Ecopreneur Interview Series: labs

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Part 7 in a series where Krates Ng (co-founder of Mokugift the ecard service) interviews fellow ecopreneurs.  Today, Krates interviews Raffaele Ruberto, founder of labs. labs produces effective solution for impeccably beautiful skin and hair…naturally.

1) Why did you start your company?

Working for a large luxury cosmetics line in NYC for several years, although the products were effective and results-oriented, I was unhappy with the commitment to sustainability and the purity of ingredient formulations. labs was born out of this need to bridge the gap between that of effective conventional synthetic products, with that of basic & organic skin care products. labs

2) Is there a story behind the name of your company?

The name labs was born out of the idea/concept that leff is more.  “Mod-est living is true luxury…deny excess embrace mod-esty” this is something I, as the founder, always believed in.  Witnessing and experiencing the simplicity and the appreciation for the simplicity of the lives of my grandparents in rural Italy- proved that we do not need much to live well.  We see this element of refreshing and uncomplicated modesty in our simple and non-cumbersome skin care protocol and routines; in our modest use of packaging and resources; in the simplicity of our formulas, but using some of nature’s most potent ingredients.

3) What was the toughest challenge in getting your company through the most recent growth stage and how you got overcame the challenge?

The most challenging experience of all, in the history of our 4 year old company, has been the global economic downturn.  As a nascent company, we didn’t have the infrastructure nor the momentum to weather the weakened consumer market.  Why we’re still here today, I have to believe, is because of the conscious decision to embrace of more philanthropic and socially responsible operational method.  From our packaging choices which include recycled paper, with soy-based inks; to our eco-philanthropy promise, where 1% of all sales will always go to environmentally-based non-profits; and finally to providing effective, solutions-based skin care products that work; all at reasonable and approachable prices…we believe we’re providing something that is both a value to consumers today and is quite competitive.

Raffaele Ruberto, founder, labs

4) Can you describe the moment when you knew that your company hit full stride as a business?

Simple: when we see that our clients come back for more.  Its easy to sell someone a product, touting and promising its benefits and features.  When you know you’ve created something “solid” and good, is when people replenish and become regular clients. Only then does one know they’ve created something “right.”

5) If you had to pick one product in your lineup, which one would you showcase and why?

The cleanser.  I’m proud of all my products, but this little guy is such an integral part of any healthy skin care routine.  Loaded with nutritive extracts including white grape and the whole food nutritional super-food, Blue-Green Algae, this first step in your skin care process infuses the skin right from the beginning with wholesome organic goodness.  This detergent-free, and synthetic fragrance free, vegan-formula, foams gently and removes all traces of pollution, makeup and excess oil.  Good for all skin types. After all, if you don’t start with a clean slate, how could any of the additional treatment products that follow work well?

6) How is your company  going to grow in 2011? And how can other ecopreneurs help?

We plan on networking with several like-minded independent retailers, as well as larger chains that are making efforts to “Green” their methods of doing business. Also, we have found that investing more time into cultivating our social media initiatives and relationships has proven to be wildly successful.  We can all help each other, we ecopreneurs, by interconnecting in these social media networks, like becoming fans of each other facebook pages and promoting each others brands to our clients.  Team work, on a global scale. This is the only way budding eco-businesses of today will weather the storms up ahead.

Related Posts:

Ecopreneurist Interview Series: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.

Ecopreneurist Interview Series: DoGood HQ


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