Behind The Brand


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Tell us a bit about yourself 

My name is Riki, and I am from Israel. I have lived in Hong Kong, together with my family. I am an organic skincare formulator and an educator, teaching in a school for many years. I’ve always preferred to be outdoors as much as I can, and I love bringing in bits and pieces of the natural world in my indoor space as well. It was, therefore, only natural for me to eventually transform my home into a purely natural-ingredient based environment. This has led me to experiment with the formulation of non-artificial products in the broader sense, including home cleaning, skincare, and personal wellness, and I loved it! I started making natural soap bars at home. It sparked an appetite to learn more and to be able to design my formulations for skincare. In my view, using purely natural ingredients allows us to get back to our senses, be aware of what we feel, taste, smell, and rely on it to connect to ourselves. The vast natural world around us contains everything our bodies require in the healthiest form, so why not use it?

What made you start your company?

It was a combination of curiosity, my life experiences, and my love for my close ones. When they were younger, my children suffered from asthma, as well as allergies. The risk of a dangerous response to many ingredients common in food, laundry detergent, etc, led me to experiment with more natural products, which I found to be more calming and stabilising for their conditions. I learned that using natural ingredients has prevented outbreaks later on. As an organic formulator who has always lived in the city, the use of natural ingredients enhances my connection to nature. I’ve always loved cooking, smelling, mixing and exploring different combinations and their benefits. Learning how to formulate natural skincare reminds me of cooking.  Researching the ingredients, finding the delicate balances and matching components to find the compatible and suitable ones excites me. It brings me back to using my senses. When it comes to body care, nothing can beat an organic cold-pressed plant oil, freshly distilled flower water, an exotic botanical butter, a high-performance plant extract, an exquisitely fragrant essential oil. Plants contain compounds that work in synergy with one another. For instance – a rose flower alone may contain over 500 different chemical compounds. It will be complicated for a combination of synthetic ingredients to mimic such a complex symphony of beneficial compounds. My passion for exploring and discovering the potency of plant-based skincare, and the benefits I experienced,  set the foundation for me as a formulator. I would love to share these understandings with everyone and offer natural products that allow us to join this harmony in nature.

Tell me about your product and brand?

FlorentinHK features high performing natural skincare, designed to help you nourish your skin and nurture yourself. We have some core products (with some options, to suit different skin needs) that can form the basis of a simple, effortless skincare routine for busy, working women, and mothers (and for family members) They are designed to complement each other, to be quality multitasking essentials made with premium, ethically sourced ingredients. We make different kinds of gentle products to care for our skin. Skin cleansers, masks, body and face oils and serums, bath salt scrubs and bath milk (vegan) and of course, CP soap bars. Each one of them has been designed and formulated with love and care to the smallest detail. They are designed to care for our skin, not to strip it from its sebum, not interfere with its natural balance, but to enhance its natural properties. Caring for ourselves, our skin consistently and using gentle natural ingredients can prevent skin reactions later on. FlorentinHK is a nurturing company. Our mission is to help people self-care. Regularly using the best available natural resources; and we do this through skincare.

What struggles have you faced when starting up a business?

There are also difficulties, of course. Sourcing quality natural ingredients with accurate information about their backgrounds and properties are challenging in the raw ingredients world. Doing so in Hong Kong during COVID time is even more challenging. I am constantly looking for high quality, cold-pressed ingredients. I am trying hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire process and, to that end, strive to source as much as possible locally. Also, as a nature lover, caring for the environment is one of my brand’s fundamental values. It starts with the ethics of the ingredients, and it goes through sourcing them, packaging, designing and every little detail on the way to the final product. We make a never-ending effort in this area, and it is not easy to accommodate all. Another challenge is time. I love designing, formulating, and testing my formulas. Still, as an entrepreneur, you suddenly become your own marketing team, web designer, packaging maker, and you find yourself orchestrating so many operations. I continue to improve my craft through ongoing education and practical research, but this can sometimes be difficult while working a full-time job and managing my small business on the side. Sometimes I wish I had more hours in a day.

How did you get over them?

I am lucky to be able to do what I am passionate about! The fact that I love what I am doing gives me the energy to do it all and keep striving for the best. Since I started this learning, creating and developing process a few years ago, I know that it takes me time, and it has been added to my time plans. I keep searching for ingredients from different sources, finding creative sourcing solutions, learning, researching and formulating. I am managing my time very accurately, and I have developed my own system for time management, trying to maximise time efficiency. I know that and plan in advance. For me, developing my company organically and sticking to my ethos will be a more extended voyage.

Any advice for others just getting started?

My best advice would be, when you have a passion, “just get started”. Do what it takes. Learn what you need to learn, watch others doing similar things, speak about it, let it out. This will help manifest your thoughts into practical ideas, which you can then develop and eventually build. It can take a few months,  years, but finally, you can get there. When you have an idea and give it up, you will never know what could come out of it, and you miss out. Don’t miss it, try! There is nothing to lose.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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