01 Jun 2000

A Natural Balance


Cavan Mahony and Ayla Hussain (both MBA '96) became friends and business partners through a mutual devotion to yoga and health -- and a conviction that beauty is more than skin deep. The two have joined with a third partner, supermodel Christy Turlington, to form SUNDÃRI, a New York-based company that produces all-natural oils, lotions, and skin cleansers from ingredients such as sandalwood oil, rose oil, and lavender.

SUNDÃRI means "beautiful woman" in Hindi, and in a TV interview on CNNfn's Entrepreneurs Only (March 17, 2000), Mahony explained that the company's products are based on the ancient Indian practice of ayurveda, "a holistic science about well-being, inner balance, and inner beauty." Ayurvedic medicine holds that a person's body type, or dosha, derives from the three elemental energies of air, fire, and earth; ayurvedic beauty treatments aim to correct imbalances among those energies and to suffuse one's inner radiance throughout the skin and complexion.

Mahony noted, "It's very much about skin, not makeup. Our products are simple, effective, and quick and easy to use." Added Hussain, "Just because it's healthy doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to be in a health food store or that it won't appeal to a luxury product consumer. We wanted to create something in a beautiful package, with high-quality, grade-A ingredients that are good for you."


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