Interview with Elleria Janas, founder of Ellie and Carl

[ 0 ] 23/01/2019 |

Some people have a special gift. The kind of gift that makes them radiate and spread their light even through a screen. One of this rare individuals is Elleria Janas (aka Ellie) and I truly hope I will be given the opportunity of meeting her in person one day. Here is her inspiring story and the interview she gave me.

Elleria is married to Richard, she’s the mother of four little humans that challenge and reward her in ways that she never thought it would have been possible. They’ve been calling Malta their home during the last 5 years and before that they lived in Cyprus for 2 years. She was born in Turkey, moved to Sweden with her family when she was 2 years old and she grew up there. She’s the oldest child among 9 siblings.

‘Today I feel truly blessed to have them in my life ☺ I didn’t always like them when we were younger, haha sometimes they drove me crazy. We were fighting, teasing one another but always got each other’s back if something happened. The teasing still remains today and we are always there for each other.’

‘It was not always easy to be the oldest, a lot of expectations came with it, the need of being a role model for my younger siblings and I did screw up many times. I didn’t do what was expected from me. Instead, I followed my heart and the people around me felt disappointed. But with time, my choices have been the best for my life because I followed my heart. My family’s initial disappointment eventually turned into acceptance and respect for me and my choices. It also changed the route of life for my siblings since my disobedience resulted in carving a path with more options for them.’

‘I’m a certified nurse, I have worked at the psychiatric emergency ward and I’ve also worked at the gastric ward while I was studying business finance (Master of Science). It’s been about 20 years since I first dreamed of a career path that would one day combine the nurse and the business finance sectors. 4 years ago, while living in Malta, I studied to become a natural and organic skincare formulator. So in a way I have combined both, with my main focus being the skin and how to take care of it, and to be able to help in this way.’

‘I can be very focused and goal oriented when I decide to do something. I don’t like to do things half-hearted. I’m an all in or a not at all kind of person.’

‘I love chocolate, waaaay to much! With chocolate I always go all in ☺’

‘I laugh at my own jokes, I find them hilarious. When my family and close friends see this sort of hysterical laugh, knowing that when I start laughing this way I can’t stop, they have to send me off to bed to get some sleep. That’s the only cure, I seem to find a lot of things extremely funny when I’m very tired☺’

‘ I’m quite curious by nature. I like to explore new things and I love meeting people. Especially one on one over a cup of coffee and get into the deep stuff around life, our passions, fears, interests and basically to just talk about being human.’

‘About a year ago you launched your very own ‘Skin care’ brand using solely natural ingredients and essential oils. Can you tell us a bit more about your products?’

‘The products are handcrafted and they were initially created for friends and family with different skin needs. I use high quality, cold pressed ingredients and always aim for organic. Every single formula is created by me. I wanted to know and choose what to put inside the products and I wanted to give the best to my friends and my family.

When I create a formula I always start with the specific skin need in mind and then I build the formula in layers. I start with the carrier oils and the base that penetrates the top layers of the skin, then I choose the extracts and essential oils that are the best for the specific job, and these are the cosmeceuticals that penetrate deeper in to the skin. The essential oils are the volatile compounds that penetrate all the way to the cell level. I calculate the formula to make sure the allergens in the essential oils are according to the IFRA regulations ( International Fragrance Association).

Afterwards, the testing of the product begins, to make sure the skin feel, aroma and function are as I expect them to be. If not, I need to reformulate and make new batches until I get the desired product I had in mind. Then we challenge test the product through different conditions. Our formulas are send to a laboratory to be approved by a safety assessor.

Ellie & Carl Skin botanical offers different face masks, oil based serums for different skin needs for the face, for expectant mums and body oil for children. We also have products for body and mind care. ‘

What makes you so passionate about it?

I think mainly it’s my curiosity for new things and the willingness to try and see what happens. This all started with my fascination for essential oils and the amazing healing, beautifying and penetrating properties they possess. The more I got into the chemical composition and how they work on the body and skin I was hooked. I had to learn more and as I mentioned before I’m an all in person so I got loads of books about what they are, how they work, how they are made etc. And the more I got into it, the more areas I found to dig deeper into.

I got to know about different hydrosols, carrier oils and I found soooo many exotic oils with amazing skincare properties. I discovered a lot of history and ancient beauty secrets that are coming back today and I just love learning and exploring new areas. After every reached milestone, I get into a new unknown phase in the business which makes me get out of my comfort zone. It’s really scary sometimes to put yourself out there into the unknown.

I have been a stay at home mum for 8 years with my 4 children. I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to be with them but this also means that it’s like starting all over again. I am now focusing again on my career after having had life changing experiences and personal changes. It can be challenging but as a whole it makes me feel at the same time excited and proud of my accomplishments. It helps me to keep going. I know that it can take time to get where I want to be but every little step along the way is taking me closer to achieve it. Every small accomplishment fuels further my passion and I grow into my new role as a working mum and entrepreneur. I’m very grateful for my husband who supports every step I take and gives me feedback, and all my family and friends that cheer for me and are happy and send loads of good energy and positive vibes!

Ellie before the kids, and after. In what ways did parenthood change you?

Ellie before the kids: My job was very important to me, I felt I had to prove my abilities and myself to others. I thought I knew what life was all about, and then 8 year ago all of that changed when we had our daughter. Her coming into our lives turned things upside down. So much love and such an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect or how I was supposed to do things! I was scared of screwing up and I was over protective of her and very confused with so many people giving often well meaning but conflicting advice on how to parent.

Ellie after kids: I love to work but it’s no longer the only thing that motivates me in life. There are many things that have changed after having had the kids. For one, I no longer feel I have to prove myself to others. I try to work with myself to be the best version I can be. I am now taking in life and experiences as a lesson, a blessing if you may. I follow my heart. This way I enjoy the journey. Even during the hard days, when I am feeling exhausted, I go to bed with a grateful heart. I focus on the good things around me and this helps to change how I feel from within. My family is my number 1 priority. And now after 4 kids, I can get inspired by how others parent but I don’t push myself to be the perfect parent. I do my best and I aknowledge that some days will be better than others and that’s OK. Some days we all have more energy, more patience, more time and other days none of those qualities are present and that’s OK too. It’s all part of being human!

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

What happens when we die? I’m curious about how it feels, how the transition goes, what we become. What’s waiting for us? How do we reunite with our loved ones? How do we recognize each other? Do we have clothes on or are we a ray of light? Are we still present here but in a different way? Well I could ask a million more questions but let’s leave it here ☺

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?

I had kids ☺ I had nooooo idea how becoming parents would turn our lives completely upside down. How a person that can drive you nuts is also the person you love more than you will ever understand. How I would change my way of seeing things. What an impact these little humans have on us and no matter what, how tired I am, how upset I get, I love them more than I can describe. How they are the fuel of life and constant reminder of the joy one can find in the little things. How fun it is to be silly, how honest they can be and how much unconditional love that is present between us ☺

On a scale of 1-10, how lucky do you think you are, and why?

I am living the absolute 10 right now. I have an amazing family, sometimes driving me crazy but they are mine ☺ I have wonderful friends. What I am working with makes me push myself out of my comfort zone over and over again. I reevaluate situations, I am learning new skills. I meet new people that give me new angles on how to see things as they share their with me their point of views in life. I’m grateful. I know everything has a start, a middle and an end, and I try to cherish the different phases. They all teach me something.

You come from a multicultural background and your kids are also growing up in a similar way. What is the biggest advantage that you find in such an upbringing?

There are advantages and challenges coming from a multicultural background. The beauty is to be able to see the best in the different cultures and to find your own way of adapting and creating a new culture; to have an understanding of the differences and to learn that there is not only one single, right way of approaching life.

It can also be tough to find your way and to feel like you belong somewhere when you have one foot in each culture and the cultures are strong and almost afraid of each other. My life experience has taught me both effects.

I grew up in a a family set up with a very strong culture (Aramean/Syriac) that is group oriented, in Sweden, where the locals focus more on the individual rather than the group, and attribute the gender roles in a very different way. I won’t lie, it was tough. Especially during my teenage years where that alone is a challenge when you start your journey trying to figure out who you are. I made some difficult choices but they changed my life and brought me to where I am today. At that time I lost a lot, both people and myself, and the way out of it was painful and hard but I got through it and I’ve never felt more me than I am now. Today I can understand that I didn’t actually lose, rather I got the chance to redirect my life to get on the path I was supposed to be on. And still figuring things out to see where I’m heading to ☺

What is your best piece of advice for new mums raising multicultural children?

I think in any family the most important thing is to do what feels best for our children and our family and not get too caught up in all the expectations from our surroundings. Which is extra difficult when things are done differently in different cultures. My suggestion is to try and find the way that feels right for your family. There will always be people with opinions about how and what to do. But trust your gut and go with it. And also introduce cultural traditions and aspects in your parenting what are important to you for your children and explain to them why. Let them do their choices and I believe that one day they will be grateful for what you gave them.

What is one thing you hope to teach your children?

To be kind and thoughtful humans, to always be there for each other and to help others whenever they have the opportunity.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I tried to kiss my 2 year old. He was so cute, looking deep into my eyes and I was expecting a lovely kiss when he suddenly slapped me in the face. I was so shocked and just burst out in laughter, it was hilarious and sooo unexpected.

What is your vision? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years from now?

A growing business where Ellie & Carl is a well known brand for our ethos and wonderful products. To be able to work with the organizations that I believe in to empower and help our future generations, especially girls that in some cultures still lack basic human rights and are not able to make even the most basic choices for their own lives. I know what many of them have gone through from my own experience and I want to do what I can to help them change their lives, to make their own choices and to not feel that they are alone in the situation.

Contact details
Facebook Ellie & Carl
Eshop Ellie & Carl

Category: Interviews, Uncategorized

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