In conversation with Nuria Val and Gabriela Salord, founders of Rowse – ‘Our approach? To turn the way we buy and use beauty on its head’
Nuria was born in Barcelona, I was born next to Paris. We’re based between Barcelona and Madrid but we travel all the time and have a European team across Spain, France and the UK. Barcelona is an amazing city with a lot of inspiring people and creative vibes. We think it’s one of the best places in Europe to come up with new ideas. Nuria has also lived in LA, Mexico, Cape Town, Hamburg and Athens, while I have lived in Paris, Mexico City, Vancouver, London and Madrid. Nuria’s a photographer and has been a content creator for years – now for large beauty brands. I studied business at ESCP Europe and I was on the investors side, working for Paris-based VC fund focused on beauty startups. We were both huge believers in the power of plants and had been wanting to start a project of our own for some time. A friend introduced us 2 years ago and we instantly connected. Nuria’s the creative force behind Rowse. She’s inspired by nature and all the amazing places she’s visited as a photographer. We’re both inspired by strong, independent women who are leading the way in different fields.
Having seen first hand the impact that skin conditions had on the lives of our loved ones, and fed up of using multiple different products with toxic contents we knew nothing about in our own beauty routines, Nuria and I set out to develop versatile plant-based products for use on the go. Our approach? To turn the way we buy and use beauty on its head. Determined to simplify, we launched a collection of sustainably-sourced, vegan and cruelty-free raw ingredients that include powders, floral waters, essential oils and clays. Working closely with independent labs, we combine these ingredients into beauty recipes and formulations, from masks to scrubs and oils, each intended for a specific benefit, but safe for use all over the body. We’d love to integrate the entire chain, including our own sustainable farms that would grow ingredients and support local communities. Another hope is to have a flagship in the form of a farm-hotel-restaurant near Barcelona or in southern Europe, where people could live the full Rowse experience.
Nuria Val, the creative community-builder
Nuria, Creative Director and co-founder is an artist and photographer whose work explores nature in its purest forms — the Mars-like craters of Lanzarote in her native Spain, mossy lava fields of Iceland and lush forests of Sri Lanka. Constantly travelling and in awe of the planet, she feels passionately about sustainability and has attracted a community of 270,000 people from across the world. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair. At ROWSE, Nuria drives the creative vision of the brand, she is in charge of content creation and growing our community of #botanicalcreatives. Gabriela Salord, the product & marketing expert
Gabriela, CEO and co-founder, started her career at Clarins, and has since worked at L’Oréal, M&C Saatchi, Rocket Internet, BlaBlaCar and with a range of beauty, fashion and food startups as CMO of Eutopia (formerly Otium), a Paris-and New York-based venture capital firm. Gabriela drives the vision and strategy of the company. She manages operations, the overarching marketing strategy and new product development — based on data-centric consumer insights. Currently living between Paris and Madrid, she is fluent in four languages and has graduated from ESCP Europe.
Rowse is a collection of pure plant-based skincare essentials. The raw plant-based ingredients are 100% natural and organic, vegan and chemical and cruelty-free (there are no phthalates, sulfates, silicone, parabens or animal byproducts). They are advocates for traceability, and work with distributors that responsibly source their ingredients — such as argan from the deserts of Morocco, camellia from the forests of China and rosehips from the Andes mountains. The packaging evokes a sculptural art object. It’ is recyclable and reusable, and consists of less than 10% of plastic. The goal is to be completely plastic-free by the end of 2020.