Annie Qaiser, co-founder of Silk Road Wellness, handcrafted halal-certified skin care and wellness products from her Rosemount home.
ROSEMOUNT, Minnesota – Although the pandemic was tough for many companies, it was a time of growth for a Minnesota-based halal-certified skin care and wellness brand.
“I think people have slowed down. People have become aware of everything around them and only the world is becoming aware of how toxic products can be and the impact we, as a human race, have on the environment,” said Annie Qaiser, co-founder and CEO of Silk Road Wellness.
Almost 15 years ago when Qaiser became a parent, she was looking at baby lotions and other products out there and realized she didn’t feel comfortable using them on her newborn.
“I’ve just become really aware of how toxic body care products can be,” Qaiser said.
So he started creating his own products, the first being a solid lotion bar. Soon, friends and family asked for the products.
Qaiser and her husband, Sameen Khan, have decided to start Silk Road Wellness.
The brand combines the ancient wellness of herbs with modern beauty standards.
“I am Pakistani by birth and we have many South Asian remedies, many herbs and everything we use in our culture and faith that is truly beneficial,” she said.
According to Qaiser, Silk Road Wellness is the first natural skin care and wellness brand in the United States inspired by Islamic wellness traditions and halal principles.
“We use ingredients inspired by Islamic wellness that are allowed in Islam. For example, we use a lot of olive oil; we use a lot of black seed oil, beeswax,” explained Qaiser. “For example, as Muslims we can’t have alcohol. We can’t have pork ingredients or foods. Halal is that but much more. It’s a generic term that applies to everything. It applies to business ethics; yes applies to how you deal with a customer, ”Qaiser said.
Qaiser said they are aware of minimizing packaging to reduce waste, avoiding plastics whenever possible.
While the demand for vegan and cruelty free beauty brands is on the rise, Qaiser points out that “vegan products contain alcohol or are derived in a way that is not suitable for us.”
In 2019, Silk Road Wellness products achieved halal certification.
“There was an agency that came and certified everything from the ships we use to the brushes to make sure they were halal-friendly,” Qaiser said.
Over the past two years, the business has grown. Although they have created the products with the Muslim community in mind, their customer base is diverse.
You can find Silk Road Wellness products in many Twin Cities co-ops and in two stores in the Mall of America. See the full list, here. You can also buy their products online.
Reflecting on how initially he was unable to find the halal-friendly products he was looking for, Qaiser said: “When you live in a place where there is no such thing, you have to represent yourself. You have to somewhere. way to earn it representation for yourself why why not? why not make that change? ”
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