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THE PUNCH PEOPLE

Meet Souhela Ferrah:
Founder of Skincare Brand Fields of Yarrow

January 2024 • By The Punch Editors

Based in Bali, Fields of Yarrow is an organic and natural skincare line, utilizing magical ingredients primarily sourced from the Indonesian archipelago. These ingredients are handpicked for their unique benefits to your skin. Fields of Yarrow products are crafted in small batches and never linger for more than a few days before reaching our customers' hands.

INTERVIEW

"The island's environment
and vibrant culture have significantly influenced our formulations, making them truly unique."

CAN YOU SHARE THE INSPIRATION BEHIND STARTING FIELDS OF YARROW AND HOW THE BRAND HAS EVOLVED SINCE ITS INCEPTION?

"Fields of Yarrow, or FY as we affectionately call it, was born out of a deep-rooted connection to nature and a family legacy steeped in the healing arts. Growing up as the daughter of a pharmacist in the south of France, surrounded by fragrant flower fields, I developed an innate appreciation for the power of plants and flowers. This connection to nature was further enriched by the stories of my great-great aunt, a revered herbal healer in our community.

Following in my father's footsteps, I pursued studies at the Technical Laboratory University in Marseille, France, and expanded my expertise into Aromatherapy and Cosmetology. My journey took me beyond the borders of my city, allowing me to draw inspiration from natural healers and herbalists across the globe. This diverse exposure fueled my motivation to establish Fields of Yarrow—a skincare brand founded on authenticity and a genuine love for nature.

From the outset, FY aimed to be an honest skincare brand, a conduit for sharing my passion for plants, flowers, and herbs with the world. The journey of FY has been transformative, marked by a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. A significant milestone in our evolution occurred a year ago when we transitioned to a seed-to-skin model, establishing our farming practices. This change allowed us to have greater control over the quality of our ingredients, ensuring that each product embodies the essence of nature in its purest form.

Moreover, we are proud to have expanded our reach internationally, making FY available in several countries. This global presence is a testament to the brand's growing recognition and the universal appeal of our commitment to natural skincare. As we continue to evolve, our dedication to honesty, authenticity, and the healing power of nature remains at the core of Fields of Yarrow."

BALI IS KNOWN FOR ITS NATURAL BEAUTY. HOW HAS THE ISLAND'S ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE INFLUENCED THE CREATION OF YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS?

"Bali has been an incredible wellspring of inspiration for our skincare products at Fields of Yarrow. The island's environment and vibrant culture have significantly influenced our formulations, making them truly unique. Renowned for its lush landscapes, Bali is home to an abundance of botanical treasures. The plants found here are not only visually stunning but also packed with natural goodness, particularly antioxidants and other skin-loving elements. The tropical plants, flowers, and fruits native to Bali are rich in enzymes and acids, providing a wealth of benefits for the skin that are unparalleled.

Our skincare formulations directly reflect Bali's botanical diversity. We source ingredients from this tropical paradise, incorporating them into our products to harness their natural potency. These ingredients bring a distinctive touch to our formulations, offering a combination of antioxidant properties and other skin-nourishing elements that set our products apart.

The cultural richness of Bali has also played a role in shaping our brand. The island's traditions and holistic approach to wellness have influenced our commitment to creating products that not only enhance the skin but also provide a sensorial experience, connecting users to the beauty and serenity of Bali. In essence, the synergy between Bali's natural treasures and cultural heritage is the heartbeat of our skincare line. It's our way of bringing a piece of this enchanting island to individuals around the world, allowing them to experience the magic of Bali through the transformative power of our skincare products."

GOING GLOBAL IS A SIGNIFICANT STEP FOR ANY BRAND. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO EXPAND FIELDS OF YARROW BEYOND BALI?

"Our commitment goes
beyond skincare; it supports local communities and promotes sustainability."

WHAT UNIQUE QUALITIES OR INGREDIENTS SET FIELDS OF YARROW'S SKINCARE PRODUCTS APART FROM BRANDS IN THE MARKET?

Our distinctive seed-to-skin approach. We exercise complete control over the production process, collaborating closely with local farmers throughout Indonesia, particularly in the lush landscapes of Bali. This ensures that we source the most potent, local, and highly antioxidant ingredients available.

Our commitment goes beyond skincare; it supports local communities and promotes sustainability. By choosing local sources, we minimize our carbon footprint and contribute to preserving Indonesia's diverse ecosystem. At the heart of our formulations is the fusion of traditional wisdom, scientific research, and modern techniques. We prioritize quality and effectiveness, offering skincare products that not only deliver visible results but also promote overall skin health.

CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU'VE ENCOUNTERED IN THE PROCESS OF TAKING YOUR BRAND GLOBALLY, AND HOW YOU'VE OVERCOME THEM?

"Expanding Fields of Yarrow globally has been an exciting journey, accompanied by its fair share of challenges, each of which we've approached with resilience and strategic solutions. One significant challenge was building the right team. However, I consider myself fortunate to have crossed paths with exceptional team members who share my vision for taking FY to new heights. Surrounding oneself with the right individuals is paramount, and our team's dedication and expertise have played a pivotal role in the brand's global trajectory.

Financial considerations have been a substantial hurdle in our expansion efforts. The transition from operating in two stores to establishing a presence in Singapore, Europe, and soon the US and Japan brought forth a new set of financial responsibilities, including bills and salaries. Navigating these financial intricacies demanded careful planning and resource management. Despite these challenges, our commitment to quality, sustainability, and the healing power of nature has resonated with customers globally. This positive response has fueled our determination to overcome obstacles, and with a robust team and strategic financial planning, we've successfully navigated the complexities of taking Fields of Yarrow onto the global stage."

"Maintaining our commitment
to sustainability as we expand globally is not just a mission but a fundamental aspect that defines our brand identity."

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN THE BRAND'S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY AND ETHICAL SOURCING AS YOU EXPAND TO A GLOBAL MARKET?

"Maintaining our commitment to sustainability as we expand globally is not just a mission but a fundamental aspect that defines our brand identity. The spotlight on FY has been drawn by our unique dedication to sustainability—a rare trait in the market. Unlike many brands, our commitment to sustainability is not merely a marketing strategy. It's a genuine expression of our values, rooted in a deep care for the environment. Our goal is not just to fill a market gap but to embody a sincere commitment to ethical practices and environmental stewardship.

This commitment is a collaborative effort that extends beyond our brand to our partners, agents, and every part of our supply chain. We work collectively to ensure that sustainability is not just a buzzword but a lived reality in every aspect of our operations. Key to our approach is the careful curation of a farm that produces the majority of the plants and flowers used in our formulations. By growing our ingredients in small batches, we maintain quality control and reduce environmental impact. The farm operates sustainably, delivering a continuous supply that allows us to harvest and dry flowers for future production. We also conduct extractions, carefully stocking up for future use, while the final product is made fresh, ensuring it doesn't linger on shelves before reaching our customers' bathrooms."

COLLABORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS CAN BE KEY TO GLOBAL EXPANSION. ARE THERE ANY NOTABLE PARTNERSHIPS YOU'RE WORKING ON?

"Absolutely, collaborations and partnerships play a pivotal role in our global expansion strategy. Currently, we're excited about two noteworthy collaborations with prestigious hotels that align seamlessly with our brand ethos. One of these collaborations is with a hotel in Flores, where we are working on providing FY products as part of their amenities and spa offerings. Flores, with its stunning natural beauty, perfectly complements our commitment to sustainability. We are thrilled to contribute to the overall experience of guests at this location by offering them skincare products that echo the essence of the environment.

We envision our products being in the hands of skincare professionals who can educate customers about the complexity of our formulas. This hands-on approach ensures that customers fully understand and appreciate the unique qualities of our products. Additionally, we aim to create a presence in luxurious hotel spas, providing customers with an ideal environment to discover our products during facial treatments. This not only enhances the overall customer experience but also reinforces the efficacy and luxury associated with the Fields of Yarrow brand. By prioritizing experience and education, we seek to elevate Fields of Yarrow from a mere product to a brand that leaves a lasting and positive impression on our global clientele."

FIELDS OF YARROW IS KNOWN FOR ITS HANDMADE, SMALL-BATCH PRODUCTS. HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SCALE YOUR PRODUCTION WHILE MAINTAINING THE BRAND'S ESSENCE?

CAN YOU SHARE YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE?

"As I envision the future of Fields of Yarrow, my primary focus is on elevating the brand's presence in the hands of professionals and within the most beautiful spas globally. We are deeply committed to providing a unique and enriching experience to our customers, and I believe that partnering with professionals in the beauty and wellness industry is integral to achieving this vision.

In the next 5 to 10 years, I see Fields of Yarrow becoming synonymous with luxury and excellence in spa experiences. Our products, carefully crafted with a blend of scents and essential oils, will not only continue to deliver exceptional skincare benefits but will also contribute to the overall sensory experience in the most beautiful and renowned spa settings.

Our dedication to being close to our customers remains unwavering. While expanding our presence in spas, we also aim to create opportunities for direct engagement with our customers, whether through exclusive events, personalized consultations, or immersive brand experiences. This closeness to our customer base is crucial for us to understand their evolving needs and preferences, ensuring that we continue to create products that resonate with them on a personal level. The future of Fields of Yarrow is one where our brand thrives in the hands of professionals, offering an unparalleled spa experience while remaining intimately connected to our valued customers. This vision reflects our commitment to both excellence and authenticity as we continue to grow and evolve in the coming years."