Crush Of The Week

DUŠA & KAMEN | The skincare brand we urge you to try

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Dusa And Kamen is the new skincare brand you need to try! Made 100% from natural and organic ingredients, their products are the boost that your skin needs to heal itself. We spoke to founder Hana Boppre to find out more about her and how it all started.

Picture/Anna Berthier

Can you please tell us the story of DUŠA & KAMEN, how did it start and how did the idea come to life?

I always had trouble with my skin, from my teenage years through adulthood.
Like every other woman, I tried all kinds of different products, but I was just trying to treat the symptoms and was treating my skin like an enemy using products, chemicals and make-up just to cover up my impurities as well as my own insecurities.
My skin became even worse, so I started reading more about INCIs, skin types and how to mix my own products- because I had tested pretty much anything that was commercially available.
After a while, my skin felt a lot better and as I completely immersed into the DIY skincare topic, I found similarities about the commercial skincare industry to the general health industry – I was working as a Physiotherapist at that time.
The industry is trying to sell you a magic pill, an easy fix and a 12-step routine for your skincare or health issues but life and especially our body does not work that way – we are complex systems that must be treated holistically in order to really improve.
That was the time I read about the slow and mindful beauty movement and I totally fell in love with. I wanted to create my own skincare brand as there was not really a European or German slow beauty brand and I also wanted to incorporate my love for gemstones. DUŠA & KAMEN, which means soul & stone in serbo-croatian, was born.
I have worked on the products for nearly two years, creating everything from scratch, working mostly on weekends and late at night – like most mompreneurs.
After fighting through all the ups and downs and a global pandemic we finally launched our Rose Quartz line in June 2020 and what can I say? It has been a crazy ride ever since.

The industry is trying to sell you a magic pill, an easy fix and a 12-step routine for your skincare or health issues but life and especially our body does not work that way”

What is so particular about the DUŠA & KAMEN products? I truly love the Rose Quartz toner and oil!

I always love to hear that 🙂 We are part of the slow and mindful beauty movement, so we do not believe in quick fixes and rather focus on supporting your skin holistically.
We think instead of treating the impurities or issues that you currently have that we want to give your skin what it needs to heal itself. So, we focus on 100% natural and organic ingredients which have been selected for troubled and mixed skin without any synthetics and of course without mineral oils, parabens and so on.
On top of that, we want to anchor an easy and mindful daily ritual into your daily skincare routine to create what I call my Sunny-Sunday-Morning moments.
These mindful rituals really helped me to accept and love my skin, being more mindful and changing my whole attitude around skincare. Loving yourself and your skin is a big factor in our product line as well in improving your skin.
The last ingredient is my love for gemstones and especially rose quartz, which is said to help and improve the blood flow, so it is the perfect stone for skincare. All our products contain authentic rose quartz stones in every bottle.

Picture/Liz Webster

How has the brand been received by the public, and what were some of the best feedback?

That is the most amazing part about our journey so far. The feedback has been phenomenal, I still remember the first 5-star review we got, I could not believe that this was real and, up until now, I kinds suffer from an imposter syndrome.
We have received incredible feedback from industry experts, beauty magazines and of course, our customers, and I still must remind myself every day that this is real. The feeling that I have created something that other women with troubled skin love is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world to me.
I have walked in those shoes and I know the feeling when you step out of your door, not using make-up for the first time and feeling completely confident – it is magical I wish that every woman is able to experience that.

“One of my personal key goals for 2021 is establishing our brand in the Middle East and we are already talking to several retailers and partners that are interested in adding our products to their stores.”

How does living in Germany influence your way of thinking business-wise but also how does it inspire you in terms of skincare and beauty?

I truly share the German values for working hard and going the extra mile in order to be successful. I am a perfectionist when it comes to product design and quality – that’s why our customers feel our love for every detail when they use our products.
I have been involved in every step of the process, creating the formulation, designing the packaging and bottles as well as building the website together with my husband.
And I think that is why our customers fall in love with our products – they feel that we are real and honestly care about them and their skin. We also focus on being as sustainable and green as possible by being very selective with our sourcing process for all our suppliers.
This honesty is something most people haven’t felt for a long time when they use skincare products and being a brand that can be trusted is what gets me up every morning.

Picture/Liz Webster

What does your days look like as the founder of DUŠA & KAMEN?

I normally get up rather early so 6 am most of the days, starting with a fantastic cappuccino from my husband and sometimes, when we are lucky, we have 10-15 min for ourselves before our little girl wakes up.
After that, we have breakfast and I help my little angle to get ready for day-care (if it is not closed due to the pandemic rules in Germany which was the case the last months).
After that, I normally go for a walk in the nature for around 20 min to get ready for the day.
I start digging through Instagram messages, comments and e-mails and depending on the order volume of the day before I head over to our little warehouse where I package the orders and bring them to our local post office myself.
After that, I work through my list (I am obsessed with lists and checklist, so I use ASANA for that) and in the afternoon I get my little angel and depending on the weather we head to the playground or ride our bikes.
I most of the time do 1-2 hours of work again after my little angel is in bed. So, it is all about balancing my company and my family every day.

If you had to choose one of your product which one would it be and why?

I truly love them all, but I think the most wonderful thing is the combination of toner and oil. They work together as a team on your skin and built a cream-like moisture without the emulsifiers and texture of a real cream.
I always feel like a mad scientist when I describe it but the feeling on the skin as well as the gentle scent of the oil just takes me away to these Sunny-Sunday-Morning moments and that is just magical for me.

What are the next plans for the brand?

We want to continue our growth in our core market which is Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as in other European countries.
We are already partnering with more than a dozen beauticians and beauty clinics and we plan to continue to grow our b2b market share. We also have been contacted by some major beauty retailers that are interested in working with us on a global level – so that might be an upcoming opportunity for us.
One of my personal key goals for 2021 is establishing our brand in the Middle East and we are already talking to several retailers and partners that are interested in adding our products to their stores.

Discover more about DUŠA & KAMEN and shop it here !