Hair Care and Sustainability with Mia Fiona Kut, Founder of Luna Nectar

On this week’s Let’s Talk About… episode, Elise sits down with Mia Fiona Kut, Founder of Luna Nectar

Luna Nectar is a happy Canadian team of inquisitive creatives that focus on innovating streamlined beauty formulations that commit to being all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. They believe in community mindset, minimalism, function, and authenticity. Today, the meaning of quality and genuineness breaks barriers and norms of greenwashing, and they’re here to provide for the thoughtful and curious

Elise and Mia talk about the story behind Luna Nectar, the products, the importance of sustainability and water usage in products .

“It’s really important to me because I feel like just from an early age, even like with the whole holistic approach, I just feel that it is just so important to give back to the earth…There’s so much to us, so we need to definitely feed back into it.  And the features we have is all of our packaging is recyclable. So most of it is made of glass and, we work with Packed, which is a recyclable program. So basically they take all the hard-to-recycle beauty packaging and up-cycle it into different products.” Mia tells Elise on Let’s Talk About.

To listen to this episode of Let’s Talk About, simply click here or search for “Let’s Talk About by STYLE Canada” on any major streaming platform. 

Check out Mia’s products at our ‘the edit’ summer pop-up in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Our chic general store located at 1-233 King Street in NOTL, is open everything Thursday to Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Source: Luna Nectar

Check out the show transcript below.

[00:00:00] Elise: Hi everyone. And welcome to let’s talk about this week. We’re talking about Luna Nector with founder Mia, Fiona Kut. Hi Mia. Thank you so much for being here with us today. 

[00:00:10] Mia: Hi, thanks for having me. 

[00:00:12 ] Elise: Yeah. So we’re so excited to have your brand as a part of the popup. So for those that are out there listening, the popup is running for the month of July in Niagara, on the lake. And we’re gonna be open Thursdays through Monday, Luna Nectar is one of the brands there. So we’re doing a whole series in the popup to get to know a little bit about the story behind the brands. And so we’re so excited to have you join us today. I’d love for you to start off with a little background on who you are in your story. And then we can get into how the brand came to be. 

[00:00:46] Mia: Sure. Um, yeah, so I am somebody that was it’s very random.

I was in the film industry for about eight years. And at a certain point, I was doing acting, directing, writing, uh, did the whole, whole film festival circuit at a certain point. I found that I wanted to, do something a little bit more deeper to help women. And so basically I was keeping my eye out and, um, I was inspired when my sister actually came home one night and she suddenly had super long eyelashes that just grew overnight. And I was like, what happened? And she said, oh, I’m using this last serum I’m to grow my eyelashes. 

So I looked into it and it was, it definitely worked, however, it was chemical-based. And, the main component in it that was used to grow eyelashes was a medication for glaucoma. So, if you’ve got glaucoma, you shouldn’t be using this type of, uh, product mm-hmm So people would get, you know, chemical burns, exam under eyelids. Um, if you have light-colored eyes, it could turn your eye color darker, and yeah, lots of women were using this 

[00:01:48] Elise: Lots, lots of side effects. 

[00:01:49] Mia: Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty crazy. So I basically set out to create a natural alternative. So I worked with a chemist for about a year and a half, and we created all-natural vegan cruelty, free lash, and brow enhancing serum.

[00:02:01] Elise: Amazing. So what year was this that this all kind of started? 

[00:02:06] Mia: That was 2016. 

[00:02:07] Elise: Okay. So how, bring us through the process, cuz you made that sound very easy of, you know, I just started working through a, with a chemist in reality, you were in film, right. And so how did you find a chemist? Like what, what was the trajectory thereof, you know, the step-by-step of how that kind of came to fruition?

[00:02:27] Mia: Yeah. So actually, in university, I did take chemistry for about a year and a little background. I had, I had some background, um, and also in my childhood, cuz I’m half Chinese. So my parents were always like, you know, go back to your roots and like use Eastern medicine, adaptogenic herbs to really create a good baseline for your health mm-hmm. So that really stuck with me my whole life. And I’ve always been really passionate about adaptogens and herbs and everything. So yeah, all of our products actually have adapted genes in it, to really balance and, restore stressed-out hair and skin. So kinda the same principles if you were to ingest adaptogens.

[00:03:07] Elise: So it was like a little bit of your schooling background obviously then met a professional little bit of your kind of family history and, and what your parents encouraged at a younger age, which is really cool. So then you have this product and now take us through kind of what, what happened from there?

Like how did you come to the packaging and design and all of that? Where are you, you know, are you the kind of, so the person behind the brand, what does the team look like that made this all come to life? 

[00:03:40] Mia: Yeah, it was super grassroots. I mean, at the beginning, my sister, actually, she designed the logo, the packaging, and you know, 

[00:03:47] Elise: it’s a family business.

[00:03:49] Mia: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, um, yeah, I just threw it up on Instagram basically. Um, so in the first month, like, you know, there was a bit of interest. It wasn’t, I, I kind of was just trying it out as a test, like a hobby mm-hmm initially, just to see if I could supplement this with my film work. Okay. Little side project.

So I put up on Instagram the first two months, like nothing and then third month is when the interest really started to come. So I’m like, oh my God, I need to put more money into more effort. So that’s when we actually built a laboratory. Um, wow. Yeah. And like got all certified and everything and then had our office there as well. So, and then we just started making products from there. 

[00:04:29] Elise: And so now are you full-time focused on the brand? 

[00:04:34] Mia: Yep. Yep. I’ve been, full-time focused on the brand for about, it was a year and a half in, and then I was full-time. 

[00:04:40] Elise: Okay. So about three what, four years full-time focused. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So a, I mean, a fairly newer brand, but at the same time, like I. Had definitely heard of you all before you were a part of the popup. It was one of the things that I was actually researching, which is how we came across the brand. So kudos to you for like the growth in that amount of time. I mean, seems like you’re yeah, quite it’s gone quite big. Is that fair to say? 

[00:05:09] Mia: I mean, we’re, we’re proud of where we are.

We’re in whole foods. Uh, Hudson’s bay thrive market about 200, stores worldwide and also online as well. So 

[00:05:18] Elise: Yeah, pretty amazing. so can you tell us a little bit about it, I know you touched on what products are in line. Can you tell us a little bit about the products that not just that’ll be at the popup, but what else people can find online from the.

[00:05:31] Mia: Yeah, so there’s a hair density, and scalp serum. It’s called Atmosphere. And it’s the hair version of the lash and brow enhancing serum. Nice. So I really like that one. It’s not greasy, no residue. So you could just put it in, even when your hair’s dry go throughout your day. And. Okay. Your hair really like soft, it looks more volumized and people do see like hairs growing your baby’s hairs and it growing longer, faster.

[00:05:55] Elise: That’s for that’s for hair growth and for thickness then? 

[00:06:00] Mia: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:06:01] Elise: Okay, great. 

[00:06:02] Mia: Yeah. And then we also have other hair care products such as a scalp scrub. Very interesting. It was like a really thick black texture because the main ingredient is charcoal. So basically like, okay. Magnetizes all the impurities, um, all your sweat and like product buildup out of your hair and it leaves it very. Clean volumized big, you know, we’ve got like dry shampoos, a hair shine, rinse, very cool, different skincare as well and wellness products.

[00:06:30] Elise: Awesome. So it started with the, it started all about the lashes, moved to the hair and some skin cares mixed in there. What’s coming up next down the. 

[00:06:41] Mia: Yeah. So ever since our rebrand, which happened, in May, we are actually trying to pivot more towards hair care. So it’s gonna be more hair stuff. That’s coming out like different, shampoos and leaving conditioners. And also our products are majority water-free. So that means the actors can work more potently in, in the formula. And we’re not like coding around, you know, Bottles of water, unnecessarily shipping around big bottles of water.

So our new products are also gonna fall follow that, uh, trajectory as well. We’re gonna probably ease out of the skincare. Yeah, focus more on hair care, 

[00:07:14] Elise: Nice. Now, can you tell us a little bit about like what customer would come to you for products? Is it. Maybe new moms that have hair loss or is it like I’ve noticed the texture of my hair just as I get older is changing.

What does, what does a customer, uh, that’s coming to Luna Nectar? Who is it? 

[00:07:35] Mia: It’s usually, women in their like late twenties to early forties, we find right. Definitely a lot of people that are finding yes. Hair loss from postpartum, or, you know, P C O S or stress aging, poor diet, but we are also seeing a younger generation come on as well, because they’re just more savvy mm-hmm, Yeah.

They’re, they’re finding the products through like TikTok. And people who are also really eco, minded, sustainable-minded. They really love our products as well. Yeah.

[00:08:04] Elise: Take us through a little bit about that sustainability aspect. I know you, you know, you touched on it a little bit, but why was that so important to you and what are all the product features within the line that, that touch on sustainability?

[00:08:19] Mia: It’s really important to me because I feel like just from an early age, even like with the whole holistic approach, I just feel that it is just so important to give back to the earth. I mean, mm-hmm, , there’s so much to us, so we need to definitely feed back into it. And the features we have is all, all of our packaging is recyclable.

So most of it made a glass and, we work with packed, which is, recyclable. Program. So basically they, they take all the hard-to-recycle beauty packaging and upcycle it into different products.

[00:08:51] Elise: Oh, cool. I’ve never heard of that before then. Very cool. 

[00:08:54] Mia: Yeah. And we’re also plastic neutral. So that means we contribute, more than we than the missions that we, we produce annually mm-hmm and, our packaging is also SFI certified and 

[00:09:07] Elise: Sorry, what’s SFI?

[00:09:07] Mia: Sustainable forestry initiative. 

[00:09:11] Elise: Amazing. Well there’s so, I mean, there’s so many great things to do in this space, and I know July is actually plastic-free month of July as well. So very fitting that we’re talking to you in this month too. So it takes a lot though to get all of those accreditations from, from what I know from what little I know anyway.

So what was that process like if there’s anything there that you could share with us.

[00:09:36] Mia: So for plastic emissions, they, they do a calculation of how much we emit, how, how much plastic emissions we emit and then, and then basically we contribute, monetarily to, to offset that. 

[00:09:48] Elise: Oh, okay. Amazing. Amazing. Yeah, very cool. 

[00:09:51] Mia: And we’re still learning, I mean, there’s different, scientific sort of. Calculations for carbon emissions that we’re trying to do as well, and for measuring our water, usage. So we’re in the works for doing that as well. Our water footprint. Yeah. Mm-hmm 

[00:10:04] Elise: I love that you talked about from the water perspective, cuz when I think of hair products, you know, you do think of those like big bottles and, and I guess you’re right.

Probably the majority of them is water in it. So how did. How did that come to be? Was that just a part of the process as well that you, you know, thought to, um, concentrate it more or 

[00:10:25] Mia: I think naturally we. It’s all part of my philosophy as well. I just being, being a Scorpio. I think, I, I really it’s a water sign and, I really value the resource of water.

Mm-hmm and actually by 2025, two-thirds of the. The world is gonna be undergoing water stress, so, oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, that was a, that was a big statistic that we were looking at and we definitely want to decrease our water usage. 

[00:10:55] Elise: Awesome. Well, is there anything else where can everyone find more about you and about the brand, 

[00:11:01] Mia:

[00:11:04] Elise: Great. Awesome. And your Instagram. Is at 

[00:11:07] Mia: oh yes.@lunanectar.

[00:11:09] Elise: Perfect. Perfect. Love it. Great.

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