It was no easy feat for the partners to find a toll manufacturer who shared their commitment to clean beauty. After a year and a half of searching, Maria Pia Paz Francisco-Sy and Ana Kamila Niguidula finally discovered a like-minded manufacturer who understood their philosophy.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on Maria Pia Paz Francisco-Sy, prompting her to reevaluate her health and embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. Inspired by the Clean Beauty Movement, which emphasizes the use of natural and safe ingredients in personal care products, Maria Pia decided to embark on a new venture. In July 2020, she joined forces with Ana Kamila Niguidula to establish For Keeps Clean Beauty.
Their goal was to introduce readily accessible, authentic, and reliable products that align with the clean beauty philosophy to the Philippine market. Recognizing the risks associated with the harmful ingredients found in many commercially made personal care products, Maria Pia and Ana were motivated to provide Filipinos with safe and non-toxic alternatives.
The For Keeps line, consisting of soaps, washes, and sanitizers, can now be found in major retail chains such as Kultura and SM Store. This success led Maria Pia and Ana to establish Pura Beauty Inc., the producer of the growing For Keeps beauty and personal care line.
One of their biggest challenges was finding a toll manufacturer accredited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who would embrace their unique manufacturing process. Most manufacturers they approached were not interested in the time-consuming and labor-intensive methods required. After a long search, they finally found a toll manufacturer who was willing to work with them and respected their approach.
Transitioning from a full-time homemaker to an entrepreneur was a significant adjustment for Maria Pia, but she had the support of her husband and the freedom to explore new opportunities. Ana also faced her own challenges, as the scale of production for For Keeps was much larger than her previous personal brand.
Sustainability is a key focus for For Keeps, and they are constantly striving to find packaging that aligns with their philosophy. While they have identified biodegradable bioplastics, the cost would make their products unaffordable for Filipino consumers at this stage. As an interim solution, they promote a sustainability program where customers can reuse their PET bottles and purchase one-liter refills.
Additionally, For Keeps partners with retailers to collect used soap boxes and PET bottles, which are then donated to sustainability partners for conversion into construction and household materials.
Developing products that are “100-percent clean” has been a slow process due to the difficulty in finding preservatives that meet their clean beauty standards. However, Maria Pia and Ana remain committed to their philosophy and have gained the support of retailers like Kultura who share their vision.
For Keeps’ inclusion in SM Store’s Green Finds, a collection of environmentally-friendly products, has allowed them to reach a wider audience. They are grateful for the acceptance and loyalty of their customers, which motivates them to dream bigger and expand their product lines.
In the future, Maria Pia and Ana hope to venture into shampoo and lotion lines, export their products, and organize an annual sustainability event.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have subsided, but the focus on health and wellness remains. For Keeps will continue to support others on their journey towards a kinder and better way of living.
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Omprakash Tiwary is a business writer who delves into the intricacies of the corporate world. With a focus on finance and economic landscape. He offers readers valuable insights into market trends, entrepreneurship, and economic developments.