An Interview with Saadia

Saadia with a handful of fresh Argan fruit. Just south of Essaouira, Morocco.

 

Saadia Organics isn’t just a random name our company chose for itself. Saadia is the mother in law of co-owner, Joèl, and is also our Production Manager.

Here is a little interview with Saadia conducted and translated by her son, Greg. (Joèl’s husband).

How long have you been making Argan Oil?

I have being making Argan Oil since I was 15 or 16 years old.  I helped my mom make it for us to eat or for my father to sell in the market.

How do you, personally, use your Argan Oil?

I grew up using Argan Oil in my hair.  I’d put some through before washing it.  I still use it in my hair now.  I also use it on my skin.

What makes your Argan Oil so special?  It really is different than other brands available?

I make sure to get only the BEST quality Argan fruit pits from farms that have no goats.  I have to pay a lot more money for pits for our oil, but it’s worth it.  The kernels inside are always fresh.  They are from healthy trees.  If a goat is climbing all over a tree, branches break.  The tree is unhealthy.  How can you get healthy fruit from an unhealthy tree?  I am very picky about choosing my materials.  Also, my Argan Oil is made by hand.  No machines.  Machines can warm up the oil while it’s being made.  Argan Oil for beauty should not be made with any heat at all.  So yes, this oil is different.  Very different.  Most brands don’t really care about the farms where the fruit is picked from.  They don’t care about the freshness of the pits.  They just want a cheap price when they’re buying them.  They also want the oil to be made quickly.  So they use machines.  It takes us a long time to make a litre of oil for Saadia Organics, but it’s worth it.  The quality is the best.

What did you think when Joèl asked you about creating a company to sell your oil?

I though it was a great idea!  We want to share this special oil with others.  It’s so rare to be able to find Argan Oil that is of the best quality.

How has Saadia Organics made a difference in your day to day life?

It so good to know that you have your own income.  Women in Morocco feel proud when they are able to support themselves.  And I am very proud to now be able to support not only myself, but also the other women who work for Saadia Organics.  This company has meant a big change for them and their families .

Any plans on how you would like to spend your new income?

I plan to buy a different apartment in Essaouira.  My current building is not in great shape and in need of some big repairs.  I want to find a “new” place – probably outside of the medina – that is safe and secure.

As the company grows, your need for more people to help make the oil grows. What kind of women would you like to hire?

I would like to grow the company and hire a lot more women.  And I also would like to do after work programs that teach these women – as most of them have never had the chance to go to school.  I particularly want to hire single moms, single women, and women who are supporting their families.  It is not easy for a woman to support herself and her children in Morocco alone. 

What has been the biggest challenge in becoming the Production Manager for Saadia Organics?

For me?  None really!  As we get busier I will be able to hire more women.  But that won’t be difficult.  It’s easy to find women who are willing to work in a safe, private place for good wages. 

What is your ultimate dream for Saadia Organics?

I would be excited to see this become a famous, international company.  Known for the best quality Argan Oil available.

How else might we help the women of Morocco?

Know that buying this oil is really helping change our lives over here.  And I want to say thank you – it means a lot to them.  And to me. 

Saadia and Greg on an Argan farm – March 2011

Review for Saadia Organics Argan Oil – by: Andrea Shillington

I carry my Argan Oil with me wherever I go! It’s a super healer and it works on all of my skin’s ailments including dry cuticles, ingrown hairs, dry skin patches, eczema…. you name it!

The most memorable time using this product was when I introduced it to my best friend the day before her wedding.  She had just had her eyebrows waxed and they ripped a layer of skin off leaving her brows with a red scab! Ack! We used this Argan Oil on it the night before her big day and by the next morning it had healed enough to apply make up over top of the redness. Phew!

I also love that this product is so natural you can eat it. It’s not made with anything but pure goodness. Not to mention that the women behind this miracle brand are helping the lives of Moroccan women. The product is amazing and the company is making a positive difference!

With gratitude,

Andrea Shillington
Founder & Owner
Brands for the People

http://www.brandsforthepeople.com

 

Warning: You Don’t Want This Stuff on Your Face

Another new article surfaced about beauty products in the Washington Post National earlier this week.  And the big bad headline says…

Soaps, makeup and other items contain deadly ingredients,say consumer advocates

My reaction?

“Ugh.  Not again.”

You see, I love beauty products.  Few things in the world are more fun to me than makeup.  I adore cosmetics and all of the lovely little potions that make me look and feel great.

But I hate the thought of phthalates, parabens, formaldehye and diethanolamine on my skin.  Not only on my skin, but on my 4 year old daughter’s.  It just seems wrong to use products that cause allergies, disrupt hormones or increase our chances of getting cancer.

So I’m trying to be selective.  My go-to resource for choosing products has been the Environmental Working Group’s website called the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.  The goal is to have as many products in your powder room as possible that are in the “green zone” with ratings from 0 to 2.

And what does pure Argan Oil rate?

A big beautiful Green Zero.

The other beautiful thing about Argan Oil?  It is so darn multipurpose.  Everyone in the family can benefit from it.  Women, men, children and even your pets.  You might have seen our posts on some unique uses for Saadia Organics Argan Oil here and here.  You might also have read our testamonials posts here and here.

Our Argan Oil is a marvelous thing.  

One product with one ingredient that is so natural you can eat it.

Well, actually, not only can you eat it, you would actually enjoy multiple health benefits if you did.  Consuming Argan Oil means lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.  It also has anti-diabetic and anti-tumorigenic effects.  One trial showed that mice who had Argan Oil added to their diet lost weight.  (*Sources listed below.)

So does this mean you should take a swig from our little blue bottles?  Well, you certainly could!  But remember, our Cosmetic Grade Argan Oil is from raw, unroasted pits from the fruit of the Argan tree.  When those pits are roasted?  The flavour of the oil that comes out of the kernels is phenomenal.  If you really want a marvelous oil to drizzle on a salad or dip your bread in, Culinary Argan Oil is what you’re after.  And another bonus?  It’s less expensive than Cosmetic Argan Oil since it doesn’t take as long to produce.  The kernels of roasted Argan pits give up their oil much more readily.

If you’re interested in Culinary Argan Oil, drop me a note at joel@saadiaorganics.com – I might be able to help you.  If you’re interested in our Cosmetic Grade Oil, enjoy having a look at our website.

xo, j~

 

 

 

 

*Sources discussing the health benefits of Argan Oil

http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2006/270639.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/95s0316/95s-0316-rpt0255-05-Argan-Oil-vol174.pdf

http://www.academicjournals.org/ajfs/PDF/Pdf2010/Jul/Dalouh%20et%20al.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12548113

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16554174

 

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Forget Botox – THIS is What You’ve Been Looking For

If you’re in the process of fighting wrinkles and trying to look a bit younger, have I got the ideal combination for you.

Do I love our Argan Oil? Of course I do. It has done amazing things for a lot of people, myself included. I love what it does to my hair. It’s cleaned up my sometimes raggedy cuticles. It keeps my dry skin soft and hydrated. It took care of my Angry Eyelids (a couple of times). And it helped reduce the appearance of the horizontal lines on my forehead.

But you know? Even though I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my forehead lines, in certain light, I can still see them a bit (especially if I’ve been a bit stressed and do too much ‘eyebrow raising’ in a day).  And I know it’s silly, but those lines bug me.  I’m 36 years old.  I should expect a few wrinkles here and there.  But these forehead lines really get on my nerves.

It probably doesn’t help that I arrived at my daughter’s preschool just over a year ago to have one of her teachers laughing and eyeballing my forehead.  I obviously asked him what was so funny.  His response?

“Eden was drawing in the atelier.  She drew a big circle and started scribbling big black lines across the top of the circle.  I asked her what she was drawing.”

Her answer?

“My mommy’s forehead.”

My solution?

I asked Ainslie – my hair stylist, business partner and friend – to GIVE ME BANGS RIGHT NOW.

But I have a round face.  Bangs don’t work too well for me.  Plus they’re high maintenance.  So was I glad to have my mother-in-law, Saadia’s Argan Oil work so well.

But the lines.  I can still see them sometimes.

Until last night that is!

I went to this wonderful Lunar New Year’s event at Red Tree Wellness.  I’ve been seeing Sonia Tan on and off for 5 years.  She’s amazing and the results I’ve gotten from her treatments are staggering.  Dr. Sonia has never steered me wrong.  I love her to bits. So I was more than happy to attend Red Tree’s soiree last night.

The food was delicious, the company was lovely.  And the mini facials with acupuncture?  Out of this world!

My treatment started with an herbal mask.  Cool, refreshing and light.  Then it was time for the acupuncture.  I asked Chrystal to concentrate on my forehead.  I got two needles in my hands, and maybe about 8 in my face.  Then I drifted off for a good 10 minutes of flawless relaxation.  After that, the needles were removed, Saadia Organics Argan Oil was applied, and then I got a wonderful massage with a jade roller.

I left feeling like I’d spent the entire day at the spa.  And my forehead?  Looked virtually flawless.  I was shocked.  Even more shocking was how my facial muscles felt.  The last thing I wanted to do was do the ‘eyebrow raise’.  I could have forced it – my face certainly wasn’t ‘frozen’ as it would have been if I’d just had Botox.  But my forehead was so relaxed and it felt like it was far too much effort to hoist up my brows to create deeper wrinkles.

I am beyond impressed.  And this was just the ‘mini’ version of Red Tree’s Facial Acupuncture Rejuvenation Treatment.  I can’t imagine what the full 90 minute treatment would be like.   People would probably think I’m my 4 year old daughter’s teenaged sister.  😉

The best part?  All of the proceeds for the evening went to a wonderful cause.  Create Change is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and providing access to those living without clean water, education, and health, in Africa.   At Saadia Organics, we’re glad to be employing women in North Africa to make our Argan Oil, and it was certainly nice to give to a worthy cause south of the Sahara.

All in all, last night was absolutely wonderful!  And if you’re looking for a solution to your wrinkles, consider going this natural route.  Forget Botox and face creams with a list of ingredients 100 miles long containing things you can’t pronounce.  I can’t imagine anything working better than Facial Acupuncture Rejuvenation and Argan Oil.

xo, j~

 

 

 

Musings on Morocco

Every day I post a Moroccan proverb on Twitter and on our Facebook page.  Some of them are easy to resonate with.   Others are a little ridiculous.  A few are incomprehensible.  These proverbs seem to be quite representative of the country where our Argan Oil is made – the place where Saadia lives.

Visiting Morocco for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for some.  There are things that are easier for foreigners to resonate with.  But other things are surprising, and even ridiculous, to try to understand.  Some things will be utterly incomprehensible.

When in Morocco I find it very easy to resonate with the beauty.  The colour, the gorgeous riads (traditional houses) and the never ending beaches on the coast.

Then there is the surprising.  Entering any medina in any city or town will leave you confused.  There is no rhyme or reason to any of them.  Their ridiculous maze-like streets and lanes are beyond even the most skilled map maker’s abilities.  Just when you think you are on the right track, you hit a dead end.

Then there is the incomprehensible.  When walking through the medina of the capital city of Rabat, I was shocked to see a man with a table set up in the street where many butchers were selling their meat.  The man with the table had a very special kind of meat for sale.  He only sold….

Feet.

Cow feet, sheep feet, goat feet.  I was appalled.  And intrigued.  I asked my husband what people would do with these various animal feet and he said he didn’t know.  I was very unsatisfied with this answer, so I asked again.  “No really.  Why would people buy FEET?”  His answer?

“To make feet tagine.”

Aah, tagine.  The Moroccan answer to both lunch and dinner six days a week.

I discovered an old saying while planning my first trip to Morocco in 2002.  It quickly became one of my favourite things ever written and I’m not even really sure why.

You tell me you are going to Fez. Now, if you say you are going to Fez, that means you are not going. But I happen to know that you are going to Fez. Why have you lied to me, you who are my friend?

Try to wrap your mind around that one!

Or on second thought – don’t try.  Morocco is a fascinating place.  But it is a country that I think is best left unanalyzed.  Just take it for what it is.  Enjoy and adore what is beautiful.  Laugh at what is ridiculous and incomprehensible.  And appreciate that you are somewhere very special and unique.

xo, joèl~

P.S. Fez is an amazing city in northern Morocco. I spent 5 days there on my first trip. Strangely enough, my Moroccan husband hasn’t been there yet! It’s really worth seeing, though. You just have to get really lucky and meet some great people to show you around the city like I did! The medina in Fez is absolutely impossible and wonderful all at once.

 

P.P.S.  For more Musings on Morocco, visit our brand new blog:  saadiaorganics.blogspot.com  — travel tips, cultural tidbits, photos and more.

Hello from Saadia Organics!

We, Joèl and Ainslie, are so excited to get the purest, most authentic, eco-friendly Argan Oil from Essaouira, Morocco to Vancouver, BC to you.

Unfortunately, there is a LOT of Argan Oil out there that is of poor quality.  Much of it isn’t even Argan Oil at all.  But we know exactly who is making our oil and how it is being made because I (Joèl) am related to these fabulous women.

Our company is named after my mother in law, Saadia who has been making Argan Oil for cosmetic and culinary use since she was a young girl.  She is our Production Manager and makes much of our Argan Oil herself.  As demand increases, so does her staff.  Fortunately, we have a lot of relatives over in Essaouira, and they love gathering together to get this Argan Oil made for you.

So whatever you need Argan Oil for:  Troubled skin.  Wrinkles.  Your hair.  Your nails.  Your baby’s bottom.  Your child’s cuts and scrapes.  (Plus a myriad of other issues.  The possibilities are endless.)  We guarantee you’ll love the results you’ll get with our product:  Organic.  Vegan.  Nut-free.  And environmentally friendly.  (We don’t just take from the precious Argania spinosa trees, Saadia is planting new ones on the farm that she inherited!)

We look forward to changing your life with our Argan Oil.  We admit that we were the biggest skeptics, but we are believers now.  And we’re constantly amazed at the results that we, our families, friends and customers are getting.