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How I Started? Our Story

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How I Started? Our Story

JouJou Botanicals was not created as a beauty brand but as a holistic approach to everyday self-care rituals.
Nina’s journey started long before her first product was created, her passion for nature and beauty products forced her to examine everything she puts on her face. That is when the ideas hit in!

I would say I live to create and to connect with plants, animals and people. I have always been very passionate about wild nature and personal everyday rituals but it was so hard to find suitable ingredient lists on the products that were standing in the store shelves. The market was flooded with lab brands full of chemicals you only need to do very short research to find how bad they are.

That is why I started to search each ingredient, sometimes even obsessively. I was so shocked and trying to even convince myself of the opposite I have just been reading at the science reports from around the world. Because it is much easier not to think about all the bad side effects but the lists were just too long to ignore.

Since I grew up and am living in Croatia, it was not an easy task and very affordable to find some of the world’s popular organic skincare brands and ingredients. I remember that just a few years ago I was so happy to order all those small bottles of prickly pear, olive squalane, sea buckthorn and other ingredients to try them out. After we enter the EU and after globalization hit in, it was much easier to get and try out all the ingredients and products from around the world. And I finally satisfied my curiosity, but not my heart telling me that is not the best sustainable way.

First soap I ever made


In the meantime, I became a mom, which even deepen my ideas for the best possible alternatives in skin care and baby care. At the time before Lena (my daughter) was born, I had a very fun job working at the EU projects in social innovations and outdoor event organization. But that moment, just a few days before Lena was born, I started JouJou Botanicals. Back then I named it JouJou Soaps as it grew from my own kitchen but at that moment I had already built up my first ‘soap studio’ renovating my grandpa’s carpentry workshop into a fully equipped soap place.


That was after I already mixed so many soaps but was never satisfied with any. I was already very frustrated and wanted to quit making soaps and to start with making something easier. But I just kept making more and more since I had a studio of my own and no one could blame me if I don’t have time to tidy up all those soap messes (and making soaps makes a lot of mess).

After around 6 years of mixing and formulating soaps, reading hundreds of soap books and watching so many soap videos, I finally formulated the perfect recipe! It was last year, after so many failed batches I gave around to friends and family, after so much hard work and so much ugly soaps. I finally made my perfect recipe and the perfect production process. It is something that just comes with lots of work.


Yet, then comes the hardest part. The EU cosmetics regulations. I started a little research, trying to reach someone who can lead me. I was very confused about what steps to take, it was hard to get the information and was very discouraging. But, I just kept making soap and even started to think of perfecting all other formulations I have been mixing for myself and my friends. After some time, I got a contact from people who then led me through and are professional in cosmetics paperwork which are called PIF (Product Information File). It took us a year to finish the paperwork, find a new lab place, set up all the lab equipment and to manage the packaging, design and all the licenses. It was a very hardworking year, with so much learning on the way, but now it all seems so easy. That is the proof everyone can make and find their way.


JouJou was created with a good intention and purpose. To reconnect you back with wild nature, using ancient botanical wisdom and modern science. I hope you will fall in love with JouJou rituals and get inspired by the magic of botanicals to find the most radiant you!

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