Metta Murdaya, Yoshiko Roth, Jill Sung and Tami Chuang, four culturally diverse young women with a follow-your-dream mentality shared a vision to develop an elegant, effective, and socially conscious skincare line combining their Eastern and Western cultures to embody our natural beauty and inner strength as women. Together, they created JUARA, a results-driven line of treatments inspired by Jamu, an Indonesian herbal health tradition, and ancient royal beauty rituals for the the confident, empowered woman of today.
"With JUARA, we began a journey of discovery, entrepreneurship, and creativity. JUARA is the Indonesian word for “Winner/champion.” We believe JUARA to be about more than creating safe, effective and, natural products to attain beautiful skin, but also about creating our own destiny as independent women. The experience in building our company from scratch has defined who we are now, emboldening us to live by our values of perseverance, gratitude, honesty and trust, all which we pour with love into every single products we create."
I was lucky enough to interview them and learn more about their quest with JUARA Skincare.
Rochelle: What is the history of Juara Skincare? Tell us Your story
JUARA: I used to work in a high-pressure corporate company where I was overstressed and overworked, and noticed my skin taking a toll. Realizing prevention was the best medicine rather than treatment, I tried to look for effective, natural solutions in skincare which would both address my skin needs, as well as be pampering, pleasant and enjoyable to use, as I did not have much time, but desperately needed a rejuvenating ritual to let me relax from the day. Not finding anything that suited me at that time on the market, I reached into my own traditions to create something new that could trust to be, safe, effective, and elegant.
Rochelle: What prompted the need to create markets for natural products from third world countries?
JUARA: Indonesia has had a herbal tradition that is centuries old, passed down between healers royalty through the generations with beauty rituals and herbal tonics that addressed a variety of ailments from stomach aches to skin conditions. Ingredients including turmeric, tamarind, candlenut and ginger have been staples of our health and beauty traditions, with secret recipes which today we want to share with the world, now that there is a real appreciation of a holistic wellness approach to beauty of both body and mind.
Rochelle: What is the mission of Juara Skincare?
JUARA: The mission is to be a brand which helps women champion their natural beauty through creating natural, effective skincare based on time-honored Indonesian herbal tradition, and though collaborating with partners who support education and empowerment for women in their lives so they can also champion their destiny.
Rochelle: Do you travel to Indonesia often to source the ingredients? How do you do this?
JUARA: I travel to Indonesia approximately 6x a year, living there half the year and working with one of the oldest jamu companies to research ingredients, even create some herbal tonics (making our own contemporary versions too,) and also to support our local programs which involve working with young women to educate and empower their skills in the workforce.
Rochelle: What is the biggest impact you have seen when working with the people and ingredients in Indonesia?
JUARA: I see a sense of pride and confidence in the people we impact. To Indonesians, JUARA is a symbol of national pride; a validation that their natural heritage and herbal tradition still practiced today is gaining awareness and respect from the US which they look up to. And to the individuals JUARA mentors in education, we see increased confidence and excitement in their pursuit to follow their dreams.
Rochelle: Which part of Indonesia are most of the ingredients sourced from?
JUARA: We source our ingredients from the US for local sourcing and quality control, however in Indonesia we develop products for the market utilizing ingredients from the rich island of Java.
Rochelle: What can you tell us about the history of the regions you source the ingredients?
JUARA: Java is one of the main and large islands of Indonesia, where Jakarta is located. The Central Java region is the homeland to Indonesian royalty called Kraton in the old days, and home to the famous javanese Princess Kartini who was a large supporter of education for women. It is a rich area of culture and and more advanced development. Our Jamu recipes we take inspiration from hail from this island, where the healers of the community as well as kings and queens have passed down their secrets from generation to generation, which we bring to you today in our skincare.
Rochelle: You talk about JAMU healing, what are the healing benefits that are used in this?
JUARA: We believe you can being out the best in the healing aspects of the ingredients by combining them in synergistic ways to get benefits that are greater than the sum of the parts. For example, one of our most famous jamu recipes called Kunir Asem combines Turmeric and Tamarind which work better together than separately for the purpose of its health benefits for digestion and liver detox.
Rochelle: From your product line, what is the single most important product, and why?
JUARA: JUARA's Radiance Vitality Oil truly embodies the best of JUARA's inspiration, amazing botanicals, efficacy and elegance. This concentrated beauty elixir is made with 12 most precious, nourishing botanical oils and extracts, rooted in Jamu, to address all signs of aging in a way that is both holistic and results-driven. The oil has also an elegant, silky, fast-absorbing texture that makes it suitable for all skin types. Our ingredients such as Candlenut, Avocado, Five-Flavor-Berry-Extract, Passionfruit and Turmeric, to name a few, have been validated by science to have firming, brightening, hydrating and smoothing benefits. We have also tested the oil's effectiveness on consumers and have gotten great results for both immediate and longer-term benefits. We receive so much feedback from people, thanking us for how the oil has helped with their skin, and we are incredibly proud of it!
Rochelle: Why do you think “natural” and “organic” products are important (over chemical products)?
JUARA: JUARA is based on Jamu, healing treatments that come from the available flowers, fruits, and roots of Indonesia. These plants now are proven to have benefits for the skin and body through scientific research. We strive to honor these traditions and discoveries of natural botanicals, while respecting the planet and utilizing environmentally supportive chemistry.