The wealth and depth of the Greek language is inevitably inspiring. Like fine ingredients, words can be graciously blended together to give birth to new synergeis. That’s how the name FYSHA was born. ‘FYS’ derives from the Greek words ‘FYSIS’ and means nature, while ‘HA’ is handmade. I’ve sat down with the brand’s founder Amina to discuss her vision and holistic approach to creating elegant, natural and luxury soaps. And of course with a passion for all things Greek, we discuss Amina’s connection to Greece as well as what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur.
I am driven by my heart and by my instinct and this type of authenticity is vital for entrepreneurs when deciding brand values and positioning.
ES: Your soaps clearly exude that sense of perfection in all aspects, from the design to the packaging and the quality of the ingredients used. As a person did you always strive for perfection?
AKP: From the eight ingredients we use, to the modern design and the ethos of less-is-more, so much of Fysha is inspired by minimalism. This does tend to come across as perfection but the real beauty of Fysha soaps comes from its simplicity.
I am a passionate creative and entrepreneur and on the outside that might come across as perfectionism. In my heart and in my mind, my passions and priorities align with the philosophy of minimalism. This is a mindset focused on awareness, not obsession, and the process of elimination of the frivolous.
So no, I can’t say that I intentionally strive for perfection but rather by mindfully choosing each element of the brand the end result does give a sense of perfection.
As an individual, I strive for simplicity in my relationships and minimalism in my living to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul.
ES: Which is your favorite Fysha soap and why?
AKP: It’s hard to choose one as they all have been handcrafted to offer unique skin benefits. Depending on my mood, senses and seasonal needs, I choose accordingly for my body.
In the spring and summer, I find Grapefruit and Dead Sea Mud soap to be helpful with summer body prep as it promotes smoother skin. In the winter, I alternate between the two soaps: Lavender and French Pink Clay or Rose Geranium and French Red Clay. They both deeply hydrate and I’m drawn to the gentle floral aromas that are uplifting and reminiscent of springtime – my favourite of the seasons.
Your face is the first thing that people notice about you, so keeping my skin beautifully fresh is a first impression priority. Our face is exposed to impurities that build up during the day. I always use the Lemongrass and Detox Charcoal soap for face because its key ingredients suit my skin’s daily needs. Activated charcoal draws out impurities and helps stop blemishes while lemongrass essential oil boosts antioxidants.
ES: What is your morning routine, and how important do you believe it is to own your morning?
AKP: Every expert in the beauty industry will tell you that nighttime skincare is an important step in caring for your skin but your morning routine has its own importance. Nighttime skincare aims to address the skin’s regenerative process before sleep, whereas daytime skincare is all about protection and preservation.
Having always considered myself as a clean beauty enthusiast, I have never skimped on my morning beauty routine. I begin my day with a glass of lukewarm water, 10 minutes of meditation and a holistic, nutritional breakfast. This is followed by a morning skincare routine. All of these aid me in being mindful for the busy day ahead.
Although I prefer to keep my morning routine to a minimum, I do spend a bit of extra time on my skin. But, that doesn’t mean a long, drawn out process. I make sure my skin gets everything it needs in five minutes. I always cleanse my face in the morning with the Lemongrass & Detox Charcoal Soap (it is an absolute essential for me!). And, after a mindful cleanse, I use an organic, chilled rose water as a toner and then apply SPF moisturiser. This daily routine gives me a radiant glow and a smooth finish, providing a foundation for make-up if I choose to use it or a fresh face for a natural look.
ES: What triggered your spark to become an entrepreneur?
AKP: Becoming an entrepreneur happened fluidly, beginning at a time when I saw an opportunity in the beauty industry and chose to act on it rather than ignore it.
Frustrated with synthetic liquid soaps and shower gels that stripped my skin of its natural oils, I started to search for a natural, luxurious alternative that was in balance with my skin and principals. That sparked my journey into luxury, clean beauty.
Cleansing is the first and most important step that precedes everything else in skincare and that’s why it was my first choice of products to create. Gently purifying your skin, while respecting its delicate balance is essential for skin that glows with health.
One day all brands will compete to be not just best in the world but also best for the world. After a few years of tailoring palm oil free formulas, Fysha was launched with the goal of making your skin glow with the purity of our ingredients and your soul smile with our commitment to nature.
ES: What are some of the lessons you learned from being an entrepreneur?
AKP: Oh there are so many and it is an ongoing process. I am constantly learning in my daily interactions and via podcasts, MasterClasses and the like. I try to learn from the best. I was fortunate to attend a Vogue Change Makers event where Anna Wintour was the featured speaker. I had the opportunity to learn from her in-person on female empowerment, sustainable lifestyles and most importantly for me: entrepreneurship.
The key lessons I have learned from being an entrepreneur are:
Having a Strong Vision
With Fysha, our ethos and who we are as a brand means seeing ourselves as leaders not followers in clean beauty. Staying focused and having a well-defined vision keeps us at the forefront. I am driven by my heart and by my instinct and this type of authenticity is vital for entrepreneurs when deciding brand values and positioning.
Surround Myself With The Best
As an entrepreneur, when one has so many daily tasks and decisions to make, micromanaging is tedious and exhausting. Working with a good team and empowering those who are working with you is crucial. To be an effective leader is to surround myself with those who are skilled in their respective fields; to learn to listen to their opinions, and to trust them.
ES: Your favorite place to travel in Greece and why?
For summer holidays, I would have to say the Cycladic Islands purely based on how aesthetically beautiful and unique they are. With white washed houses, sugar white sand and stunning beaches, Mykonos and Antiparos are my favourites.
In Mykonos, I love the seemingly infinite amount of great restaurants, the energy and the upbeat nightlife. Antiparos for me is a small scenic island where it’s all about being off the beaten path and enjoying a relaxed atmosphere whether lounging during the day or after the sunset.
People usually think that Greece is for the summer and a hot holiday. It actually has many beautiful sites and places one can visit any time of the year.
In spring and autumn, I enjoy hiking in Meteora with its breathtaking monasteries on the isolated mountains. Here, silence has a presence all of its own. Escaping city life gives me a chance to truly connect with mind, body and soul.
ES: What are the key elements of a mindful lifestyle?
AKP: To create a mindful lifestyle, I believe a good first step is paying conscious attention to labelling. This means seeking out brands that prioritise natural ingredients and ensuring the brands you choose are in line with your own values. Taking the time to research brands and options from companies that have a similar ethos to mine has made my daily mindful choices much easier.
My other key elements to a mindful lifestyle are choosing quality over quantity and using a less-is-more motto whenever possible. Mindful living has a lot to do with making choices that are efficient, and not being wasteful. Buying only what I need, recycling and reducing food waste are daily activities that have become second nature. And, I’m always considering different ways in which I can reduce my footprint on the earth and increase sustainability.
We all lead very different lives though, and some people are living in an environment where being sustainable is easier said than done. I think what’s most important is trying to incorporate mindful ideals for life in general, within the options available.
ES: Favorite Greek Dish?
AKP: I am a foodie! Love, love, love food. Greek cuisine is rich with delicious options. My favourite would have to be the fish soup at Takis To Limeni, Laconia in the Peloponnese. If you are in Mani, it’s a must try!
You can find Fysha luxury soaps online here.