Interview with Shivonie Tirbhawandat of Sahasra Beauty
When master’s student Shivonie Tirbhawandat realized she couldn’t splurge on her usual beauty necessities, she began creating her own. A skincare enthusiast, fascinated with global beauty rituals, she incorporated ingredients from origins all around the world. Sahasra Beauty is handcrafted using pure ingredients with a focus on customizable packaging for a tailored aesthetic –– something most of her millennial customers care about.
What made you decide to start your own beauty company?
In the middle of working on my masters in Health Informatics, and doing configuration and customer service at my job, I was so unhappy. I liked my job and the feeling that I was working on securing a degree; it was just that I felt like there was something missing –– something that I should be pursuing. Once I created Sahasra, there was so much more excitement in my life, and something that I always looked forward to working on. Starting Sahasra was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Plus, having a masters came with a hefty price. I had to cut down on some of my favorite beauty products. My favorite serum was $70 and flew by within a month, so I decided to make my own beauty products. I was so obsessed with skincare and natural ingredients that it just clicked for me one day. I slowly built my company while pursuing my degree–– I never quit school or work. Creating a beauty brand is a lot of fun (and work), but an education is very important. Secure your degree first, and then work on your exciting ideas.
What is the mission behind your brand?
I wanted to cultivate products that made people feel good without having them feel like they just burned out their wallet. I want a customer to say, ‘I purchased a product that looks good, has quality ingredients, and I didn’t have to spend a ton of money on it.’ At the end of the day, it’s all about good wellness and spirit. I try my best to make products that are versatile. Our Jasmine Floral Makeup Setting Spray can be used as a face mist, the Multani Mitti Clay can be used on hair, and our Monoi Glow Shimmering Body Oil can be used as a liquid bronzer.
What makes your brand different from others on the market?
The customization of packaging stands out to me. I’ve incorporated neutral colors into the brand, and I’ve given customers the option of choosing which shade they want with their product. For example, customers have the option of choosing between a nude or pink nude label with their jasmine spray. I didn’t originally plan on providing packaging customization, but I thought, ‘Why not just let people choose?’
Who is the Sahasra girl?
The Sahasra girl is one who loves self-care, exploring new ingredients, and they acquire a style that reflects minimalism and elegance.
What was important to you when creating your own skincare?
Our company is most definitely cruelty-free, and I only reach for natural ingredients when creating my products. I am careful on scents because I don’t want to throw something in there that might be too overpowering.
What are your swear by beauty tips?
I cannot live without green tea! It’s an essential. I like to drink it without sugar or milk. It’s great for your health, cleanses your body, and treats your skin well. My other tip is to travel to your local beauty supply store. I always find quality and cheap beauty products there. I’ve been using cotton muslin cloths to cleanse my face since I was a teenager. Once I use it, I can toss it, which means I won’t be reusing something that can accumulate bacteria and germs. I also don’t pat my face dry with a towel. I use a paper towel or napkin because face towels can harbor bacteria.
Do you have any beauty rituals that you use to unwind or practice self-care?
I love visiting my hair stylist for treatments. Exfoliating is a very important ritual to me. Instead of using a body scrub, I use exfoliating gloves with my favorite body wash, and slab on some coconut oil after. When I don’t take care of myself, I stress about it –– a lot. I get very busy, which isn’t an excuse, but when I miss a weekend where I don’t treat my hair or skin with a facial, I get kind of disappointed in myself because it’s like I’m giving up on my time-management and didn’t take the time to care for myself. Every time I go the extra mile to practice self-care, I have some sense of relief.
What keeps you sane?
Managing a business and working on your masters is very stressful. In college I had bad time-management skills. After opening a business I had to learn how to turn that around. I always keep my agenda with me and write down everything I have to do that day. It helps me execute tasks more smoothly and efficiently. I wasn’t, and still am not, the most organized person, but when I am more organized, I’m able to accomplish more tasks by the end of the day.
Sometimes I forget to take care of myself, but I’ve learned how to change all of that. All it takes is a few changes to turn bad habits into good ones. I started going to bed earlier and eating healthier foods to keep me energized. I cut back on caffeine and I started drinking more coconut water, water, and tea, which makes me feel more alert. I’m able to stay on top of things throughout the day. I prepped my meals for the week, and that has helped me a lot. Spending time with my love ones is important too. I turn my phone off and tune into my family. Also, kicking back with a glass of wine is definitely the way to go.
Which products can be found in your medicine cabinet?
I love Pacifica's Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash. It’s a great cleanser that creates the perfect balance for my skin. I recently started using SKINRx Lab MadeCera Cream. My skin tends to get flaky and dull sometimes and this helped it bounce right back. My essential makeup items are my Dior Addict Ultra-Glosses, my Diorshow Black Out Mascara, and my BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer.
Any news or upcoming product launches?
I’ll be launching individual cotton muslin pads in the near future. Also, a scrub is in the works!