Helene Faussart is the product of African and European education, having grown up between the two continents, where she received the multicultural upbringing that shaped her art and business direction.
With her sister Celia, she created Les Nubians, a group whose first Afropean Soul record “Princesses Nubiennes” hit the US Charts in 1999, winning a Lady Of Soul Train 1999 Award, two NAACP nominations, and a Grammy Award Nomination in 2004.
Independent artist and cultural entrepreneur, Helene has been CEO of Nubiatik Publishing LLC , Les Nubians publishing label, since 2001 and CEO of Afrocaravan Inc, Les Nubians Touring company, since 2007. Her love of art and production led her to curate, among other special events, the Bordeaux Carnival in 2004 and to produce ECHOS-Chapter One: Nubian Voyager in 2007, a Book-CD dedicated to Urban Poetry in French and English, along with Les Nubians latest music releases.
Widely recognized as an artist and a scholar, Helene has presented at Columbia University, Harvard University, ASCAP Women, ASALH Convention (Association for the Study of African American Life and History), Atlanta National Black Arts Festival. She notably performed at the 2013 South-South UN Awards Ceremony, 2014 TEDx Denver and the 2015 UN Women’s Night, joining Senator Hillary Clinton on the podium.
In 2013, Helene Faussart launched NÜ ORGANIKS her organic hair & body care line. www.nuorganiks.com
HELENE THE WOMAN
Q: Describe yourself in 1 word and tell us why you chose that word?
A: Truth. Because it's my path, my experience. Learning with it, knowing better, doing better, seeing further.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, your cultural heritage and background, where you grew up and what brings you to the work?
A: I was born from a mixed couple, my father is white caucasian, my mother is from Cameroon. I was raised with both cultures and on both continent, in France and in Africa. My mother was a traveler, searching on spirituality, a very holistic woman, vegetarian since childhood, into Yoga and Krishnamurti, organic food and for so she was into the natural care of the body. She is the one melting the raw pungent shea butter imported by my aunts and preparing it for us when we were kids. I turned away from it when I was a teenager, tempted with TV & magazines commercials and 'cool' body chemicals care brands, until I got pregnant with my daughter. 15 years ago, I started producing my own & friends jars until I decided to share with everyone early 2013.
Q: How do you take care of yourself and what to you enjoy doing to take time for yourself outside of work?
A: I changed a lot my diet since I moved in America and prefer a more vegetarian diet, with lots of raw vegetables and I LOVE juicing ! I also followed Queen Afua's holistic system © and found myself even more balanced, spirit and body flowing well ! I start my day with a glass of water with the juice of a fresh lemon. Then herbal tea and juice ! For my skin care, I use my own line along with essential oils that I add depending on what I need, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, frankincense, niaouli, grapefruit are my favorite. I take the time 3 times a week to take a long hot bath with Epsom salts & oils, listening to Indian Raga Music. I like my spa time at home.
BUSINESS + BEAUTY
Q: Tell us a bit about your company Nu Organiks what do you offer/sell? Why did you decide to enter into business within this specific market?
A: Nü Organiks was created to share with people the goodness of Mother Nature. Our skin is our bigger, greater organ, filtering everything that goes in and out of our body. What we put on our skin should be as good as what we eat. Which is not the case nowadays with most of the body & hair cosmetic lines using petrol derivative products, alcohol, oxides & other salts, too many chemicals that fix themselves in our bodies creating complications. Mother Nature gave us all the ingredients, and African Women gave us the savoir-faire on how to use the plants in their natural and pure form to be used to moisturize our skin, to protect it, to heal and to prevent. Poison is not a gift you want to share with your people. You want to share the best because LOVE rules us all. Nü Organiks is about sharing LOVE. Starting with self-Love.
Q: Tell us about challenges you face doing business in the diaspora? How have you overcome these challenges?
A: Challenges are in my everyday life, as an artist and even more so as an entrepreneur!
Working on such a natural product, with no chemical preservatives makes the production, the shelving life and stocks move fast, so it's not easy to follow the pace of things sometimes.
The jars are produced in short batches, handmade, no machines, but LOVE and savoir-faire which makes it a little pricy but super concentrated and efficient. It's hard sometimes to convince people to invest a little bit more or few dollars more on their health.
Q: What do you love about your company? And what do you believe has contributed to the growth of your business?
A: LOVE ! My friends, my family, supported me from the start. I love that we take the time to organize private meetings, join markets and vending locations to meet the consumers, talk with them, and have them try the NÜ Butters ©. When we talk health, skin, suddenly, the conversation becomes a little intimate, like in between sisters or friends. This relationship makes the experience even more fulfilling. People also realize that the same way they are changing their food habits because of a growing awareness on the subject, they might as well offer their body a more holistic approach. And we are here to help and guide them.
Q: You are also a very popular musician and it’s so lovely to see you transition to the body care and cosmetics market, how do you balance both?
A: It's not easy to keep up, but it's essentially possible because of team work !
Q: 10 years from now where do you see Nu Organiks?
A: The dream would be to have an international market presence, to be in the bathroom shelves or in the bags of all individuals who love their soul, body and hair ! With the possibility of getting our own formula of NÜ Butters© created just for you.
Q: Tell us 3 most important characteristics one must have to be successful in your business ?
LOVE + SISTERHOOD
Q: What does Sisterhood mean to you and why is it critical to our success as African women?
A: I have worked with my sister for 20 years ! I also have a strong network of sisters all around the world. As women, we are never a strangers to each other, which creates this sisterhood that is needed for moral support, networking, collaborations and shared success because ultimately, we share the same goals. We all want a safer planet, peace, respect and the best place possible for our children, our families and for us to grow and blossom. We are the creative energy and T.E.A.M work means Together Everyone Achieves More.
Q: Please complete the sentence “Women Change Africa because…?”
Because women mean it.