As a child, Arthi Raguram spent her free time playing kho kho and basketball. She was always out in the sun and her exasperated mother would make a face pack from gram flour and curd “to tackle my tan and it did! My fascination for natural skincare products started there,” says Arthi, the 25-year-old founder of Deyga, which produces handmade bath and body products.
Arthi attended a workshop in Delhi in 2016 and began with making soaps for herself. “Soon, I gifted a few to my friends and family. They encouraged me to start it as a business and, in 2017, I launched the company online,” she says. Deyga has its manufacturing unit in Erode. “I began with soaps and face packs and soon got requests for more products. I did another online course where I learnt more about the formulation of different products and read up to learn about the properties of different plants. Now I make 35 different products including lip balms, skin serum, hair pack, baby soaps and more.”
Arthi sources her raw materials from around the world. “I get tea tree oil from Australia, shea butter from Ghana and argan oil from Morocco. I have tied up with international suppliers and 60 farmers from around the country. I also grow aloe vera and coconut in my farm. For sunflower oil, we get the seeds that are then sun dried and cold pressed,” she says. A lot of research goes before choosing a raw material. “I look for Ecocert certification. This ensures that the products are organic,” she explains
The products have very little fragrances. Arthi explains why. “I tried to use natural fragrance oils but they lasted only for a week when exposed to the air. The other option was chemicals so I decided to leave them unscented. People are so used to scented products that my biggest challenge was to educate them.”
Arthi says her formulations are a result of trial and error. “I pay a lot of attention to the feedback I receive from clients. For example, the initial review for the hair butter was that it made their hair too greasy. I changed the formulation and now the reviews are positive.”
She has a team of 15 people who make the products in small batches because “the shelf life of the products is only six months. Another reason why I make them to order. I have an eight-month-old baby and it is a bit challenging to handle it all. But I enjoy it. My husband helps me with the sourcing of raw materials,” she smiles. Arthi is now working on her new range of shampoos, which “will be available from March,” she says.
Deyga’s products are shipped across the world. Visit https://deyga.in/ for more information