"Organic beauty for less"
Sun.Star Davao, March 14, 2009
Young mom Anna Meloto-Wilk’s passion for the environment blossomed with the birth of her first child, Ariel, in 2005.
Married to Gawad Kalinga volunteer Dylan Wilk, an Englishman, they chose to use cloth diapers after reading that “it takes 500 years for disposable diapers to biodegrade and that many of the chemicals in them are toxic”.
“I struggled with the decision (especially when washing squishy nappies!) but initial reluctance became a conviction that our inconvenience was a small price to pay for our kids to know a world that is still intact and beautiful. Three years and two kids later, we’re still using them!”, Anna happily shares.
Her strong conviction to save the environment did not stop at home. Together with her younger sister, Camille, they founded Gandang Kalikasan Inc., the creator of Human Heart Nature--an exciting new range of 100% organic, 100% Philippine-grown and 100% chemical-free personal care products for the whole family at a very affordable cost.
Anna is the president of Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. while Camille is the creative director.
Human Heart Nature
“In simple terms, organic products are those whose ingredients are processed with absolutely no synthetic chemicals. We all see the damage chemicals do to our environment and we all lived in fear during the recent melamine scare”, Anna explains.
“So if organic products are so good, why don’t more people buy them? Because most organic products are so expensive that only a few can afford them. Yet now, for the first time in the Philippines, organic products are affordable!”, the Ateneo de Manila University graduate continues.
For instance, organic hair care products such as the bestselling Pearl Powder and Aloe Vera Strengthening Shampoo and Body Wash (in peppermint and cucumber scents) just costs P99.75 for a 200ml bottle. On the other hand, the 100ml and 50 bottles are priced at P59.75 and P34.75, respectively.
Aside from the moisturizing and nourishing shampoos, other highly recommended products for the hair include the Mango Butter and Natural Vitamin E Intense Moisture Hair Mask with Peppermint (P199.75-200g/P75-50g) and Styling Cream (P89.75-50ml).
The facial care line has an equally remarkable line-up: Calendula and Seaweed Gel Facial Wash; Aloe Vera and Guava Facial Wash (P99.75-100ml/P59.75-50ml); Cocoa Butter and Brown Rice Exfoliating Face Scrub (P124.75-100ml/P74.75-50ml); Tomato Toner (P89.75-100ml); Royal Jelly Day Lotion with Calendula Extract and Royal Jelly Overnight Lotion with Banana Extract (P149.75-100ml/P89.75-50ml), among others.
The Citronella Bug Spray (only P99.75 for a 100ml bottle!) is a better alternative in “shooing off mosquitoes and other pesky bugs”. With natural skin moisturizers and no dangerous chemicals, this natural skin antidote is safe even for very young children. “A popular American brand of Citronella Bug Spray of the same size costs 5x more than this!”, an avid user, Wilhelmina Quimson, attests.
In addition, Human Heart Nature offers Acapulco Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap (P129.70-200ml); Bee Propolis and Carrot Hand and Foot Salve (P99.75-50g); Sugarcane Hand Sanitizer (P69.75-50ml); and many more!
Deal or no deal
Last Saturday, I attended the Mindanao launch of Human Heart Nature organized by the regional distributor, Green Kreations, Inc. The corporation is composed of three accomplished ladies in their respective fields, namely: Architect Sylvia Rieta, Monique Villanueva and Joy Mempin. They are all actively involved in Couples for Christ and Gawad Kalinga.
Upon arriving at Bistro Rosario, almost all of the guests were lining up at the on-site boutique to test and buy the Human Heart Nature products.
Frankly, I’m the type of person who is not that fond of “direct selling”. So before deciding to purchase the goods, I asked my close friends what were some of the products they have already tried.
Monique Villanueva says that she got wonderful results with the Sunflower Seed Beauty Oil (P99.75-50ml). “After applying it for a few months, my friends noticed that the dark area under my eyes lightened”, she exclaims.
Ricky, Monique’s husband, counts on the Citronella Bug Spray when wearing shorts in public. And, so far, he has been mosquito bite-free.
“After three months of using the Aloe Vera and Chamomile Baby Shampoo and Body Wash (P99.75-200ml), my baby Angelo’s psoriasis (a dry skin condition) disappeared”, Tetet Santos testifies.
Raquel Bernardino’s kids suffered from dry skin, too, but when they started using the Aloe Vera Kid’s Shampoo and Body Wash (P99.75-200ml), their skin became well-moisturized. “Before my daughter scratches her nail against her skin and it produces white marks. Now, there are no white marks at all!”, says Raquel.
A lot of people were also raving about the shampoos, body butter, massage oil, hair mask, facial wash, facial scrub and Royal Jelly lotions.
When I saw, smelled and tried the actual goods, I couldn’t help but be bawled over with their high quality. It really helped too that the enticing catalog and product packaging (made from recycled plastic) were professionally done. Needless to say, I was impressed!
So, for the first time ever, I signed up as a dealer of a direct selling company. With just P725, I received a Best-Sellers Facial, Lip and Purse Sample Pack consisting of 14 different products and paid P100 for the registration fee.
For a minimum order of P500, I automatically get 20% off the retail price. Discounts can go as high as 25% to 35% off retail price once the volume rises.
The best part is I can avail of the substantial discount for my personal purchases. On a regular basis, these will definitely include the Citronella Bug Spray (very important because of the wide-spread dengue cases), Aloe Vera Shampoos for adults, kids and babies and some items from the facial and body care line.
Profit with a conscience
“Our prices are so much cheaper than other organic products in the shops because we have made a decision to greatly reduce the usual profit margins. Our ingredients are the same as those in much higher priced brands. But most of us can only make the choice to buy what is good for us and good for the environment if the price of organics drops dramatically”, points out Dylan.
Dylan’s journey to the Philippines and his eventual involvement in Gawad Kalinga is an awe-inspiring story.
When he was only 20 years old, Dylan established a very successful computer games company, Game-Play.com, which he operated in nine countries. He even ran his own TV channel. At the age of 25, Dylan sold his company for multi-million British pounds. This made him the ninth richest person in Great Britain under the age of 30.
In 2003, he visited the Philippines to observe a Gawad Kalinga site upon hearing about it from a Filipina friend. Gawad Kalinga, a project initiated by the Couples for Christ, transforms slums in the Philippines into beautiful, peaceful and productive communities.
Believing in the vision of GK, Dylan went back to his country and sold one of his luxury cars, a BMW, for the equivalent amount of P3.2 million. He donated the money to GK to build 80 houses in Bulacan which benefited 600 people.
Soon after, Dylan gave up his privileged lifestyle and worked full-time as a GK volunteer in international marketing. In 2004, he married the eldest daughter of Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto, Anna, who herself grew up doing meaningful GK work.
“I’ve decided to invest in the poor of the Philippines. Not in stocks or bonds. If I can help in uplifting the poor of this country, I can say that I spent my life well”, Dylan says in a past interview.
Organic beauty for less
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc.’s vision is that as soon as GK villages are capable of producing their ingredients to the highest standards, they will be equipped and empowered to grow and process the needs of the Human Heart Nature range of products.
“At present, our ingredients come only from organic farmers in the Philippines who are able to produce to international standards. So, every product you buy is directly supporting our country already”, discloses Anna.
“Through our partnership with Gawad Kalinga, we hope that soon there will be hundreds of world-class community organic farms in the Philippines providing livelihood for thousands of
our poorest people as we raise them up to be world-class Filipinos”, Anna enthuses.
“We also want to help ordinary Filipinos find an extra source of income through selling Human Heart Nature products. Since we sell direct and do not have costly retail stores, our overhead expenses are low and we pass on the savings to you”, Dylan elaborates.
For January and February 2009, the top dealer is a school teacher from Bicol who had whopping sales of over P400,000. Not bad for a ‘sideline business’, don’t you think?
Just last week, Dylan reveals that Human Heart Nature had their first shipment to the U.S. A Japanese lady who has been patronizing and selling the products to her posh Forbes Park neighbors is also interested to export them to Japan.
With all these awesome developments, Human Heart Nature is well on its way in becoming widely recognized as an outstanding global brand that is “Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor and Pro-Environment”!
To know more about Human Heart Nature, check out its website at www.humanheartnature.com.