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From Farm To Store, An Interview With The Founder Of PuraVida

  • 4 min read
For this week’s blog post we caught up with Jennifer Deegan, the director of one of Europe’s most organic CBD brands, to learn more about her personal journey and how it kickstarted the company’s mission.

1. What does Pura Vida Organic stand for?

PuraVida stands for ‘Pure life’ in Spanish. I spent a significant amount of time in Costa Rica and was inspired by the vitality, love for the outdoor, and health lifestyle of the people and the incredible nature there. I felt this name really embodied and encapsulated the vision I have for the brand.

2. How did the brand come together?

I am originally from South Africa but I have spent a lot of my time working and studying abroad. After Costa Rica, I moved to the Netherlands I was working with a company that develops machines to extract CBD oil. At the time I was also suffering from Eczema (a life long battle, an autoimmune skin condition. It was during this time that I decided I wanted to create an all-natural vegan CBD skincare line to help others with their wellness journey after seeing the amazing results on my own skin as well as other test groups for various skin conditions. In 2017 I moved to Croatia to be closer to the source of our main raw materials – HEMP and to start working with local farmers who could also provide other organic raw materials we us in our skincare line. I completed a 3 year course based specifically on Organic skincare and wellness. It is much more trickier and time intensive to produce organic products as the techniques and materials are very different to chemicals and synthetic compounds. We live, breathe and sleep what we do. Personally I am happiest in my lab surrounded by all sorts of extracts, oils, butters, waxes and some good music!

3. Where do you source your ingredients from and what farmers do you work with?

A lot of our ingredients are sourced in Croatia. For example, the beeswax and honey is from a local beekeeper who is the 3rd generation of beekeepers in his family. Our particular lavender oil comes from an island in the Mediterranean just off the Croatian mainland called Hvar. Our Hemp oil and CBD extracts are grown organically nearby. There are still some ingredients that cannot be sourced here like coconut oil for example, but our plan for the future is to minimize our supply chain and have all of our ingredients sourced nearby. We have a close relationship with all our farmers and find it important to know and experience their work ethos in order to have an authentic relationship with our products. We own all of our own formulas, produce everything in-house and mostly use old-school manufacturing techniques to preserve the natural state of the raw materials. Organic materials can be heavily damaged if you use extensive thermal processing or massive fields of electricity from large machinery.

4. What are some of your favourite products and why?

Our CBD oil is my favourite because it's so versatile. Our Hemp and Honey moisturizer is also my daily go-to hydration cream. I also love our mint black lip balm because of the smell and purity of the ingredients. It feels great to apply this throughout the day!

5. How has Covid-19 affected your business and the industry as a whole?

Covid-19 has created a bigger awareness for the health and wellness industries. People are now caring more than ever for their immune systems and placing more of an importance on their bodies and wellbeing. It shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic to force people to realise this, but the CBD industry has been one of the few industries to be on the positive side at this time. We are also using this time to prepare the launch of our new CBD hair care range which will be launched in Q3 or Q4 of 2020.

6. As thought leaders in wellbeing, what would be your top tips for people placing more of an importance on themselves during this time?

Before you put anything into your body, do your research! This stands true for CBD as well. You must do your own research to assess whether you can trust the company and potency levels of their oils. Look for third party accreditations such as Cosmos, Eco Cert, Soil association. These ensure that what your getting is actually organic!

7. How did CBD help you with your autoimmune disease?

When I had Eczema I noticed the immediate therapeutic effect on my skin from taking CBD. The itching subsided and the CBD cream itself also had other ingredients to make the effect as soothing as possible (shea butter, hemp seed oil and vitamin E – which are all vital for healing damaged and weak skin). Everybody is different so you will respond differently to CBD. In my experience for people with autoimmune disease, I would say it is something that you will need to use regularly. For others it may be something you want to experiment with and try for a couple of weeks at a time, taking temporary breaks from it. But I do find for skin conditions you see results the quickest when you use the creams regularly.

8. Where do you think lies ahead for the world after Covid-19?

I think in general this time has been an important phase of reset for our planet. People will be healthier and have a bigger focus on small businesses. We've seen in these times that many big businesses are not able to survive and people are starting to support their local businesses more.

It is clear that we are at a crucial time where our planet will only survive if sustainability is at the heart of consumers, brands and governments. Here at MountVerdi, we are proud to showcase a brand for you to discover CBD in a way that truly provides a natural alternative to mainstream manufacturing, whilst helping you to heal and nourish your body with minimal environmental impact.

Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor and listen to your body on what works for you.

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