For those who do not know who Latticia is or what Latticia Organics is about, tell us a bit about you and your brand.
Above all, Latticia is a child of God. A mother, a daughter, a sister and the founder of Latticia Organics.
Latticia Organics is a wellness-first skincare and lifestyle brand committed to inspiring mindful beauty and living through the MOVE philosophy - (M) being multi-use (O) being organic (V) being vegan and (E) being ethnic/ethnical sourced. A brand rooted and grounded in love.
What sparked your interest in wellness to the point of establishing a business?
My mum has been a huge inspiration throughout my childhood and even now. She always made her own scrubs, face masks, and continuously took a wellness approach to her lifestyle. She taught me from early on that diet and lifestyle were linked to our skin. And through a later experience with terrible acne and an organic passion for researching ingredients for what I could put on my skin and what I could eat too, eventually led to starting a business.
Can you share aspects of the journey from concept to establishing Latticia Organics?
I had moved to Rotterdam to do a placement at an architecture company for six months. While I was there, I struggled to find organic skincare products that had no synthetic chemicals. If I wanted to buy shea butter or black soap, I would have to travel way out of the city. I realised that I wanted to create beautiful and luxurious organic skincare products without unnecessary synthetic based ingredients. I wanted people to have that same feeling you would have if you bought from Selfridges or John Lewis. I wanted that same experience without feeling like you were buying food. For example, the shea butter I would pick up would always come packed in a Tupperware container - how luxe?
Baring in mind I was pregnant during this whole experience, and I knew I didn't have the means to fund it right away, but I became a self-taught formulator soon after becoming a mother, creating the products I couldn’t find elsewhere to enhance and compliment my new style of holistic living.
So how did you get involved with the Prince's Trust?
Before I gave birth, I did a 5-day course with the Prince's Trust and from there I created a business called 'Relevant Waffle' (that was the name of the blog I started while I was in Rotterdam). I don't know why I called it that looking back as it did not correlate with the products I was selling, but I just ran with it.
By September, I had launched the brand selling DIY kits for people to make their own skincare products at home and by January I was threatened with a lawsuit as someone had a very similar business name to mine. I had already trademarked my brand's name, but I was still within the period where people could dispute it.
Initially, I panicked as I had already invested around £4000, but deep down, I knew I had to let the business go, and the peace I had about the situation spoke volumes.
So I was back at the drawing board, and I started to think about what initially started this passion for organic skincare. I soon remembered the experiences I had of being in Rotterdam and the desire to create luxe organic skincare products.
After thinking of a new name and finalising the first product I had been making in the background for a few months, I launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the initial costs like packaging, etc. My goal was to raise £800, and by the end of the two weeks, I had surpassed the target.
That is amazing. What was the feedback?
Once I started selling my debut product, Ritual Shea Soufflé Moisturiser, people were giving great feedback and soon requested that I made the scent in a candle, now known as the Ritual Hand Poured Essential Oil Candle. After a few months, I launched the candle, and from there, LATTICIA Organics gained features from Vogue, Stylist Magazine and other well-known media outlets.
The feedback and press features were affirming, especially when my last business ended with what could have been a lawsuit. I read somewhere that God gives you gifts, and it's for you to create something from it. Initially, I wasn't doing that with my first business, but with LATTICIA Organics, I felt I was doing precisely that.
What makes your brand different from other wellness brands that are already out there?
I would say LATTICIA Organics is different because it is a wellness-first brand. I always post about lifestyle-related content, whether that is me going hiking or going to the gym and eating well. When I was going through that period of awful skin, all I was getting was product recommendations. No brand was telling me what practical lifestyle choices I should be implementing. I think this is what is missing with brands right now, and why LATTICIA Organics differs from the rest. Some are more focused on what to put on rather than what is going on inside.
How does your faith play a part in your brand?
My faith plays a huge part in my brand, I pray over every little decision I make because with my last business I didn't pray over anything, I just ran with ideas, and because of that, it caused me a lot of unnecessary problems.
Literally, I will pray something like... Is this product ready/ does it need more work? Or should I do this event? I don't expect answers when I pray those kinds of prayers, but I allow peace or lack thereof to decide.
I have recently rebranded the business, and I am trusting God to do it, and He has truly surprised me. He has brought people I could never imagine to help.
I have been patient this time and learnt not to get attached to anything. The more you hold onto things, the more you control it, and it may not benefit you the way you think it will.
My brand is a way to express the gifts that God has given me, if He told me to stop (my brand) tomorrow, I would be okay and start working on something new when the time was right.
On Instagram, we see wellness packaged with spirituality, alignment and the use of sage and crystals. Is that something you also believe in?
No, I'm not personally into it. I respect when people post about those things, but it's not something I entertain or believe in. I can't build my brand on that or even pretend and go along with it because everyone in the wellness community is doing it. I am really clear on who I am and who I am serving and reminding myself of those facts is important.
I know from my own research that there are proven healing properties in ingredients like lavender, which can increase relaxation and reduce stress/anxiety. Although I use lavender oil in my products, I know that lavender is not my antidote for anxiety or stress. It is also not my source of peace. I know where my peace comes from.
From your Instagram, I note a statement in which you said your wellness brand is rooted and grounded in love. Some Christians believe self-love is not a good thing, and we should always be giving and selfless.
How important do think self-love and wellness are as a Christian?
I really like that question. I chose to use the tag line love instead of self-love as I believe love includes love for yourself and others. I agree with the idea that self-love can take on a whole different road of its own and think it can negatively impact your faith. The word says 'love your neighbour as you love yourself', so there is an element of self-love, but it reminds you to love your neighbour in the same way you love yourself. When you pour into yourself, you can pour into others. I've found that if I don't pour into myself even with the short time I have as a mother, I can't pour into others.
What advice would you give to those wanting to start a new business or is in business already?
Think about what you genuinely enjoy doing and pray over it - it could be knitting, caring for others, teaching maths, etc. The best thing to do in business is to do something you are passionate about. I find tasks like accounting very tiring, but I can get through it because I am passionate about my business's core. I believe it is crucial to have that initial passion and build on that.
Business-wise, how are you adapting and managing Latticia Organics during the ongoing lockdown?
I would say I am adapting and managing LATTICIA organics by focusing on the business's fundamental elements. I am quite a creative person naturally, so logistics or forecasts aren't my strengths. I don't find them as exciting as developing a new product (haha), so using this time to focus on the business's key elements. I guess in short I am using this time to continue solidifying the foundation so that everything is in place and the business can thrive.
How has your spiritual life been during this time?
It has been good. I feel more connected than ever to the people in my church, through virtual prayer meetings and general calls to check in on each other. It's one thing being isolated physically, but being isolated spiritually is even more damaging. It is easy to become anxious about COVID-19 and the world situation through daily news and social media, but staying connected to my faith has helped immensely.
With Government restrictions on going outdoors and the effects this can have on mental health, what are your tips for maintaining your wellbeing?
If you are working from home, try to maintain a routine because keeping your personal and work life separate is as essential as it would be if you were working in the office. So, having set working hours, a set lunch break, and keeping up with tea/water breaks throughout the day.
I also find working in bursts helps, especially because I have a toddler. Usually, I try to work for 25 minutes then have a break for 5-10 minute, as this gives me time to set up an activity for my son and get myself a tea.
Besides work, you should definitely take advantage of the one walk a day outdoors allowance to help with mental health. Once I went out for the first time in a few days, and I was like wow, why have I not been going out for walks. We can get so used to being inside that we forget how great it is to get some fresh air. So I would say going out for a daily walk is crucial along with having a bit of self-care with a face mask or something.
The last thing I would say is to meal prep. For the first couple of weeks (of lockdown), I lived my best life, eating whatever was in my fridge but then my gut and skin started to speak up (haha). So I have been trying to meal prep on Sunday evenings, which I'm finding is so much better because if I have something in the fridge, it makes mealtimes easier.
If you aren't eating that great that's fine too, try to balance it out by having an apple cider vinegar shot in the morning or a nutritious green smoothie and make sure you are drinking loads of water throughout the day. Even when I am having a lazy food day, I try to implement good practises like those for my health.
So finally, what does GRACE mean to you?
To me, grace is the holy spirit. Through Christ, we have access to this gift of grace to energise, support and strengthen us through any situation. Through man, it is impossible, but His grace is sufficient to meet our every need.
Interview by Delores Oblitey