Can you tell me a little about your background and your creative side?
Azra: I have been a freelance makeup artist for over 10 years in New York City and I absolutely love what I do. Right after I received my B.F.A from Wayne State University in Detroit, I purchased a one-way ticket to NYC and never looked back. I never anticipated that makeup would be the art that I would pursue. I’ve always loved oil painting, so naturally, makeup was just like painting only with a different type of canvas. Travelling and exploring the world is also one of my biggest passions. Working as a freelance artist gives me the flexibility to do that.
I also feel very lucky to be represented by Honey Artists Agency (http://honey-artists.com/div/makeup/artists/azra-red/p/1210/c/-1/). From Day One of creating Terra & Co. with my sister Amra, Honey Artists has been one of my biggest supporters!
Terra & Co.’s Activated Charcoal Toothpaste and toothbrush packaging is very elegant and minimal. I was told you came up with the package design. Can you tell me what inspired you?
Azra: Amra and I always wanted to create a brand that would reflect what we stand for: clean and organic products. In my travels, I explored Japan. I was really impressed by Japanese minimal designs and packaging. I loved how refined and elegant it felt. That was how our packaging was born. We also wanted our products to be something that you would be proud to display in your bathroom instead of hiding them because they didn’t look good with your décor.
Amra let me know that it was your idea to pair your activated charcoal toothpaste with a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. What made you go that route?
Azra: Our toothpaste is “brilliant black,” so if you brush your teeth with a conventional white toothbrush, it looks a bit dirty. I thought our toothbrush should have black bristles to eliminate that and to also look good next to our packaging sitting on your bathroom counter. However, our black bristles are not just “black” in color, they are also made with activated charcoal to enhance the whitening effect of our toothpaste.
Most of the mass-commercially produced toothbrushes are made from polypropylene and have synthetic bristles. While polypropylene is sustainable and recyclable, it didn’t fit with our brand of being clean and organic. Again, besides looking pretty next to our toothpaste, using a biodegradable bamboo is good for our environment. Biodegradable products take less energy to produce and manufacturing them creates less pollution than plastic based products. Then when the products are disposed of, they break down into nontoxic components that don’t cause dangerous chemicals that can poison water or pollute the air.