Saadia is the Production Manager of Saadia Organics residing in the beautiful seaside town of Essaouira in Morocco. She is also Joèl’s mother-in-law.
Saadia grew up making Argan Oil with her sisters, aunts and female cousins. Then her father would take it to the local market to sell for extra money.
Saadia went on to have two fabulous children who married exceptionally well. She then came to the rescue when her daughter-in-law in Canada needed her.
In 2002 she found her life circumstances to be less than ideal, so she decided to be kind to herself and make a few visits to the spa as therapy. However, she was not just interested in any spa, she wanted to visit a hammam. Hammams are popular in exotic places such as Turkey and Morocco – places that she read about in her travel magazines. Fortunately, she did not have to go that far, as there was one just a few minutes away in Vancouver.
She loved her experience at the hammam so much, she wanted to visit hammams in their native countries and she found a decent price on a flight to Morocco. She landed in Marrakech a few months later.
After three days in the country she moved on to Essaouira. A relaxed, seaside town known for its art, music and seafood. It was there that she met her husband, who is called Greg outside of Morocco, as his Moroccan name just doesn’t roll off the Western tongue.
The two were married within a year and had their daughter Eden Sadia in August of 2007.
Joèl remembers Greg telling her about this mysterious Argan Oil stuff – how wonderful it tasted and how great it was for your skin and hair. And she remembers just shrugging her shoulders. One visit to Morocco in 2005 he even took her to visit an Argan Co-op, where local women were making the oil and various products with the oil. Joèl found it interesting and said: “That’s nice.”
However, winter of 2010 brought her very angry eyelids. They were fuschia. They burned. They itched. They were scaly. Joèl lamented and rushed to a walk-in clinic when she could no longer stand the annoyance. The doctor said “Oh, they do look terrible! Eczema, perhaps? Or blepharitis? Contact dermatitis? Who knows. At any rate, here is a prescription for some cream. But you CANNOT use it for more than a week.”
After that week the wretched eyelids calmed down, but then within another week the problem returned. Nothing felt good on her face. No lotion, no moisturizer. Everything burned like the fire of a thousand suns. She even hit the fridge and put Crisco shortening on hoping to relieve the agony in a desperate moment. But nothing helped.
Then, she remembered! And she asked…
…“Greg, do you still have that Argan Oil stuff in the kitchen, or did you eat it all?”
Fortunately, it was still there. And even though it was Argan Oil for culinary use, Joèl smeared it on to her poor eyelids. And then? The heavens opened and the angels sang as relief came immediately. She immediately asked her husband “Can Mom buy me some of the cosmetic stuff? Please?”
Then the phone call to Saadia was made. Saadia commented that she didn’t believe that most of what one could buy in town was the real thing. She is highly suspicious of fake/impure Argan Oil. So she said that she would make Joèl a litre of this precious liquid gold as a gift. It was ready in March of 2011, when the family had a trip to Morocco planned.
Around that time Joèl found herself at her dear friend Ainslie’s salon getting her hair done. And then they started talking…
Ainslie is is the co-founder and co-owner of Saadia Organics. Also working as a hair stylist in North Vancouver, Ainslie had heard every story possible about “wondrous” hairsprays and styling paste that will “change your life”. So, when yet another rep came into the salon selling a hair product featuring a “miraculous” product from Morocco, Ainslie simply put it on her cutting station and forgot about it.
When Joèl, a long time friend and preferred guest of Ainslie’s came to get hair done, she inquired about this product sitting in front of her.
“Yeah…supposedly there’s some miracle oil from Morocco in this product. Whatever”.
“Argan Oil,” responded Joèl.
“You mean…that’s a real thing??” asked Ainslie.
So Ainslie went home and did a little internet research, discovering that Argan Oil is amazing and above all, she needed to get her hands on some (or get some on her hands, rather).
When Joèl returned to the salon for her next visit, they started talking.
Ainslie’s first motivations for importing Argan Oil were selfish: after years of washing her face with soap and only sporadically wearing lotion, she noticed her skin was getting a little rough. And when Joèl returned in March of 2011 with a first batch of pure, raw Argan Oil, Ainslie slathered it on. And by the next morning, her face was completely different. It was soft and smooth. And Ainslie couldn’t stop petting it. She got everyone to pet it. Ainslie was sold.
And that is that. The beginning of Saadia Organics.