Founder Jessica Lemarié-Pires created Onira Organics in response to her dream of finding luxurious, natural, organic and effective hair products that did not defy her environmental beliefs. After three years of research, the creation of a luxurious natural haircare line providing beautiful results came to life. Here Jessica discusses her inspiration behind creating Onira, and what she has learnt along the way.
What inspired you to create Onira Organics?
The inspiration for Onira came from my own personal struggle to find beautiful, natural haircare products. About four years ago, I resolved to adopt a more conscious way of living; that considered my health, the health of my family, and the earth. I went on a wellness retreat, where I learnt about all of the toxins and chemicals that we put into our bodies every single day without even realising it and the impact that these synthetic compounds have on us. As soon as I returned home, I completely overhauled my lifestyle. Four years on and I’ve never looked back. Onira Organics was born out of a desire to educate, inspire and help people to see the positives of natural and organic beauty products, especially to your hair. We have made our products for everyone, not just women!
What does ‘Onira’ mean, and why did you choose this name?
I have a very close bond to my Greek heritage, so the logical move for me was to take inspiration from my native islands and love of the ocean for my premiere collection. Onira means ‘dreams’ in Greek. Creating a natural, organic hair care line that respects the world and its resources has always my dream, and that is where Onira came from.
You previously had a successful career as a model. Is there anything you know now about the natural beauty industry, that you wish you knew then?
I’m just so much more aware now. I don’t think it’s good to look back on your past and regret anything or feel guilty for the choices you’ve made. I’ve learnt so much so far, and I know there’s still so much more to learn. As long as you’re making the best choices based on the knowledge you have at the time, I think that’s all you can do.
What have you found to be the most rewarding part of running your brand?
I absolutely love hearing from clients and customers about their experiences! That is definitely the most rewarding part, and when you know that you have helped someone to feel more confident, or inspired someone to make a positive change. That’s the best thing about running Onira.
What have you learnt on your journey with Onira so far?
Sometimes, you just have to pick yourself up and go again. Pioneering the organic hair care movement is challenging. There have definitely been some knock backs along the way, but I’ve learnt that passion and drive can get you through anything. I think that now is the right time for Onira and I’m so excited for what is to come.
Which kinds of hair types are suitable for Onira Organics?
One of the best things about Onira is that it really is suitable for any hair type. There are three different shampoos in the range, The Natural (for normal hair), The Nourishing (for dry or coloured hair) and The Delicate (for a sensitive scalp). My whole family uses the range, my husband uses The Delicate, my children use The Natural and I use a combination of the three – we’ve even been known to use it on our dog, Lucky! That’s the beautiful thing about natural and organic products – there is absolutely nothing in there that will harm you. Then, there’s The Conditioner, The Serum, The Mask and The Oil. That’s it. Seven products, but seven products that all really, really work. Quality over quantity, always.
What are the key ingredients in your hair care products?
Our signature ingredient is called Tahitian Ginger and sits at the core of every product in the Onira Organics range. Tahitian Ginger is a bespoke blend of a Polynesian Flower extract, called Ginger Shampoo (very apt, I know), and super nourishing Monoi. This exclusive elixir restores, repairs and rejuvenates hair – leaving it hydrated, nourished and glowing. Buruti, argan and jojoba oil can also be found throughout the range.
Are there any challenges working with organic ingredients?
I’m really lucky because the lab that we work with was the first lab in France to pioneer organic beauty, nearly 25 years ago! They’ve been such a big help when creating the best formulas and combining the right ingredients. Sourcing the finest ingredients was definitely a challenge though; I wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best, so it took a really long time to do that. Otherwise, organic ingredients have been so easy to work with – after all, it is beauty, just as nature intended.
Do you think more could be done to promote a more sustainable, cleaner beauty regime?
Yes, absolutely! I think it’s so important to educate women on the positives of sustainable, clean beauty. That’s part of my big mission with Onira, it’s not just about creating a business, it stems from a desire so much deeper than that! Education and inspiration are a huge part of our philosophy and everything that we do at Onira.
What are the main benefits of switching from conventional hair care to Onira Organics?
There are so many! Re-discovering the true nature and potential of your hair is probably one of the best, though. Onira Organics strips out all of the toxic and chemical build up that has been suffocating your hair and replenishes with essential oils, natural nourishers and organic enhancers – it leaves hair full of movement, character and shine. My hair honestly hasn’t looked or felt this good since I was a teenager!
Where would you like to see Onira Organics in 5 years time?
In 5 years time, the dream is to have an Onira Organics salon in each major city around the world. We’ll start in London & Paris, of course – but I like to dream big! I think that having aspirations and goals is so important in business – never get complacent, always strive for more. I also hope that in 5 years time, the world will be better educated on natural & organic beauty, and more making sustainable conscious choices as a whole.