One Minute Film Stories : Aika Wellness
I am super duper excited about this conversation we are sharing today!
Eranthi is the owner and founder of Aika Wellness. She also stands out as someone who excelled through the One Minute Film process, which is why we wanted to chat with her.
She launched Aika in 2017 with three One Minute Films. Two thoughtfully created ‘how to’ films showing the rituals using Aika and the third simply encapsulating the emotion of Aika's true purpose. But best of all, we captured it all in Ocean House in Lorne, where we also lived in luxury for the three days! So it’s safe to say these films are very close to our heart.
Hi Eranthi, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us!
We know that Aika is so much more than just skincare, can you share a little bit of the vision behind Aika and some of the things Aika has achieved
Aika was created out of my personal need for a professional spa skincare range that was rooted in true wellness, not just outer beauty and which I couldn’t find during my time working in the wellness spa industry. Owning and running two wellness spas in Melbourne where we had Ayurvedic doctors, naturopaths and Asian healing modalities such as Shiatsu and Thai massage, I also wanted a skincare range for our facials and body treatments that was truly holistic in approach and application. I wanted to give my clients a pure and certified organic skincare range that was both results driven and safe for both them and the aestheticians and therapists that work with these products.
Having grown up in Sri Lanka where Ayurveda was a way of life and using these daily Ayurvedic practices especially after having my two kids, I wanted to bring this ancient wellness modality to create peace and wellness in our busy modern lives. Aika was born in this spa environment and tested and used on our clients over the 8 years until I decided to formally launch her in 2017.
Since then we have won numerous awards the most cherished being Australian Organic’s ‘Cosmetic of the Year’ and are now stocked in the US, Europe and Asia.
Wow, congratulations Eranthi. They are no small achievements!
Filming the 3 Aika One Minute Films was a true adventure — you flew Kristian and I down to Lorne and booked out the Ocean House for three days, it was very grand! Can you tells us your story of how it all came together?
I wanted to bring to life the lifestyle and ritual aspect of Aika as this is key to our brand. Aika isn’t just a skincare product that you rub onto your face! Rather it’s a range that I want our clients to engage mindfully with. To set aside and create small moments of peace and reflection in their day. To breathe in, smell, touch, massage and feel the products on their skin and beyond to uplift their spirits and emotions. I wanted to show the connection to the Ayurvedic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth which are the foundations on which the products are built on. I knew that the best way to do this was to create a film that shows the subtle intention behind the brand, beyond functionality, something that words can’t always do.
Truly incredible. This just reminded me of the relaxed feeling I had the entire shoot day!
Why was it important to travel to that incredible space in Lorne, what effect do you think it had on the films?
I wanted to capture the feeling of being at one with nature, of being immersed in the elements, the enveloping ocean, the expanse of sky, the solid earth beneath our feet, the warmth of fire and of escaping the everyday which is core to the Aika brand. I want our clients to feel a moment of emotional release from the ordinary when they use Aika, to create a feeling of sanctuary and connection to themselves. This is why we needed an extraordinary setting to convey this extraordinary experience. Lorne was perfect!
It truly was! You absolutely nailed the location. What advice would you offer to other brand owners about finding the right location for their films?
I think it’s really important. It sets the scene for the emotion of the brand story to unfold. As we saw everyone just got swept up in the gorgeous location and it created a magical couple of days for the model, one minute film crew, photographers and my family who insisted on being there! I believe the setting can release our minds to run free and be creative and think and feel into the experience and from this space create extraordinary art.
Tell us about the lead up to making the Aika One Minute Films, what was the process like from your perspective?
It was a lot of work, but so much fun! I spent months researching other brands stories and how they were conveyed, creating mood boards and dissecting down the elements that I wanted in the film. I reflected a lot on the feelings and emotions I wanted to evoke, then used these to create a brief for the films so that I could have something concrete to give to you Amanda, which I hope helped! I had met you at a retreat and something about your energy clicked. I know I work best and most freely with those who I have a great intuitive connection with and of course I loved your work! I was sold the moment I checked out the other films you had made. Your films make me feel like I can reach out and touch that moment you have captured, to step into the screen and be in that movie. They have both a very real and yet ethereal quality which I love.
Oh my goodness that is so kind, the feeling was absolutely mutual. And yes, your mood boards where SO helpful. I really enjoyed that you focused on the mood and emotions rather than getting tied up in a shot list.
One of my favourite things about our creative process was developing the style of ‘how to’ films that are so aesthetically wonderful to watch and not your typical boring how to films (You can view them below) How did this style emerge for you? What has it achieved for the brand?
I wanted to focus on the experience of using the product, to bring to life the textures, aromas, colours and tactile nature of using Aika. Our products need to be engaged with by freshly activating with water, warming, compressing and massaging them into the skin, in other words there needs to be active engagement with using them. I wanted to convey this and to also show that intimate moment where you are alone with these organic, raw and pure products and how you can get totally immersed in that moment and focus on all your senses and be carried away. That’s why I wanted to have the morning ritual filmed outside to capture the nature of waking up to a fresh new day with the amazing backdrop of the mountains behind us. We filmed the evening ritual inside with a roaring fireplace (courtesy of Kristian) and it gave this warm, cosy and magical quality of melting into the night.
Haha Kristian does pride himself on his fire building abilities, in his words “I’m a red head, it’s in our blood”.
Launching a brand is no small investment, why did you choose to invest in film for your launch?
I felt that films were key to showing our brand story and that Aika is so much more than just a functional skincare range. That these products are to be used intentionally and mindfully to create loving self-care rituals at home and promote the holistic Ayurvedic lifestyle and wellness philosophy, which the three films show beautifully.
I totally agree! Were you ever nervous about the amount of money it was costing? (just keeping it real)
At the start yes, I was a little because it wasn’t just the investment in the films, it was also the investment in the model’s time and outfits and the hiring of the venue. However, it’s one of the best investments I made because we’ve used them so many times in our social media and our retail partners have also adopted these films especially the two ritual films showing our morning and evening three step rituals. I’ve spoken at events and it’s always so amazing to walk into the room and see these films played out and then speak with them as a backdrop.
That is so cool, I would love to see the films at a live event!
I am curious about your perspective on the editing process, what was it like seeing the films come together?
It seems so easy! I didn’t do any of the work and to be honest Amanda you fulfilled the brief perfectly and took my ideas and brought them to life.
Oh you darling. That makes my Honest heart sing.
Ok lastly, can describe our shoot day, or should I say ‘days’ plural?!
It was so exciting and like nothing I had ever experienced before as it was the first time I have done this. I took a back seat to the film and photography crew who worked so synergistically together with the model and let them work their magic. Everyone had such fun and got along so well, I am so grateful to everyone and for those two days.
Was there anything you’d do differently on the day or to prepare?
Not really, it was such an amazing day.
Well I have to finish all our interviews by asking, what are you dreaming up for your next One Minute Film???
I want to create a film about the making of an Aika product. How we create each product over many days and weeks to come up with the end product. The hands-on nature of infusing and decocting herbs and making our own herbal extracts, the mixing, stirring, pouring and labelling. To bring to life the healing energy, the vibrant colours and textures of the raw ingredients and the attention to detail we take in handcrafting these.
Heck blooming YES! Let’s do it!!!