Imagine a young girl and her brother spending their summers surrounded by nature, I believe it is one of the best things that a child can experience.
These children were my brother and I, city kids leaving the concrete buildings behind to explore nature for 3 months during our summer holidays at my grandmother’s farm in Sicily.
My paternal grandmother, a woman with a strong presence who ran her farm (wine, olives, grain, and fruit), wished for us to be with her as much as possible. The time we spent with her could be described as a small window of relaxation, peace, and tranquillity that we could not get in the city.
I remember being around 6 years old, sitting at the back of a big truck full of freshly-picked watermelons. My father would cut open a whole watermelon for me, and I would spend half a day eating it while everyone else was filling up the truck: what a delight!
I recall climbing on mountains of grain, spending endless hours by the porch opening pistachio shells using a heavy stone to get the kernels out, and eating them on the go, who could resist? When we were around 8 years of age, we would help pick the grapes from the vines, and fill the crates with them. I would stand on an upside-down crate, so we could reach the grapes. The workers were happy to have children around to teach and we felt proud to be around them. We would be paid for the hours worked, I think for fun, but also to teach us the value of money from an early age, and no, this was not child labour!
Once, my father carried a mattress to the roof of the house, I know, a bit crazy, right? We spent hours looking at the stars. The sky was so clear, as there were no other houses or any lights around. I felt part of the universe and like I belonged to this Earth at the same time. Clean, clear, and pure are some of the words that come to mind when I go back to these childhood memories. This is how this Earth should be everywhere, and we should treat it with respect, embracing it!
Embrace the Planet, Embrace Yourself! is Terre Verdi’s motto, because this is what I believe in. We are all connected: humans, animals, and our planet. When we take care of ourselves with quality organic products we are reducing our footprint on this earth and at the same time we are also doing the best thing for us. At the end of the day we all benefit from kinder, mindful practices.
The memories of my childhood are engraved in my mind just like the memories of scents that I grew up with. The taste of fruit like peaches, tomatoes, prickly pear, blueberries, tangerines, oranges and lemons, and fantastic scents of neroli, jasmine, and geranium to name a few. This is the world I left behind when I grew up.
I left Sicily and moved to the States when I was a teenager, and lived in New York for a decade. I studied financial mathematics, as I love math, and ended up moving to London where I continued my career in the financial sector for 8 years. During my time in London, everything happened very quickly, career, family, children. During this time, I started to think more and more about what is right for them and for the whole family with respect to food, cleaning products, and skincare. I spent some time in Sicily during the first pregnancy, and we took our girl on a trip there a short while after her birth. Even though I somehow lost touch with nature whilst away from Sicily, I reconnected during that trip. The need to understand more and more what was best to consume became strongest during my last pregnancy 4 years ago. I decided that I wanted to go the organic and natural way for everything, not only food. I took aromatherapy and holistic skincare courses, and immersed myself into studying again, although it was totally different from the exact science of math. I realized that organic and holistic skincare is what I wanted to be focusing on in my life. Looking back, this is also more rewarding on a personal level.
So, whilst absorbing the new knowledge, I started experimenting and preparing small gifts for friends and family for Christmas, and the feedback was great. My family and friends suggested to take it a step further and to start formulating a product line. Whilst I thought at first that it was a joke, I started pondering the idea of creating products with a Sicilian influence.
When I was younger, organic farming was a given where I was living. Throughout the years after I left Sicily, I had to discover and adjust myself to a whole new world and be aware of what I was eating and using.
And while organic products in the food industry are properly labelled, skincare products are not regulated, so it was really important for me to become certified organic when I created the Terre Verdi line. Non-certified organic brands could claim to be organic whilst using only a small percentage of organic content. I wanted people to look at a Terre Verdi bottle, see the certification logo and feel confident about what they were getting.
The purity and efficacy of the ingredients is very important, what we use must be of very high quality and nourishing for the skin.
We are now a multi-award winning company, and proud to be certified both organic and cruelty free.
The Terre Verdi story is a story of family (our logo for instance represents my family crest), of nature, but also of gifting. The focus is on others. I created most products for my family and for my customers, with whom I share my ideas and ask for continuous feedback. I listen to them and adapt to their needs, not the other way around. I also want to share my skills and knowledge, and a big part of Terre Verdi is making people aware of the scary facts in modern skincare, and pulling people back to nature!