Today I want to share an interview with the founder of a long-loved brand: Tata Harper. Harper's products are luxe, 100 percent natural and non-toxic, eco-conscious and, most importantly, effective. After her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer, Harper began paying more attention what she was putting in and on her body—and so Tata Harper Skincare was born.
When you use them, you can feel why Harper's products are different. And you can smell the love emanating from the homegrown ingredients from the company's 1,200-acre farm in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. Harper, who still runs the business despite its immense success, also has a laboratory in Vermont where her team of chemists, biologists, botanists and integrated medicine practitioners work together with the latest technologies to manufacture formulas in small batches.
I caught up with Harper herself to chat about her eponymous line—we talk everything from her farm to the technology behind the formulations to what's next for the brand. Beauty buffs, you won't want to miss this!
For those who are still unfamiliar with your products, what makes yours different from other brands?
Everything we make, from skincare to cosmetics, is engineered to deliver maximum results, developed from nature’s powerful technologies, and made by us right on the farm. It’s this unprecedented combination that makes us unlike any other skincare brand.
Tell us about your farm.
We’ve had it for almost 14 years now; way before this company was even on the horizon. My husband and I were living in Miami at the time, and used [the farm] as our weekend spot with friends. We would go there almost every other weekend. It was always my dream to live there. Then we moved from Miami to New York, but I ended up never really moving to New York.
Every product feels like an Old World alchemist has masterminded it. Is there technology behind the products, or did they evolve naturally?
When I moved to the farm, I started to work on a lot of the formulations, and it gave me time to get inspired to make it all happen. I figured out what to use from the farm once I started consulting with a couple skin biologists. Then I consulted a couple herbalists in Vermont about what herbs grow well on the land, and that’s how we came up with our list, and also when we thought, "This is the soil where such-and-such grows really fast, so let’s focus on it as our base for products." That way, something from the farm is always used in the products.
I’m besotted with the Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint in Very Sweet. Frankly, I use it as an eye color as well. How did your collection evolve into cosmetics? And will there be more?
It was a gradual transition to our lip treatments and lip tints because the lips are always a high skincare focus for women, but as for any new cosmetic launches, that’s a secret for now!
The scents of each product are individually divine. How are they designed?
I’m not a big perfume user. I tend to stick to aromatherapies because there are more benefits in one potion: they make me smell good and also feel good. Our products are all unique scent stories that give our customers the ultimate sensorial experience with their skincare regimen.
Lastly, what would our readers be surprised to know about your brand and natural skincare as a whole?
People often think that natural means simple or untested, but natural ingredients are actually the most powerful ingredients in the world, and manufacturers of everything from medicine to skincare have always looked to natural ingredients for their benefits. Synthetic ingredients are, in many cases, cheaper more predictable versions of natural ingredients created in labs to simplify the manufacturing process.