Isadora Belfort is the brains behind the lifestyle brand that everybody is lusting after right now, Herlum. Best known for it’s no-nonsense veneer and formulas with the closest of connections to nature, Herlum harnesses the best natural ingredients our prescious planet has to offer and fuses them with natural scents to create hand and body washes, lotions and candles worth no-less than swooning over. We invited Isadora to The Beautiful HQ to get the low-down on what goes on beyond the products and what makes Herlum tick. Here’s how it went…
Isadora, welcome The Beautiful HQ. Tell us a little about yourself and how Herlum came about?
Thank you for having me! I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I moved to the UK ten years ago to study a Master’s degree at King’s College London, and what was supposed to be the place to fulfil my dream to live one year abroad became my new home ever since. After I finished my degree at King’s, I continued my career working in marketing for beauty companies. I’ve always been passionate about the industry and how beauty products make us feel happy. However, I started to become disillusioned by the industry’s half-hearted engagement with social, ethical and environmental causes. I want to make a positive contribution and that’s why I set about founding Herlum: a collection of natural and sustainable solutions with unique scents.
What inspired you to create Herlum and what problems were your trying to solve?
I was inspired by my childhood in Brazil and how the simplicity of being outdoors in nature can make us feel happy and grounded, one of my fondest memories was picking the berries from the jaboticaba and tamarind trees in my family’s garden. I do believe the world needs more ethical products and more people with passion pursuing their dreams, so I launched our products as a solution to enhancing the feeling of wellness whilst respecting the planet.
If you had 3 words to describe Herlum what would they be and why?
Delicious, plenitude and simplicity, because of how they smell and give you an uplifting feeling by using premium formulas and no-nonsense branding.
Moving onto the formulas, tell us about the hero ingredients, why you selected them and how they benefit us?
When I discovered the story behind the Amazonian ingredient murumuru butter I immediately knew I wanted it to be the hero ingredient in our Hand & Body Wash and Lotion. Murumuru is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and E, and is known to lock in the skin’s moisture, leaving it feeling nourished and smooth. The choice of using this ingredient was also based on sustainability as this is an important source of income to local communities in the Amazon Rainforest, especially as they’re harvested during the off-season of Brazilian superfood acai.
Our Hand & Body Wash and Lotion’s scent is created using repurposed floral waste from the perfume-making process. This upcycled ingredient is obtained through an enzymatic process that requires mild processing with salt and water – a more environmentally friendly way to develop new raw materials for fragrance use. The result is a delicious woody and spicy blend with notes of freshly sliced grapefruit, woody patchouli and a creamy dash of chopped sandalwood.
What makes Herlum’s products stand proud of the crowd?
I would say it’s what I’ve been hearing the most from our customers: the relaxing and uplifting scents inspired by Brazilian nature– there’s nothing like them – and the inspiration and ingredients I bring from the Amazon Rainforest to our British-made products and brand.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when creating Herlum?
Everything is a challenge when you create something from scratch! It’s been a long journey of over two years developing the range, from researching sustainable materials and ingredients to finding manufacturers in the UK, but certainly the biggest challenge was launching the brand in the middle of a pandemic! I started developing Herlum products in 2019 and when the pandemic struck in March 2020 it was difficult to get hold of the raw materials and none of us knew how consumer habits and demand would change after we emerged from this. Whilst it was difficult, I’m so glad I kept working on the range and finally launched it in March 2021.
Tell us what makes you tick and what’s important to you when it comes to skincare and beauty products?
For me personally, scent is the most important sensorial element in a beauty product, because it describes a feeling, it needs to feel interesting and like something you’ve never smelled before. I also like natural ingredients that overdeliver in doing what they say they’ll do, and of course the texture and the products have to be a joy to use.
What’s your idea of a day well spent?
It needs to start with my morning coffee from Brazil! It’s strong and full-bodied with a remarkable aroma. I love lighting Pura Vida Candle to start my day and leave it burning while I work on Herlum, from talking to our suppliers, partners, customers, to getting creative developing new projects. Apart from work, a day well spent is when I’m in the good company of my friends and family, or lifting weights in the gym, having time for myself and being outdoors in nature. I love going for walks in the gorgeous Hampstead Heath.
How do you unwind and escape from daily stresses?
Taking a long shower and having a quiet bed-time ritual such as lighting a candle in the evening to fill the room 30 minutes before going to sleep. The inspiration from the name of our candle Comfortable Silence came from exactly this moment. One day I was having dinner with my husband and we were feeling very tired after a long day at work, but we were happy and comfortably sharing silence – if you don’t feel awkward in silence, that’s when you know you’re in good company.
What can we expect next from Herlum?
I’m working on developing beautiful body care products and unique fragrances, which will be a blend of what I reminisce about my Brazilian home and what I admire about the British craftsmanship. Stay tuned!