Meet Founder's Beauty CEO Sonam Uttamchandani-Nanwani
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Beautiful Inside and Out: Meet Founder’s Beauty CEO Sonam Uttamchandani-Nanwani

Beautiful Inside and Out: Meet Founder’s Beauty CEO Sonam Uttamchandani-Nanwani

Business & Career | May 5, 2022
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Taking her passion to new heights, Sonam Uttamchandani-Nanwani established Founder’s Beauty—a skincare company that centers on both health and wellness.

Sonam Uttamchandani-Nanwani’s skincare journey began in 2011. From being an active individual⁠—bouncing around from task to task and juggling about a million things to do⁠—the future Founder and CEO of Founder’s Beauty began to feel extremely fatigued during one summer break from university.

“It was clear that something wasn’t right,” Sonam begins. “Not only did I feel fatigued, but I also began to see a layer of adult acne developing on the surface of my face, which only continued to get worse and worse. It truly wasn’t a pleasant experience.” She then decided to seek medical help, “Not for the exhaustion⁠—this was something I felt would be easy to recover from (or so I thought). Instead, I went to sort out my acne, which was becoming extremely painful.

Her dermatologist immediately recommended the use of Accutane, which required some bloodwork before use. “It was then that I found out I had other things going on in my system,” she reveals.

Blessing in Disguise

Soram felt grateful to have caught it early enough to treat and recover from. “Now I look back and think, my acne was a blessing in disguise,” she shares. “Without it, I would’ve never known my numbers were off. It was through this experience and process that I learned I had an autoimmune condition.”

To manage her condition, specific changes needed to be made. “My doctors requested I stop using any products that contained parabens, sulfates, SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), and other harmful chemicals.” This meant restricting the use of most products like toothpaste, shampoos, body washes, lotions, creams, and serums⁠—basically anything used on the skin or ingested that contained said ingredients. ”Not only was this overwhelming, but coupled with extreme changes in my diet, these restrictions were almost demoralizing.”

Unlike most women, Sonam now had to think twice about the products she uses. “I remember being in shock when my doctor said to me that just about every common facial cleanser, body lotion, and shampoo wasn’t recommended. However, with the support of family and dear friends, I knew I had to find another way to heal.

Everything was put on hold as she made major changes. Processed food was switched to fresh home-cooked meals and when it came to skincare, she traded in tretinoin for tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide for lemon juice. “With time, my skin began to clear, and friends and family started to take notice,” she enthuses. “Everyone began asking me how my skin looked so fresh after a long night or a long flight.”

They began to ask her to share her secret and she happily made extra batches of products she formulated herself. “I truly enjoyed it and it fulfilled me to learn that a friend or family member could benefit from something that was created at home.”

Making a Business Out of Her Passion

The one setback, however, is the cost of going organic. “When friends and family received their products, they noticed they would only last a couple of days since it was so organic and contained no preservatives.” Nevertheless, encouragement came her way in varying degrees⁠—with people telling her to start her own line and expand the scale of its manufacturing.

Sonam, however, had other ideas. “It wasn’t a business I never looked to create a line of my own,” she explains. “I created these products because I loved them, and I would share them with whoever wanted because they enjoyed using them.

Instead, she sought to expand the scope of what she can possibly offer. “I looked to learn more about all things wellness and living a healthy life.” With that, she obtained a degree in psychology and went on to become a certified health coach and teach others about the practice.

“It wasn’t until after I got married⁠—while on my honeymoon in New Zealand⁠—that my love for skincare was further fueled,” she shares. “I saw so many amazing products that I loved!” She then thought to herself, “Maybe I’ll curate a line of amazing products and bring them to the South East Asian region!

As soon as she got home, she already had a list of companies she wanted to work with to curate her line of products. “Call it fate, call it destiny, but the first phone call I made ended up going to a formulation lab.”

Launching Founder’s Beauty

Fast forward to September 2020, when Founder’s Beauty finally launched. “After eight years of creating products for myself and three years of formulating and testing, Founders Beauty was finally here!” While Sonam believes that the circumstances that sparked her passion weren’t the most ideal, today she looks back and feels nothing but gratitude.

Starting a clean beauty line with the aim to educate and empower people to do what’s best for their bodies and skin has always been Sonam’s grand idea and this has been baked into the company’s core since her ordeal back in 2011. “With everything that’s going on in the world, it wasn’t enough for me to create something that was going to be another bottle on the shelf,” she explains.

“Grounded in nature and tied together by self-love, Founder’s Beauty is a holistic experience that is redefining how we look at beauty and skincare—without the filters, the fluff, and the fancy ingredients,” she adds.

In fact, she likes to get to the root of it. “We take lifestyle, balance, and wellness into account. The root of most skincare concerns is usually found to occur as a result of lack of sleep, diet, or a hormonal imbalance. One must look at their day-to-day, and treat that before treating their skin directly.”

On Planning Well

As for Sonam herself, she has found that meditation is definitely something for her. “I find that when I meditate and make time for the people I love, I am fuelled to work harder and achieve more, whilst still being fulfilled. I never feel an imbalance when I have spent enough time meditating and spending time with friends and family. It is through this that I am inspired to work harder.”

Words of inspiration also work for her. “Each day you work makes you 3.65 times better than you were at the start of the year. So, keep at it. I continue to tell myself this every day,” she opines.

It’s this discovery in her personal life that inspired PlanWell, which was built out of a desire to let people know that their time is fully theirs. “We want them to take time for themselves, for their routines and rituals, as well as for [their] skincare. Imbalances in one’s life reflect on their skin first. Yes, you should purchase good products but first, PlanWell.

Sustainability, on the other hand, is also a front-of-mind choice. “We celebrate the essentials and inject mindfulness into everyday life—from how we treat ourselves to how we treat the planet. This is beauty that goes beyond the skin.”

And with her company’s foundation finally established, Sonam is excited about what’s in store for the future. “I would hope to inspire—through our platform and products—individuals to become founders of their own beauty and self-care routine.” Likewise, in five years, she aims for growth in every sector—from the products they make to their online and offline presence, with the goal of tying wellness and skincare together.

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The Planners are available for purchase at www.foundersbeauty.com.

Pinky is the President and CEO of Progressive Laboratories, Qualibet Testing Services Corp. and KPP Powers Commodities. A chemist by profession, she is also the President of the Association of the Bureau of Animal Industry Registered Companies and Recognized Testing Laboratories (ABAIL). A humanitarian at heart, Pinky hosts a weekly online show called Grateful Tuesdays. On top of all this, she is also a wife and a mother of two.
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