As told by Ambika Pillai

My childhood memories are timeless treasures.. It's the little moments in my childhood that has made the biggest impact on my choices in my journey of life. My earliest memories of skin and hair care are rooted in the trusted homemade mixes of oils, herbs, salts, plants and infused oils.

I am the second of four daughters and my mother took great pride when her friends complimented us on our radiant glowing skin and thick, strong hair and how impeccable we always looked. My mom spent time making body and hair oils and scrubs, the face packs and home made Kajal were absolute treasures. All of it seeped into my soul. I grew up and followed my passion of being a hair stylist, skin specialist and a makeup artist.

I worked tirelessly for more than 3 decades, won many awards related to my field of work, opened 15 salons in all, became a household name in the north and south of India… but there was always a restlessness within me.. like I needed to do something more. Many a time I would revisit my childhood and relive the fragrant aroma of herbs boiling in pure coconut oil..the tender teak leaves crushed along with their tiny, fragrant white flowers and the smoky fragrance the ruby red oil had is burnt deep in my memory. ...

To relax from a gruelling day of work I would come home and to unwind I would make body scrubs with infused oils, face creams and body lotions, lip balms and cheek rouge.. all out of my kitchen and sometimes sitting comfortably on the floor in my bedroom…and give them happily to my daughter and friends. I knew this is what I wanted to do once I stepped back from my hectic life running salons and when I would eventually retire. I know I made mistakes along the way. I brought out a fabulous line of makeup products under the ambikapillai brand, a little too early in life, I was in the thick of my career as an entrepreneur whose primarily business was the salon business, I had no time to concentrate on marketing and growing the line of products I had brought out. I found out make up is a niche market… I had 30% of my clients who would ask me what colour lipstick would suit them and 70% would want answers, remedies and cures for their hair, scalp and skin problems… so I would go back home and make homemade products, bottled in tiny jars and give it to them.. I taught them how to make their own serums and creams.

It finally dawned on me that this is what I need to do.. put all my knowledge and expertise of 35 long years of working in this field and put it into little bottles and make it easily accessible, affordable and available for the masses. Natural and herbal products is what I wanted to do. In 2019 just before the pandemic hit humankind I brought out the 'ambikapillai' skin and hair care products. It was a life saver in more ways than one.

'Work from home is not a concept that is conducive to my salon line of work but with my product line it was all about working from home. I introduced the products and their benefits on my social media handles and took orders on my phone.. it kept me on my toes, Kavitha, my daughters and my head above water and totally filled a void that shutting down all my salon after Covid had caused. Unfortunately Covid was crushing for my salon business. The ambikapillai products are available in Beaute & Nutrie stores in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. The products will always be available on this platform and if you directly order with me through WhatsApp.

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