legitimate. So, in the future, we will develop in Asia, in particular in Japan and China.
We have exclusive ranges to come, there will be new distributors in France and Europe, and we will also conquer Asia: there is a lot going on for Natura Siberica.