How a trip to Costa Rica led to a new business venture – Behind the Biz with Savegre Founder

It’s been a strange few months and I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that. Over the last couple of days I’ve managed to slowly start getting back into the swing of things, kind of. I’ve found myself with a little time to exercise, time to complete my freelance work and some bonus time for blogging.

So, now that I’m on a bit of a role I thought it would be the perfect time to share a new Behind the Biz interview.

Today I’m chatting with Rob, the founder of Savegre – anatural and organic skincare company producing rainforest blue clay face masks.

Please tell us about Savegre.

It was on my trip to h back in 2017 that I came across rainforest blue clay. After experiencing this face mask, I was determined to find something natural and as powerful back home in London. But after much research I found nothing that came close to the experience I gave my skin in Costa Rica.

I decided that I wanted to share the benefits of this rainforest blue clay with others, to improve their skin’s health. My vision was to bring a purely 100% natural (no added junk) face mask to the UK market. So, I set up Savegre in 2019. I reached out to my friend in the Costa Rica where he owns an Eco Reserve in the rainforest of the Savegre basin and he allowed me to source the rainforest blue clay from his property and so Savegre was born!

Savegre is a skincare company powered by the rainforests of Costa Rica. We produce a detoxifying clay face mask powder. Our clay is a Rainforest Blue Clay which is 100% natural, organic and contains no artificial ingredients.

Savegre Rainforest Blue Clay is hand-harvested from a very remote location deep in the Costa Rica rainforest, hand carried down a mountain for over an hour, cleaned and silted with fresh Costa Rican spring water and each product is individually hand-processed and hand-packaged. Our product contains very fine dry ‘blue clay’ powder that can be mixed with water to turn into a creamy paste for application and used as a face mask or body mask. Our detoxifying clay mask reduces blemishes, rejuvenates and extracts toxins from the skin all in 10 minutes.

What’s the story behind the name of your business?

The name Savegre comes from the region where our blue clay is sourced. Our blue clay is located in a serene and hidden valley within the greater Savegre River Valley of Costa Rica. We thought there isn’t a better way to name your product than after the beautiful area where it is from. 

What makes Savegre different?

The difference between our clay face mask and the other clay masks on the market is that ours is made from just one ingredient – 100% rainforest blue clay, nothing added, and nothing removed.

Why and how often should we be using a clay mask?

We recommend a frequency of 2-3 times a week if you have oily to combination skin, or 1-2 times a week if you have dry or sensitive skin.

What did you do before launching Savegre?

For the past 7 seven years I have been heading up marketing teams for various multi-national technology companies as well as dabbling in various side businesses. 

Did you always intend to be self-employed?

Since I took A-Level Business at school I have wanted to run my own business and have all the responsibility. My passion for business started with helping to run a shop at school and increased with studying Business Enterprise at University. This involved setting up various businesses with my peers. For the past decade I have been trying to find the right business that I could build up and go 100% into. Thankfully, I have found that with Savegre. 

Please share a business high and low with us. 

I will start off with the high – the moment I got my first order in I couldn’t stop smiling all day. That moment proved to me that all the hard work I had put in over the past year was all worth it and with that first order, my business became real. 

For my low, it was wasting a lot of money on various designers for my packaging. I made the mistake of trying to be too cheap on it and ended up getting a sub-par standard of work. What made it worse was I knew not to do this but I was just so eager to get the business operational I just went gung-ho into the process instead of saving up more money from my monthly salary at the time to get a better standard of work.

What has been your single biggest lesson from COVID19 and lockdown?

Be organised, be organised, be organised. Having all my processes organised and being on top of them is the biggest lesson I have learnt. This global lockdown has actually increased activity for my business as people are spending more time at home but still want to experience that spa treatment which my product gives you. At the beginning, I was not quite ready for the surge in demand as I have only just gone operational before Christmas 2019. So, getting all my processes streamlined and having everything organised became a number one priority. Something I can now say is all in order.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Build your business up slowly – I know a lot of people have to work full time jobs but want to run their own business. Some practical and exceptionable advice would be work the 9-5 (one with not too much stress but earns you enough to support yourself and family) and then spend all your free time working on your business. If your willing to do that then you will firstly know that this is what you really want to do and secondly it will allow you to build the business up until it gets to the point where you need to run the business full time.

Don’t be discouraged when things don’t go according to plan. When you’re building something from scratch, you’re going to make some mistakes. Being flexible and able to adapt to the unexpected will help you stay focused on what matters, rather than allowing yourself to get derailed over the little things. Look at what other companies in your market are doing and use their experience to help you get started.

The last piece of advice from me would be reach out to people – I have met so many people online and had them help me in some way. Don’t be afraid of no replies or rejection – give it a go and you will be surprised who you meet. Case in point, I reached out to Daisy (who is interviewing me for this article) and we haven’t spoken since second year at university in Leicester and yet we were able to collaborate and create content that helps both of our businesses. There are loads of nice, helpful people in the business world – you just have to keep searching till you find them.

Check out the Savegre site for more info and to buy your very own clay mask. You can also support the business and follow their journey over on Instagram.

Thank you to Rob for sharing his business journey with us today. It’s been a busy few months for Savegre and I appreciate Rob taking the time out to share his story.

It’s always fun to hear about businesses born from travel. Don’t skip out on your next holiday, it’s good to take a break and you never know what exciting ideas might come from it.

I hope Rob’s story inspires you and motivates you to chase your dreams.