10 Minutes With: Tata Harper - Neiman Marcus
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10 Minutes With: Tata Harper

Kate Sample

February 22, 2016

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From the moment Tata Harper launched her skincare line, it has created buzz in the beauty world and become beloved by celebrities. Tata Harper skincare is created in small batches in Vermont, free of chemical and synthetic ingredients. We sat down with the beauty guru to learn more about her life, creative process, and inspiration.

NM: Your brand is truly known for the organic, nontoxic yet results-proven products. We’d love to hear more about where it all started and its unique history and process.

TH: In the beginning, it wasn’t at my farm, even though we already had the farm when I started this whole venture. This really started because of a couple things. Number one, I’m Latin, and when growing up in Latin America, you see beauty in a very different light. It’s not the American philosophy that less is more. In Latin America, more is more.

It really started when my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. We went to see a lot of different doctors, and there was always this recurring theme about what happens every day in your life—like what do you eat every day? What supplements do you take? What products do you put on your skin every day? And then you start connecting the dots and realizing this whole thing about using natural things and eating organic and all of this is really about your health—not just the environment.

This is something that you’re doing for your health. Tata Harper products are not compromising our longevity and our health.

It took like almost five years to develop my line because our process is different than what other companies tend to do. I would say probably 95 percent of the beauty industry outsources a lot of what I call the key quality control aspects of the company.

I had to work with a team of eight chemists who are mainly from Europe to make all of this happen, and it took a really long time. And while we were formulating, I realized that I also wanted to make the products.

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NM: How often are you at the farm yourself?

TH: I live here.

NM: Okay, so you’re full time. That is incredible.

TH: I travel a lot, but I live here. I always come home. I have three kids, and my husband and I have lived here with them for seven years. And since I had my first baby, we made the decision that we wanted to move to the farm—which was always a dream to be able to live here for a portion of our lives. And finally, having this venture has allowed that to happen. It’s made it viable to live in the countryside and expose the kids to an upbringing that is in the country with a lot of green and a lot of outdoors.

NM: It’s your home base. You have somewhere that you know is yours and comfortable. Everyone needs a spot like that.

TH: I have little ones, so I’m focused on their upbringing, and a lot of my weekends are spent with them doing projects or running around or hiking or doing picnics.

NM: Tell us bit more about your thought process on the types of products and categories that you offer.

TH: We launched with a line that is antiaging. Our line has unprecedented amounts of active ingredients, which I think is one of the things that sets us apart and really gives the clients the amazing results that they are always blown away by.

We also have a Green line, and it’s great for reducing wrinkles by providing antioxidants and oxygen to the skin. A lot of the serums in that line range from 29 actives.

But then we realized that as you mature, clients are having more specific concerns that are different than global antiaging. So we launched our Super Natural line, and it’s the best-selling part of our line at Neiman Marcus.

NM: How do you see the concept of clean cosmetics evolving, and what does that mean for the future of your line?

TH: It’s a movement, but it’s a movement that is happening across the world. You know, I travel the world, and I just see it everywhere: people using better things, people eating organic, people just trying to live better. This is a really exciting time to be doing what I’m doing because most of the cutting-edge and latest technologies are really happening in our arena. A lot of the really important cosmetics labs around the world are investing in developing and studying different natural actives.

NM: Which product would you recommend for someone who is new to the brand—something that is a great item for them to try as they enter the world of nontoxic, organic products?

TH: It’s really hard to pick, but if I’m only going to pick one it will definitely be the Elixir Vitae Serum. I can’t live without that.

NM: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

TH: Finish what you start. (Laughs)

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