Do you remember the good old’ days when our grandmothers would ‘champi’ our hair with heavenly-smelling oils and creams made in their own kitchen?
Mother and daughter trio Mona, Roshni and Naina are selling this memory in a bottle with their brand – Hibiscus Monkey. The brand is a gracious tribute to their Grandmother, their beloved Nani.
We got in touch with the team to know more about their products, their brand and the story behind the name!
Nani’s beloved ‘bandarias’ – the story behind the name
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and for so many of us, it is completely associated with our childhood days and our grandparents. Naina and Roshni immortalised their childhood with ‘Hibiscus Monkey’ a name they associate with their childhood.
How? For years, Mona’s mother and Roshni and Naina’s Nani made hair oil using the hibiscus flower as the main ingredient. The hair oil recipe is a family secret recipe, passed down by generations of women in her family.
“ Hibiscus is a key ingredient in her recipes and our hero product, which is where the Hibiscus comes from” – Naina
‘ Monkey’ – Nani fondly calls her twin grand-daughters (Naina and Roshni) ‘bandarias’ in Hindi which translates to monkeys!
“So, you see, ‘monkey’ just had to be a part of the name. That’s how Hibiscus Monkey was coined.”
How Nani would want you to self-care with Hibiscus Monkey
Hibiscus Monkey’s products are all about self-care. Along with individual products, they sell ‘self-care’ packages, with period pain comforter oils, pain-relief balm for elbows and knees, and the famous HM love hair oil – all recommended by the matriarch herself!
Hibiscus Monkey products are all-natural, all recipes made with extra care, only using ingredients that our grandmothers would use. When asked if the brand’s use of only-natural ingredients was inspired by their Nani, Roshni says –
“ Absolutely! She is the genesis of the brand. For years now she has been creating her own skincare and haircare products. She grows her own flowers and herbs and sources the purest oils to create all kinds of wonderful concoctions that are pure, natural and free of chemicals. She always says that the solution to all our problems lies in nature, so why look at anything artificial. That ideology has stayed with us!” – Roshni
Selling nostalgia in a bottle – what customers love about Hibiscus Monkey
Do you, like many of us have aches and pains from sitting in front of a laptop too long? Do you wish your mother or grandmother could whip up their magical healing concoctions and creams to take the pain away? The Hibiscus Monkey team has helped several customers find complete relief with their pain-relieving and soothing products!
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Customers rave about their exfoliators (made with rice), oils and creams. Honest to their brand persona, Hibiscus Monkey takes care of their customers well and call them the ‘HM Tribe!’
” We have the most wonderful community of consumers – we call them our HM Tribe. The kind of reviews we get are fabulous – our consumers have become our cheerleaders and they are propelling Hibiscus Monkey forward!” – Mona
Hibiscus Monkey’s customers not only buy it for themselves but buy it as gifts for their friends and relatives to get them to try it.
” The customers used word of mouth to make Hibiscus Monkey a big brand in such little time. Right now we have five products (just launched a new product a week ago). Each product has a cult-like following – whether it’s our hero hibiscus hair oil HM Love, our period cramp soother Comforter or our in-shower moisturizer the Velvet Spray.” – Roshni
Growing a sustainable business during COVID
Businesses like Hibiscus Monkey are not letting the pandemic bring their spirits down. The brand uses sustainable packaging on their oils and creams. Without compromising on quality, the HM team ensure all the elements of their product are ‘Nani approved’ – no plastic, no chemicals and effective!
“ All of our products come in either glass bottles or tins, baring aside the Velvet Spray, which comes in PET plastic bottles because it’s meant to be used in the shower. A challenge that comes with glass bottles, especially in the direct-to-consumer business, is protecting them from breakage in transit. It has taken a couple of iterations to find the right kind of outer cases to protect our bottles!” – Mona
Lessons like these are teaching moments for young businesses like Hibiscus Monkey, but they power through, probably with a little help from their products!
“ We are still very much in the growth phase of our business – and as we grow hiccups are part and parcel of the game so we take them in our stride and come out stronger!” – Naina
Managing bulk orders with the Instamojo online store
With business growth, comes a lot of responsibility!
For Hibiscus Monkey, once customers spread the word about the products, the orders began to flood in! The HM team had a task on their hands to manage bulk orders and ship them.
” We have cultivated strong relationships with our suppliers who stuck by us at the beginning and were willing to sell in smaller batches. Today they are the backbone of our business and are benefiting from being our partners as we become bigger!” – Naina
It also helped to know they cold sell on the Instamojo online store. The HM team uses the Instamojo free online store as a catalog for their products, with detailed descriptions and benefits of each product. But how did they know to find us?
“ We spotted it on Instagram for the first time. We loved how it provided a clean and simple catalogue without any frills. It was easy to set up and the Instamojo team is always so responsive when we reach out!” – Naina
Hibiscus Monkey has a strong following of over 10K followers on Instagram, and interact most with their customers on the platform. You too can sell your products and services on Instagram, using Instamojo. This video will help you get started.