Shaz and Kiks‘ Ayurvedic approach to hair care is piquing consumer curiosity.
The brand launched over the summer with two pre-washes that incorporate Asian Ayurvedic rituals that cofounder-sisters Shaz Rajashekar and Kiku Chaudhuri, after whom the brand is named, grew up using. Pandemic-related supply chain challenges emerged pre-launch, as Shaz and Kiks both formulates and manufactures from scratch.
“The logistics from the beginning of even a thought of a product have a lot of multiple steps,” Chaudhuri said. “Then you factor in things shutting down. The back-end of things is where the heaviest lift and the most complicated part unfolds.”
Shaz and Kiks’ manufacturing hub, based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, shut down from March to June.
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“These products are priced higher because we pay our suppliers a fair wage that they deserve, which they have historically not been paid,” she continued. “I think transparency into, traditionally, a boring and hidden world of supply chain has become something of interest to our customers.”
The recent protests by farmers in New Delhi has caused some disruption to Shaz and Kiks’ ingredient-sourcing. The protests, Chaudhuri said, are “incredibly important,” noting the need for farmers to “function in a proper way where the government is supporting them.”
“We stand by the farmers and we are happy to support them and work with their protests,” she said.
Chaudhuri and her sister have seen interest in education on Ayurvedic wellness and how it relates to hair care. That interest has driven the cofounders to be more confident in weaving their heritage into Shaz and Kiks’ branding.
“There is some knowledge [about Ayurveda] — and some know more than others — but overall there is the want to learn more,” Chaudhuri said. “We were always hesitant of putting our culture so forefront of our brand. There are a lot of stereotypical ideas about [Ayurveda], which we didn’t like.
“We’ve come out unapologetically,” she continued. “The past few months we’ve leaned into our branding. Whether you’re familiar with our culture or not, we’re welcoming you in without white gloves. That’s been well-received.”
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