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INTERVIEW WITH BITTU KAUSHAL OF MAULI RITUALS
ANCIENT INDIA’S GROOMING RITUALS EXPERTLY HAND-CRAFTED IN ENGLAND
Mauli is an independent company with a passion for creating all natural products for individuals who respect the power of nature and appreciate genuine quality. Inspired by the grooming rituals and timeless wisdom of Ayurveda, Mauli Rituals combines India’s most rare and opulent ingredients chosen for being rich in antioxidants and exquisite in scent.
Expertly hand-crafted in England, the collection is designed to repair and rejuvenate skin, body and hair, whilst also soothe the senses and bring balance within.
A native Brit of Indian origin, Bittu Kaushal enjoyed a career in premium skincare distribution, until a life changing-event led him on a pilgrimage to his motherland.
'It was here he re-discovered the healing power of India's ancient wisdom, traditions and revered beauty rituals'
As he set about studying Vedic scriptures, it was Bittu's father, an Ayurvedic doctor, who guided him to distil the synergy that would bring efficacy, purity and luxury to Mauli's anointing collection.
What inspired you to create Mauli?
“Whilst male grooming might be a relatively recent phenomenon in the West, the men of India have a tradition of grooming. On every street corner from city to village you will find barbers and broticians, as I call them. The culture really is one of ‘prevention is better than cure’. At a turning point in my life, I decided, it was time to combine all my experience into creating a new level of luxury that would celebrate men’s grooming rituals.”
Why do you think you have had such a positive response?
“Given we launched in September this year and are already in Liberty, in talks with other key retailers, have global customers and distributor enquiries from Japan and the US; we have got off to a great start. My experience of the premium skincare sector, growing up around the concept of male grooming and my fathers Ayurvedic knowledge, all helped in creating these superb products. Ultimately, we keep the wants of a discerning customer at the heart of every decision we make and I believe this quality can be seen and felt instantly.“
What are some of the challenges you faced when formulating an all-natural range?
"The main challenge was balancing potent botanicals and exquisite essences that would deliver efficacy whilst remaining all-natural. That achieved, our greatest challenge was and remains hand-crafting every element of our collection using India’s rare and opulent ingredients whilst offering superb value for money. Not easy; given the prices of our raw ingredients are so volatile, but we keep our margins tight and overheads low. There will come a point when order volumes will justify us taking more of a hit at this early stage in our growth."
What is the heart of the brand all about?
“An authentic knowledge and passion for India’s powerful nutrient-rich ingredients chosen to give great grooming but equally bring balance within.“
What are your plans for the future?
“We have found it easy to get retail interest but what is far harder but crucial, is partnering for long-term growth. As such, we want to work with retailers who understand and value our ethos. Our site gives us the luxury of getting customer feedback and this, to a large extent will inform future growth and in turn support our retailers success with Mauli. At the moment we are working on four new products, a spa protocol and collaborating on ‘Vedic Wisdom’ events later next year.“
You describe yourself as a native Brit but of Indian origin. What was it like growing up with two differing cultures side by side?
“Fantastic. I felt very lucky to have experienced two different cultures. I spent term-times in London and typically did a paper round, played footall with my friends in our local park and loved listening to music. During the holidays, I did a complete step change, visiting India with my father, who has always guided my outlook in life. He taught me the power of massage, mindfulness, breathing and above all balance in all things. I now pass these things onto my son and I think this has instilled simplicity in my outlook on life, which comes down to just valuing the way in which I live.“
Explain what a Mauli Thread is
“Mauli is a red thread symbolic of a wish for wellbeing. We include one with every order as a simple expression of devotion. Just as with the thread, I think we are all connected so it’s natural for me to want to wish others well and I do my part by ensuring our products are pure and made to make our customer look and feel better.“
Tell us about the trinity of man
“In Hinduism, the whole of creation and its cosmic activity is seen as having three main forces, which are further symbolised by three Gods, constituting the 'divine trinity' of Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. Our Nourish Oil and Pure Fragrance draw on the symbolism of ‘Creator’ – someone who uses his intutitive wisdom to bring greater beauty into the world.“
What’s it like working alongside your wife?
“Developing and creating with Anita is great because there is a trust and shorthand that I could not find with anyone else. I focus on development and she drives the creative vision. We don’t always agree but keeping focused on what drives us and inspires us, helps. Laughing at, and with, each other helps too.“
£1 on each product goes to Children’s Charities, what influenced this decision?
“We had personal reasons for wanting to raise one million for children’s charities and we reached a point, when those in our circle of influence developed ‘giving fatigue’ and that’s totally understandable. We decided that if we wanted to raise the money, we needed to be responsible for it. Making positive choices that feel and do good is just part of our ethos. It’s why we use natural ingredients; it’s why we hand-craft and why we donate.“