When it comes to natural beauty, sustainability, adaptability, and inclusion, Ahmed Amr Nayel and Savannah Keels Nayel are way ahead of the curve.
The Charleston-based couple created a line of products meant for everyone, products that are made with your health and the evironment in mind.
Bare + Bloom is for anyone who wants to avoid harsh and potentially harmful or toxic ingredients in their beauty or grooming routines. It’s for people searching for pure, clean, effective skin and hair care. It’s for the environmentally-conscious consumer.
“Our products are free of synthetic fragrances (phthalates), harmful preservatives (like parabens), toxic foaming agents, glycols that are often used as additives, thickeners and softeners, ethanolamines, and colorants to name a few,” explains Savannah.
The couple took some time away from their busy family life and from their business to talk to us about Bare + Bloom.
Are you two originally from the Charleston/Pawleys area, and if not how did you end up there?
Savannah’s Family is from Murrells Inlet. Ahmed was born in Egypt and grew up in Long Island, NY. We both attended College of Charleston and Ahmed absolutely fell in love with the Carolinas. After getting married in 2014 we did what most millennials have to do to progress career-wise and moved around for work. Once we grew from a family of two to a family of four, we returned home to SC.
How did the two of you meet?
Savannah: The first time we laid eyes on each other is deeply ingrained in our memory. We were both new to College of Charleston, having taken a less conventional path toward education, and so we were slightly older than our peers. It was 7:30 on a Tuesday morning in August 2010 when Ahmed walked into a chemistry lab 30 minutes late. He stumbled in and while being publicly shamed by the professor for his tardiness he never took his eyes off me.
Ahmed: I walked in, and she was the first thing I saw. She just stood out in such a way that I was completely enamored by her. The way she was meticulously put together with perfectly choreographed curls in her hair and a gleaming beauty that made time stand still. I also couldn’t help but notice there was an empty desk behind her. I’m not sure what the professor said to me, but I recall his tone being fairly unpleasant. Nevertheless, when he was through I took my seat behind her, resigned to the fact that she was way out of my league. But then the most serendipitous thing happened: We were assigned as lab partners! We didn’t begin seeing each other romantically then or even that semester, and we never had another class together, but the bond and friendship we formed in that lab blossomed over the next two years until we both finally admitted to ourselves and to each other that we were meant to be together.
Where did the idea for the business first come from?
After having our first child, Lily, I was experiencing some serious postpartum hormonal changes. Among them was a really dramatic period of postpartum hair loss. No one had ever told me that I’d be losing gobs of hair and experiencing night sweats after having a baby… I tried every product I could get my hands on but it was difficult because at the same time we were both becoming hyper-aware of what we were putting on and in our bodies. After realizing none of the products I tried were working and spending so much money looking for a solution but never finding one, I decided to do some research and find a natural DIY hair growth hack. I was skeptical, but almost immediately after I started using this oil blend I noticed new growth around my hairline and it was coming in fast! We were so amazed and excited that we gave a bunch of it away to family and friends, who all gave positive feedback. It was then that we initially conceived of the idea that would become Bare + Bloom.
Do you test the products yourselves? What is the creation process like?
We absolutely test all of our products ourselves and use practically all of them in our daily routines. Not just because they’re our products but because they’re honestly that good! The creation process is not as organized or as cut and dry as you might think, especially not at first. I think the reason Bare + Bloom’s products are so practical and effective is that they were born out of a desire to solve our own very real problems. Every product we make was developed to address a specific issue.
We love the branding – how did that come about?
(Ahmed) The name Bare + Bloom came to me one day when I was walking back to our 850 square foot apartment in North Jersey from the train station one day after work. The idea is that when a person stops trying to achieve beauty by covering up and instead cultivated and embraces their natural (bare) beauty, that is when we truly blossom. It stems from a belief that we are all beautiful in our pure and unadulterated form. It’s also a double entendre! Our daughter, Lily (4), is our little flower, and our son, Abraham (2), is our bubba bear.
How would you describe your own personal interests in a more natural/eco-friendly lifestyle?
We live an extremely active lifestyle, especially outdoors. Living in an area where the wildlife is so active gives us pause as adults in the grips of the present world to acknowledge the ways in which we have let the environment and wildlife down. We incorporate functional diets and fitness routines into our lifestyle, eating seasonally, buying local and organic goods, being as self-sustaining as possible, and reducing our energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels as much as possible. We feel strongly that it is our responsibility to decrease our environmental footprint as much as possible.
Who is Bare + Bloom for? What’s a good product to start with?
Bare + Bloom is for anyone who wants to avoid harsh and potentially harmful or toxic ingredients in their beauty or grooming routines. It’s for people who are tired of the empty promises of the mainstream beauty industry and are searching for pure, clean, and effective skin and hair care. It’s for the environmentally-conscious consumer.
How do you hope B+B will evolve or expand over time?
We don’t know exactly how to put this into words… We have a lot of plans for Bare + Bloom. We hope to use our success to partner with more non-profits and other organizations geared toward environmental, wildlife, and energy conservation. Ultimately, we believe Bare + Bloom has the potential to become a household name.
Currently, Bare + Bloom products are available exclusively through our website, bareandbloomnaturals.com. Charlotteans can look forward to seeing us at a lot more trade shows and expos going forward, and to seeing us in salons and boutiques across the region in the near future.
Shop Charleston natural beauty products atbareandbloomnaturals.com