The First City
The concept of Azurlis Natural Skin Care had its origins in the mid-1980s in Cape Town, South Africa. The growing waste in landfills called for a shift in consumerism and implementation of sustainable practices in manufacturing. In addition, evidence was accumulating on the hazardous potential of many mainstream ingredients in skin and beauty care ranges. Thus, many new product ranges were launched such as the Bodyshop led by Anita Roddick in the UK, promoting re-using of containers and sourcing only “Trade Aid” sustainably harvested ingredients.
However, for the Azurlis founder, Dr. Fernanda da Silva Tatley, the emphasis had to be beyond the environmentally sustainable practices as she wanted to create a skin care range that resonated with human wellbeing… merging Science and Soul, to create a skin care range that was inspired by Nature & created with Soul. Not a small task. Besides, it was equally important to ensure that only botanical ingredients were used and that the products be cruelty-free, i.e. No animal testing. Instead, the products were to be tested on human volunteers.
Aligned with the above was the need to emphasise the use of glass and really push back on the use of plastic, long before the significant impact of micro-plastics were being signal as environmental and health hazards. Glass containers are also much more protective for natural ingredients because unlike plastic, glass is not porous, than minimising the exchange of gases with the environment.
To begin this journey, Fernanda trained as a beauty therapist to understand what customers wanted and understood of skin care, then she started developing her own formulations that were used by herself and a few close family members. Yet, she felt that her skin care concept pursuits were frivolous in the light of the socio-economic needs at the time in South Africa, and she shelved the idea of her holistic approach to skin care that had started with the tagline – “If the Soul feels great, the Body tags along”.
The Second City
Fast forward to Dunedin in 2008, when Azurlis Limited was registered, and then to 2010 when the 1987 Azurlis concept was finally launched with 10 products, that are essentially the core of the current Anti-Ageing range, as Natural Skin Care Range. Within 12 months the range had expanded to close on 50 products, because Fernanda delighted in responding to customer requests to create new products, though the challenge was to develop the marketing strategy to promote these. While developing products was seemingly easy, marketing these through an online store was an entirely different ball game, so over the years there have been many changes in branding, and these are shown on the brand Evolution page.
Retailers & International Distributor
While Azurlis model is a New Zealand based online store, over the years we attracted a few stockists in both Islands, as well as a distributor in Hong Kong in 2016, through a chain of stores (Slowood) in the territory as well as online. The Hong Kong Team really wanted a dedicated Azurlis website to display the 7 products that are available in their store, selected for valued for their quality and functionality. Hence, www.azurlis.com was launched to support the Team in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, www.azurlis.co.nz is the main website for New Zealand and the World, displaying the products with the packaging that supports the original concept Philosophy.
Pivoting in 2021/2022
The most dramatic change happened in the second half of 2021 when Fernanda worked with BrandAid to refresh the brand and the logo to a contemporary brand, after someone called Azulis a “Granny brand”. With BrandAid started an intense period of discussions and self-reflection on what Azurlis represented and how the logo reflected these. Fernanda wanted to keep the floral elements in the logo, and everyone around her was saying that these were not relevant…
And the winds did change in January 2022 when Fernanda was contacted by Tim Bradfield, who was interested in being involved with the social media promotion of Azurlis to a younger customer demographic. The discussions that ensued totally convinced Fernanda to move away from the floral logo and recognize the elegance of the logo that BrandAid had created.
Much to Fernanda’s surprise, what Tim was saying made a lot sense, and it was a no-brainer to both of them that the then “Granny brand” website had to change drastically to reflect the re-energised brand, with a contemporary feel, and simple to use. Hence, these 2 souls, originating from opposite sides of the globe (Fernanda born in Portugal, Tim in NZ), developed a website from scratch with a balanced approach complementing each other’s strengths, with Fernanda on skin care and Tim on the new age technology. Then, we teamed up with ClarksonDesign, who showed us the magic of well-designed websites. Thus, the stage is now set for a new age for Azurlis™ Botanical Skin Care with a floral element, but not in the logo.