Kani started out as a labor of love and as a simple solution for Stephanie’s struggles with sensitive skin. After years of fighting terrible acne and allergic skin reactions to everything from laundry detergent to lotions, she became heavily interested in more holistic and natural methods of treating her skin. Stephanie began to learn about integrative herbology, holistic nutrition and cosmetic chemistry. She also finally began paying attention to her Colombian mother and aunts who were always telling her to try oils from fruits and plants that she had never heard of. She went from that girl who spent hundreds of dollars a month on “designer” skincare treatments to one who would spend night after night in the kitchen experimenting, as well as walking into stores spending most of the time reading ingredient lists and shaking her head.
The real turning point that changed her hobby into the adventure it is today was after traveling some years back to Finland and Sweden. Stephanie was really inspired by how they protected and nurtured their skin in extreme weather conditions and by their cultural use of saunas. It was then that she realized her Colombian heritage was very similar to ones she had seen traveling, in that the people that inhabited these harsh areas took care of their skin with use of the similar natural ingredients; As a result, they had amazing skin. After much tinkering, sleepless nights, and with the help of her family, friends and my amazing boyfriend, Stephanie developed Kani.
She was tired of seeing overpriced products, whose first ingredients were alcohol or water and were followed by a list of sulfates, parabens and pthalates. These products are made overseas with an insane carbon footprint, and are also products from companies that don’t care about anything but profits and are made in factories where the workers are treated like animals and animals are treated even less. Kani will never be that. They will always be the opposite of that; A handmade product made from the best local, organic, fair-trade and vegan ingredients.
Why Kani? Stephanie’s childhood nickname was ‘Rabbit’ because her two front teeth came in before the rest. Kani means rabbit in Finnish, and the namesake will always be her favorite animal.