An Interview with FRUU Founders Terence and Kelly

I first met Terence and Kelly at the Natural & Organic Products show Europe a few years ago when I first started Greener Beauty. This trade show is a great way for retailers such as ourselves to find and meet the people behind new brands. Terence requested a meeting with me and as soon as we sat down I was blown away by his passion for creating a range of lip care products that was not only sustainable and effective but also innovative and ground breaking with the use of food products that are not wanted by retailers. This full range is made using ingredients that are derived from fruit by-products. Turning unused materials into fruitilicious lip balms packed with fruity goodness.

Its always such a joy to catch up with Terence and Kelly and I am beyond pleased that they have taken part in the people of Greener Beauty series.

Vic x


TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU STARTED FRUU

It was Terence who came up with the concept, as he realised that his students were more interested in cosmetics than chemistry!  In one of his lessons, his students discussed about the products, he realised that the majority of them were either made from petrochemicals or natural ingredients that are water, land and carbon-intensive.  Moreover, most “green beauty” products in the market are not necessarily sustainable, mostly unaffordable to average households and have plain, unattractive designs to young people.

We therefore set out to create FRUU to provide accessible, sustainable cosmetic products young people would love.  With £2000 set aside to purchase basic second-hand lab equipment and our spare room cleared, we started creating the beginning of FRUU in our spare room in the evenings and weekends whilst we continued working three jobs between us.  As we had such little money to start with, we had to learn to do everything, from drawing our packaging designs on powerpoint, barcodes, formulation development, to website designs and manufacturing, we did it all, with joy!

Fast forward three years, we are stocked in close to 1000 stores! We still hand-craft every single one of our products.

WHAT MAKES FRUU SPECIAL?

FRUU is the first in the world with a focus in using surplus fruit ingredients, generated from peels, seeds and solid pulps from the juicing industry, reducing the use of sustainable petrochemicals or virgin natural ingredients that are often water/land/carbon-intensive.

For us, FRUU is our baby! It is 100% us, from the website designs, packaging design, to formulation, manufacturing, it is all created from our blood, sweat and tears.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE DAY RUNNING FRUU LOOK LIKE?

Just like most small businesses, running FRUU is like spinning 12 plates at once!  It could be brainstorming new product concepts, designing packaging, developing new formulations, a full on production run or sorting out accounts and admins.  No two days are the same!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE

We believe that good skin starts with a healthy lifestyle, this includes good sleep, diet and physical and mental wellness.  Having the right products in your skincare regime is super important too.  Terence has a typical low maintenance routine, cleansing with a gentle green tea cleanser/solid  coconut cleanser once a day, with a dab of FRUU face oils (which we will release soon!) every other day, and of course sunscreen on a sunny day.  Kelly is also super low maintenance too, cleanse with a tea tree cleansing foam once a day, BB cream for day wear, mascara, and of course a touch of FRUU’s colour balm (Mulberry or Purple Dream depending on mood and the occasion).

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

We live what you would define as a hermit lifestyle (lol), especially after starting FRUU, since we have almost completely blurred the boundary between work and daily life!   Terence spends at least 2-3 hours a day reading about almost any topic, science, politics (particularly about Hong Kong’s situation), business, cosmetics etc.  Kelly likes to watch cat videos, enjoys being outdoors and playing tennis. Together we like to burn through Netflix series like Money Heist and Terrace house.  Before lockdown happened (it feels like such a lot time ago!) we would be visiting families and friends, visiting seaside towns and hanging out in London Museums.  Unfortunately, we don’t drink at all so we really miss out a lot of pub actions, unlike typical brits!

IF YOU COULD VISIT ONE PLACE ON EARTH WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

We both thought of the Moon! (we then realised the Moon is not in “Earth territory” lol). For Terence it’s Galapagos islands, for Kelly it’s New Zealand.

 

FAVOURITE FOOD?

Terence – Tofu pudding

Kelly – Happy Maki wrap

WHAT ALWAYS BRINGS A SMILE TO YOUR FACE?

Terence – Cats

Kelly – Listening to music

IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO WHAT POWERS WOULD YOU HAVE?

Terence – Super memory

Kelly – Telekinesis

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT

Hand fulfilling an order of 60,000 lip balms in three weeks!  We worked 16 hours a day non-stop to finish that order! Our finger joints and back used to hurt like hell every day, we could barely sit up.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR FRUU?

We want FRUU to be a household brand by the time we get to retirement age, a brand that can bring sustainable living to everyone.

Our nearer term goals?  To launch our almighty balms, deodorant balms, soaps and shampoo bars by the end of this year!  Beyond that, we hope to survive this COVID situation, despite the entire industry suffering a devastating 30-40% drop in revenue for some. We hope to gain new customers who will value independent brands and products made in the UK and get out of this alive!

 

You can find our full range of FRUU products by clicking here.

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