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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

The First Halal-Certified Skincare and Wellness for Everyone with Annie Qaiser

Meet Annie Qaiser, the founder and creator of Silk Road Wellness, the first Halal-certified wellness brand in the U.S. Qaiser explains the various benefits of the natural ingredients in her skincare and wellness products that abide by prophetic traditions. Her brand integrates South Asian common remedies into our routine care seamlessly. To learn more, go to SilkRoadWellness.com.

Shownotes:

[00:00:07.590] 
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share their progressive ideas in the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today we are visiting with Annie Qaiser, founder and creator of Silk Road Wellness, the first Halal-certified wellness brand in the U.S.
 
[00:00:40.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Silk Road Wellness products are handmade with natural ingredients from different cultures and prophetic traditions. Welcome to the show, Annie.
 
[00:00:49.500] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Hi, Candi. Thank you so much for having me.
 
[00:00:52.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
We are so glad to have you on today. So first thing we always do when I start the show with a new guest is to ask them to tell us a little bit about your story. Tell us about how you came about creating Silk Road Wellness.
 
[00:01:08.100] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Alright. Thank you so much. So I'll start off by saying that Silk Road is wellness, is a labor of love. That's the first thing. It's basically a halal-certified skincare and wellness line. We make everything by hand. It's all-natural. Absolutely no preservatives, no chemicals, no toxic ingredients. And to start off, I can tell you how I got into it. So about 13 years ago, I became a parent for the first time. And as a new mom, I was just, you know, reading things just how how body care products kind of build up in our in our bodies and how toxic some of these products are.
 
[00:01:45.750] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And especially for women, these products are these toxic ingredients build up in our bodies and cause issues down the road. And that just kind of got me to thinking, you know, why why isn't there something out there for Muslims? Because as a Muslim, I have been reading labels my entire life and I just wanted to come up with something where I didn't have to read labels or look at ingredients and just know that this is an ethically made product and just be able to use it.
 
[00:02:14.280] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And my search wasn't very successful. You know, there were so many ingredients that I had to look at that came from pork derivatives or were alcohol-based, and that just kind of got the ball rolling.  My husband encouraged me to make our own products and the solid lotion bar, the deodorant, the natural deodorant were two of the first things that we started making, and it just kind of took off from there.

[00:02:39.450] - Candi Broeffle, Host

It is really interesting. I don't know if people a lot of people actually know that our skin is the largest organ in our body. Anything that you put on your skin is going to get into your body. And we don't really think about that so much because we're just so used to it being there, protecting the innards of our body. It really is. It's something that we have to be so cognizant of about, what we're putting onto our skin because it is going to go into the bloodstream.
 
[00:03:09.670] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It's going to go into the organs and all parts of our body.
 
[00:03:13.600] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Absolutely. I mean, for example, just soap, just basic soap. You know, you go to the store and you buy a bar of soap. But it turns out that's not even real soap. It's just detergent labeled as soap and a beauty bar, really. And then you're basically washing yourself with very harsh chemicals that dry out your skin. And it just basically creates a cycle of dependency where you're using these things that dry out your skin and mess up your skin, and then you have to buy more products to actually fix the problem that was caused by these from these products in the first place.
 
[00:03:43.470] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And that's, you know, that's kind of what we're trying to eliminate. Our products are, like I said, very natural, very prophetic-based, basically. And that means, you know, as Muslims, we follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. So Islam and we basically believe that those are the best things for us. Like the for example, black seed oil is one of the ingredients that we use. And it's it's said that it can cure everything except death.
 
[00:04:11.370] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So, I mean, that's a very powerful statement.

[00:04:14.010] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

I agree. And I mean, yes, it's, you know, exaggerated, too. But it's one of these oils that cures everything from arthritis to inflammation, carpal tunnel, joint pain, a lot of different things. And then you have the skin benefits and it helps with pigmentation and reducing pores. There are a lot of things that it covers. And, you know, knowing that I just wanted to bring my culture, being a South Asian, having all of those things basically growing up with all of these little tips and household remedies and kitchen kitchen remedies, really.
 
[00:04:50.940] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So I just wanted to incorporate that into this brand that we were building and filling a gap for Muslims because I do feel that as a Muslims, we are not represented in the beauty industry. There's about 1.8 billion Muslims as of right now, a worldwide, and we we have faith requirements that are not being met. So there's, you know, a giant gap that needs to be filled. So we're hoping to fill that or get the ball rolling on that at least.
 
[00:05:21.810] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. Well, the products are beautiful. I just received my shipment here this week and ordered some lotion bars from you, and we'll get into that a little bit later. But the products are really beautiful and I'm really excited about them and excited to be able to share this with our audience as well. So tell us, what does it mean to be halal-certified? And it's interesting that you're the first brand in the U.S. to be halal-certified. The first wellness brand.
 
[00:05:53.330] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes. Thank you. So, yes, halal-certified basically means we had an agency that comes in and checks our facility and they basically go over everything, including  the vessels that we use, the products, ingredients, what their sources are, because halal doesn't just mean what we can consume. It also means, you know, is the product ethically sourced? Is the product being made by a manufacturer that treats its workers well?
 
[00:06:23.730] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So there's like it's an umbrella term that encompasses so much more than just what we can consume and buy by having that certification. I'm just trying to educate people and tell people that you can trust our brand to have all those bases covered. You can rest assured that we are cruelty-free. We never test on animals. Our packaging is eco-friendly. We try to stay as local as possible, try to source from local vendors as much as we can.

[00:06:50.130] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

I mean, obviously, there are some
 
[00:06:51.900] - Candi Broeffle, Host
and  explain to us why why that's important, why it's important to source from local brands.
 
[00:06:57.600] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Well, you know, because it helps the local economy. And we're here, like I said, I'm Pakistani by birth. I was born in Pakistan, but I was raised here in the Midwest and in Canada. And my whole entire life, I have been going to these like dusty stores and trying to find little packages of, you know, this herb and that herb that, you know, some some products have been on the shelf for years.
 
[00:07:21.780] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And I don't even know the expiry date. And it's just like it became a hassle because here I was trying to incorporate all of these things into my lifestyle, but very unsuccessfully. And again, like I said, just filling that gap became kind of like my goal in life.
 
[00:07:38.910] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So also, when we source locally, too, it it helps to reduce transportation costs. That helps on so many sustainable levels. 
 
[00:07:48.030] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes, absolutely.
 
[00:07:50.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I know that you did a lot of research before you started your brand. So give us a little insight into some of the research that you did.
 
[00:08:00.240] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Right. So, yeah, I love researching. I still research everything to death, even though I'm a bookworm by nature. So I have to like, know exactly how everything works and why it works and what's what's behind it. And that just kind of really led me into learning about herbalism, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and then our prophetic medicine, which is also known as the Al-Tibb al-Nabawi. That means the medicine of the prophet. So these are these are all the things that I just read up on.
 
[00:08:33.840] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And it just I wanted to know more and more because Chinese medicine, for example, it's thousands of years old, Ayurveda, thousands of years old. We know these things work and they treat the whole body as a whole versus just one, you know, one aspect or one problem. So they treat the root issue of why you're going through, why your body is experiencing that problem. And that really appealed to me, you know, as I try to incorporate the non-toxic lifestyle, even in my personal life, along with my kids and my husband just within my family.
 

[00:09:06.270] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

And to me, it was important to incorporate that into our body care products as well. And just using ingredients that that kind of figure like focused on the whole problem versus just like, you know, that particular issue really appealed to me.
 
[00:09:21.510] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And we're going to get into some of those different ingredients that you used to in our next section. But before we do that, let's talk a little bit, because I'm always curious as to how it came about. But also, I love to talk about eco-friendly packaging, and it's so nice to see that you have that with all of your packaging as well. So tell us a little bit about that. How did you how did you source it and what what exactly are you using as eco-friendly packaging?
 
[00:09:51.090] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So, yes. So eco-friendly to me, basically, my goal was to have things that are reusable. I wanted to eliminate trash, basically. Things going into the trash, creating more of an effect on landfills, so to eliminate that, we came up with like, you know, 10 containers that are reusable. And one of the programs that we offer within our company is that we once customers are done with the actual product itself, they can bring back the container and get a reduced price on the actual product again.
 
[00:10:21.190] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So, you know, you buy a solid lotion, you can get a dollar off the next time you get a refill, but reuse the same container. We use glass bottles that are reusable. I tell people to use them, you know, for like little medicines or drops or just so many different uses. And that's kind of the premise of why we went that route. Packed plastic was, you know, in some ways it's unavoidable because there are some things that you do have to package in plastic, but we are trying to cut that out as much as possible.
 
[00:10:52.870] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Most of our products are in little, you know, hard containers like glass or metal just to kind of go with that whole natural element.
 
[00:11:01.750] - Candi Broeffle, Hos
And I love we're going to talk about the numbers, too, but I just want to let people know I love that you can take the lotion bar out of the tin and be able to use it right on your body, which is great, because so often you have to, like, use your fingers to get in there to get it. But this you can actually take out and use right from the bar itself. Yeah. So for people who want to learn more about Silk Road Wellness or to order products, visit SilkRoadWellness.com and that's S-I-L-K- R-O-A-D wellness.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com, on Apple and Google podcasts. And anywhere you get your podcasts, you're listening to Green Tea Conversations and AM950 Radio Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.

[00:12:10.780] - Candi Broeffle, Host

Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today, our guest is Annie Qaiser, founder and creator of Silk Road Wellness, which is the first halal-certified wellness brand in the United States.
 
[00:12:32.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So just before the break, you were telling us a little bit about how so-called wellness came about and the research that you did. And I'm so interested because I would love for people to understand what the ingredients actually can do for our skin and kind of why you chose different ones. So one of the ingredients that you use is olive oil.
 
[00:12:59.590] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes.
 
[00:13:00.200] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Tell us about why you chose olive oil.
 
[00:13:03.460] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Right. So olive oil is, to me, honestly, the king of all-natural oils. It's good for you from a diet perspective. You mean the whole Mediterranean diet just basically focuses on olives and olive oil and how good they are for the heart and cardiovascular issues. And that's just from a diet perspective. When you look at, you know, the effect that it has on on the skin, it's actually one of the closest ones to your natural skin oils and the production of oil that, you know, our skin naturally produces what it does for the skin in terms of making it better.
 
[00:13:39.970] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It just basically brings out hydration and moisture closest to your personal body oils. And it's just a natural oil. Again, there aren't it's not genetically modified. It doesn't go through a very high process of, you know, extracting it from the olives. So it's basically in its raw truest form that we're getting it.
 
[00:14:02.350] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It is a beautiful oil cold press. I mean, it's what you're using. So what about...you had started to tell us a bit about black seed oil?
 
[00:14:13.300] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah. So black seed oil, even more, black seed oil. So, again, when I said earlier about the prophetic traditions and prophetic medicine, so olive oil and black seed oil, those are you know, we're actually recommended as Muslims to consume olive oil because it's so good for you. Black seed oil, again, is one of the prophetic medicine recommendations. It's amazing stuff. They're basically tiny little seeds that look like sesame seeds, but they have a very different taste. And so the extraction, again, it's a cold press.
 
[00:14:45.310] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And the extract this Western science world, I should say, is just basically discovering how powerful this oil is. And now they're researching into how much it affects people with arthritis, with carpal tunnel, and helps with joint pain, inflammation. Basically, I had a customer and that was actually the pivotal point in me just realizing that these things have a market outside of Muslims, too. I had a customer come up to me and she had been buying black seed oils, black seed lotion bars for a while.

[00:15:16.720] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

And she came up to me and said, "You know, I haven't been able to take off my wedding ring for a few months now. And just by using this oil, this lotion bar, my fingers have gotten, just the inflammation has gone down so much that might ring was able to come off in the morning." And she's like, "I haven't been able to do that in a while." And that just really drove home the point to me. And I was like, I almost had tears in my eyes because I was like, "I know all this works."
 
[00:15:41.440] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And it's just amazing that other people are able to experience that wellness perspective too. So it's almost like an honor that I'm able to bring that out to people and to tell people "Hey, you know what? These are natural things that actually will help you."

[00:15:57.370] - Candi Broeffle, Host

So what do you use the black seed oil, in which products?
 
[00:16:02.350] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So I have it currently in the lotion bar like a black seed lotion bar. And then I have a hair oil. It's really good for helping with hair strength. So it strengthens the hair follicle. So we have that in hair care. And then I actually included a couple of face masks. So I have dry ingredient face masks and yellowface polishes and then I have essential oil blends in there and black seed oil is in a few of them as well to help, you know, with the skin aspect.

[00:16:31.450] - Candi Broeffle, Host

My goodness. Alright. So what about I know one of the things that you use as Rosemary. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs ever. Yes. But what do you use Rosemary for in the products, for the benefits of your skin?
 
[00:16:46.690] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Oh, yeah. So, again, Rosemary is great for pigmentation. It helps with fine lines. And it's actually the aromatherapy benefits are mood enhancement. So actually, the smell of it, the aroma of it puts you in a better mood.
 
[00:17:00.850] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It's really does. It actually make me happy.
 
[00:17:04.720] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah. And that's scientifically proven. So it's always great.
 
[00:17:11.410] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so are you using Rosemary in several different products, mostly the lotion bars or
 
[00:17:17.890] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
a couple of different face masks as well?
 
[00:17:20.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then you also use a lot of honey and beeswax.

[00:17:24.820] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

Yes, more beeswax. Actually, I don't use honey per se, but I have a local supplier who has the best quality of beeswax. I mean, it's amazing and it's a bare minimum process. So we're getting the nutrients and the goodness of the beeswax because I mean, although it is a byproduct of bees and I know some vegans don't use beeswax, but again, like with our requirements and fees, it actually fits right.
 
[00:17:51.670] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And there's actually a chapter in the Koran, which is a holy book for us that's actually named after bees.
 
[00:17:56.980] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So I mean, that tells me how important any byproduct of bees is. It's good stuff. You know, it's again, it's natural. The benefits of it, there are so many vitamins and minerals that your skin is getting based just on that beeswax. So good to us. A bit about the lotion bars that you have.
 
[00:18:17.990] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So that was one of the first products that you came out with. One solution, bars. And we'll talk about the deodorant in a bit. But the lotion bars that you did or that you have, tell us about them.
 
[00:18:32.230] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
The lotion bars you've seen, basically, they're in tiny containers and they're very compact. They're very concentrated. But, you know, it's interesting because that 10 right there is worth like a bottle of lotion, like an entire full pump, a bottle of lotion. And the reason it's so concentrated and so small and compact is because there are no preservatives, absolutely no water in there, no parabens, no emulsifiers. So when you use your lotion bar, you know, you rub it onto your skin and you need a tiny, tiny bit.
 
[00:19:00.970] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It basically melts into your skin and it reaches like the deepest layers of your skin to actually heal and moisturize from the inside out. And the longer you use that product, the less you're going to need over time. So, you know, you can use a tiny bit today. And then a month down the road, your skin is going to be so moisturized already that you're not going to need to use too much. And that is the reason why it's so compact, is because, you know, when you have the full bottles of lotion, they're basically or like creams or a little tubes, they're filled with water.
 
[00:19:33.550] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And to increase shelf life, they have to add preservatives. And that just makes the product. You're basically getting a percentage of the product and then fillers are what are the rest. And that's what we try to eliminate.
 
[00:19:47.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then how do you because you're using like olive oil in different types of oil, how do you get it to the solid-state?

[00:19:55.630] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So that's where you know, where the coconut oil, where the olive oil and beeswax, that's where they come in. So there's like, you know, ratios and basically, once it solidifies, that keeps it solid at room temperature. I mean, if you're especially in the winter, you'll notice that you'll have to rub the ocean bar a little bit into your skin to actually get it to warm up. But in the summer, it's just one swipe and done.
 
[00:20:17.530] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And it's basically the beeswax that binds it all together.
 
[00:20:22.780] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Is there a better time to put on the lotion? But like, should you put it on as soon as you get out of the shower or
 
[00:20:28.810] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
any time I mean, any time you would moisturize or feel the need to moisturize your body.
 
[00:20:33.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
OK, very good. To learn more about Silkroad Wellness and to order products, visit SilkroadWellness.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com on Apple and Google podcasts, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 Radio Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
 
[00:21:15.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle.
 
[00:21:27.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And today we're visiting with Annie Qaiser, founder and creator of Silkroad Wellness, the first halal-certified wellness brand in the U.S. So, Annie, just before the break, you were telling us about your lotion bars, which is just one of the products that you carry or that you create, but you also have several other products in within the products. You're using different ingredients. So, of course, I always love to talk about the ingredients so people get an idea of why it's so important that you're using the different types of ingredients that you are.
 
[00:22:02.150] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So let's talk a little bit about lavender. I think everyone loves lavender and we see so many things now. But how is it beneficial for the skin?
 
[00:22:13.250] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So lavender is a classic essential. I think if anyone has ever heard of an oil, it's lavender essential oil. The aromatherapy benefits of it are basically that it calms down the senses and it works on your neural pathways to actually calm you down. And it does the same for the skin as well. So I have this hydrating spray that I make with botanical extracts and one of them is lavender, which helps down, which helps calm down redness of the skin.
 
[00:22:44.660] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So with people with rosacea, just so you don't like inflamed skin, facial skin, they begin sprayed on their face. And I mean, you will feel the difference because the lavender, just the smell of it, the feel of it on your skin actually calms down the redness.

[00:23:01.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host

Is it in any of your lotion bars?
 
[00:23:04.050] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah. So we have a lavender lotion bar. I actually use that as one of the essential oil blends in a couple of the polishes and the face polishes are basically face masks and polishes. I have a collection of about seven now and there again, botanical and herbal ingredients. They're dry ingredients, which basically means you add the liquid of your choice at home. And again, the reason I did that was to eliminate the need for preservatives. And you have this dry blend and then you add the liquid of your choice like liquid.
 
[00:23:36.650] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
You could add yogurt or olive oil or rosewater or just plain water. And you get like this little mix a piece, basically, and then you put that on your face. And then one of them has the lavender oil again, which helps with, you know, calming down the skin.
 
[00:23:51.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then you also use turmeric in some of your products. And turmeric is something that's coming around so much. Now people are talking about turmeric, so much for arthritis, pain and reducing blood pressure and other things that it can do within the body. But how does it benefit our skin?
 
[00:24:10.940] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Oh, yeah. So turmeric or turmeric, as some people call it, is my love. It's a superfood. It honestly great for everything. You can use it. I actually put it in a face mask. I have a solid lotion. I have it in the one of the sprays that I make and the face sprays. And then I have a tea blend like a spice blend that you can add to. So golden milk.
 
[00:24:38.810] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
I don't know if you've heard of golden milk, basically that that's the premise of that. And you can drink it as an herbal tea. You can add it to your tea or coffee, drink it cold or hot. And it just has amazing benefits for lowering blood pressure, helping with, like, you know, acne, helping just give you, like, a nice golden glow to your skin helps with drying out like infections. It's an antiseptic.
 
[00:25:04.100] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It's an anti-inflammatory. So a multitude of benefits.
 
[00:25:10.010] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, tell us a little bit about golden milk, because I don't know if people...it's something I've been introduced to recently and it's very I love it.
 
[00:25:20.510] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So golden milk is basically made with turmeric and different herbs like cinnamon. And I actually sell our product. That's called a spice blend. And one of them is turmeric gold. And basically, it's worth its weight in gold and how many benefits it has for the body. So why some of the ingredients that I include in turmeric, gold, spice, tea blends are cinnamon and ginger and turmeric, black pepper. So these these basically help increase circulation of the body and they fight inflammation and they offer a lot of painkilling properties as well.
 
[00:25:52.720]- Candi Broeffle, Host
So it's a great drink to have before bedtime.
 
[00:25:57.980] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes, absolutely. I mean, I recommend people add a quarter teaspoon in their milk while they're warming it up or in their tea, just how whatever they like. Drink it before bed and it really does relax the body.
 
[00:26:10.180] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, like I said, you know, just introduced to it recently, and it's something that...it's just a very unique drink. Yes. But it has so many different benefits to it that I'm really recommending people look up golden milk and check it out on your website. Yeah. And see what they think.

[00:26:31.570] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
I know. And, you know, for skin benefits, it's actually really great for oil control and just helping with skin bacteria that causes acne or even face facial hair. It actually eliminates the growth of that over time, too. So I mean, just a lot a lot of benefits.
 
[00:26:49.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So speaking of that, what products do you have that are specific to acne to help with acne?
 
[00:26:57.910] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
We have the hydrating sprays, the facial sprays that I have one that's with turmeric oil and another one with a tea tree. And I have a lotion bar that specifically with turmeric and tea tree again Tea Tree oil and I use and I have a face polish that's called Goldust. That's one of our bestsellers again with turmeric and turmeric, oil and sandalwood and lots of all different herb herbs and grains and clays that actually help with acne.
 

[00:27:31.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host

Is it sold specifically for acne or is it sold for many different things? You said it's one of your bestsellers.
 
[00:27:37.830] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It's sold for a lot of different reasons. I mean, it has a lot of benefits to it. So I don't necessarily market it for acne, but it helps with one of the benefits is helping with acne.
 
[00:27:49.630] - Candi Broeffle, Host
OK, you also use neem in some of your products as well. So help us to understand what name is in it.

[00:27:57.220] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

Yes. So neem is basically neem. Trees are very commonly found in South Asia and again, being from South Asia. That's one of the herbs that, you know, we heard about a lot as well growing up. And one of the products, one of the ingredients that was used widely in our household, it's antiseptic again, helps with inflammation. It's it basically if you get a cut, you can put on the leaf or like the the dried leaf of it.
 
[00:28:22.260] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It helps with just, you know, killing the bacteria there. So many different benefits for it. It's you can use it as a mouthwash. You can use it as a hair wash. So just add in skin products. It just helps kind of just clean the skin, basically, dry out all the impurities and detoxes the skin is wonderful.
 
[00:28:41.970] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So let's talk about some of the different products that you have. So we've already talked about the lotion bars, but you also have several and we've started to talk about some of the masks and scrubs that you have. But give us an idea. You also you said that one of the things that you started with was natural deodorant. And I think that's something that people always have. We want natural deodorants, but it's really hard to find a good one.
 
[00:29:08.400] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes, absolutely. So natural deodorant was one of the first ingredients that I started making, mainly because, you know, after I had kids, I was going through some health issues and just kind of reading about how these products, these body care products were building up in my system or in female reproductive systems. It just kind of led from there, specifically with deodorant a lot. Women don't realize that it actually builds up in our lymph nodes when we put it on because it has antiperspirant in it too.
 
[00:29:40.200] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And when there's a buildup in your lymph nodes and they get blocked up, it's one of the leading causes of breast cancer and has been linked to that. And when knowing that there are so many natural alternatives that we can use, we can use like, you know, like the natural deodorant that I make or sprays or crystal rocks like Alum. There are so many things that we can be using instead of the conventional deodorant. And that just kind of made it easy for me to to keep working and refining that product.
 
[00:30:14.040] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And actually, neem is one of the products that I include in the deodorant as well, because it does have odor-killing properties as well.
 
[00:30:21.150] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so what are the other ingredients in there? Is that work so well?
 
[00:30:25.350] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So the ingredients, basically the reason it works so well is because as for a deodorant to work, you need to kill the bacteria. That's human nature. Like all human bodies. We all have it right. And you need to kill that bacteria. And these products, these ingredients that I use, such as neem or the clay or the arrowroot baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, all of these things, they actually help eliminate the bacteria.
 
[00:30:57.870] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So you're getting rid of that odor. And as humans, again, we are designed to sweat. That's one way our body lets go of toxins and that's all coming out. You're still sweating, but you're not you're not smelling.
 
[00:31:11.760] - Candi Broeffle, Hos
Yes, exactly. So what is the one of your products that I ordered here just recently?
 
[00:31:18.870] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
I ordered as a gift for my son for one of the things he'll get for his father's first Father's Day, but nobody tell him what it is. But it's beard oil.
 
[00:31:30.630] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So tell us about the Beard Oil
 
[00:31:32.970] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah. So beard oil and beard balm. We saw bowls and beer bombs are again, beard hair is very different for from just regular, you know, head hair. And basically, to help with the coarseness and team-like the fuzziness of it, there's a different ratio of the ingredients that I use and that helps with calming down like that fizziness and and to facilitate hair growth and like beard health as well. Because one of them, one of the ingredients that I do use in the beard balm is black seed oil, which actually helps with premature hair grayness. So that's another benefit of black seed oil.
 
[00:32:13.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, he's going to love that. So tell us about some of the other products that you have on your website.
 
[00:32:24.120] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes. So along with our signature lotion bars and natural deodorant, we have the face of the herbal face, polishes, and masks. And then we have a whole bunch of lip care, which is basically like tinted lip balms and again, those are made with vegetable and fruit pigments and natural dyes. And then I also have lip balms. And I just came up with just came out with our newest ones. There are fennel, cardamom, and star anise. So and then we have a natural one as well.
 
[00:32:54.130] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
They smell amazing. I can't stop. I that's all I use right now. It's good stuff.
 
[00:32:57.940] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I just I love fennel. I love star anise. I love I love cloves. I know some of your products have cloves in it
 
[00:33:06.310] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
clove oil.
 
[00:33:07.360] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
We have a lip plumpers that are actually really work nicely because cinnamon and clove oil and peppermint oil, they're actually irritant oils. So when you're putting them on your on your lips, they give you like that might mildly tingly aspects. So it's you know, you get that naturally plump kind of lip action going on,
 
[00:33:27.550] - Candi Broeffle, Host
so you can have it with natural products.
 
[00:33:29.650] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Absolutely.
 
[00:33:31.870] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Alright. So we are going to come back in just a moment. We have some exciting news to share with our audience and information about where they can get your products.
 
[00:33:41.980] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But in the meantime, if people are interested in learning more about Silkroad Wellness or if you'd like to order products online, visit SilkroadWellness.com to read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine. Visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950 Radio.com on Spotify, Apple, and Google podcasts. And anywhere you get your podcasts, you're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 Radio, The Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
 
[00:34:27.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise and their travels with you. I'm your host Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today in our studio. We are welcoming Annie Qaiser, who is the founder and creator of Silkroad Wellness, the first halal-certified wellness brand in the United States.
 
[00:34:54.950] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So before the break, you were telling us about some of your products. And I know you have a couple of other products that we really want to share with our audience. And so one is the face oil. So tell us about your face oils.
 
[00:35:08.960] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So, yeah, so we have fish oil that is specifically for mature skin or just anyone who is trying to eliminate the wrinkles and, you know, just get a very nice, even tone to their skin. We have rosehip seed oil in them as one of the leading ingredients and just a whole bunch of different oils. Again, black seed oil is one one of them, too. And the other product that is one of our really popular ones is an herbal tooth polish.
 
[00:35:33.770] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And it's different from toothpaste because it's it's a dry powder. And you can just add it to your toothbrush. And basically, it's a blend of charcoal and different herbs like cloves and cinnamon and black seed that really helped with gum health.
 
[00:35:48.050] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, interesting. And so is it is it black?
 
[00:35:52.490] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
It's like a black grayish kind of powder.
 
[00:35:55.570] - Candi Broeffle, Host
OK, and so you just use that as instead of the toothpaste that we have that have.

[00:36:02.000] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

Yes. So you can use that instead of the toothpaste. And it's because it's so powerful and it's a natural abrasive. I tell people to eat and don't use it more than like two or three times a week. So more of like as a polish versus like an everyday toothpaste because it's so powerful and it's great for people who drink coffee and tea because of all the tooth stains and just helps really with, you know, gum health.
 
[00:36:25.070] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Very good. So, yes, I'm going to check that out itself. So now I have a whole list of things that I want to get from. You know, we have a black hole in it.

[00:36:35.990] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

Yeah, we have an entire you know, we're focusing on the entire body wellness, not just specifically skincare or just, you know, body care. It's all it's all over full-body wellness.
 
[00:36:45.950] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So I do want to ask you about some of the other tips that you have. What are some of the other tea blends that you have and what are they used?
 
[00:36:54.140] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So along with turmeric, gold, I have a masala chai, which is, you know, again, that's such a common thing in South Asian cultures. But we don't really think of the benefits, which, again, are there are a multitude of benefits like cinnamon and ginger and cardamom. They're all actually really good for the body and to create heat in the body, which helps fight off inflammation. So that's from an aggravating principle. And then I have another one of our spice blends is called Green Belly, which is great for digestive issues.
 
[00:37:22.190] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
And just, you know, it's got fennel and just, again, cinnamon and ginger to help with just controlling digestive issues as well.
 
[00:37:31.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Annie, tell us about it. I know we can order products online from you and have them shipped directly to our house. But your products are also found throughout the Twin Cities. So tell us about some of the different stores that they're in.
 
[00:37:44.780] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah, so we are currently in five different spaces. And throughout the Twin Cities, there are two or three co-ops like Lakewinds in the Chanhassen branch and then The Wedge and we just added Linden Hills as our third one. So we have selected products there. Our whole line is not offered there. So you'll find a few lotion bars, you'll find lip balms and face polishes, and some face sprays, I think, in Lakewinds as well. We're also at the Mall of America, which is so exciting.
 
[00:38:18.050] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes, it's an amazing, amazing opportunity. It's actually a Community Commons is where we're at. And that's a mall initiative basically to help out small businesses that were affected by the pandemic and civil unrest of last year. And it's been a great opportunity to just be the first halal brand that's in Mall of America. I mean, it's a dream come true, honestly, just being out there and telling people that we exist. But, you know, here we are.
 
[00:38:43.400] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you have all of the products at Mall of America.
 
[00:38:46.040] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes. Actually, there's quite a few more that are not up on our website, too. So, I mean, we have new products that we just launched. So they're all on the at the mall.
 
[00:38:55.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, tell us about those.
 
[00:38:56.960] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yeah.
 
[00:38:57.350] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So actually, I know what's new.
 
[00:38:59.960] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
So I actually came up with a couple of different lip balms and a couple of different face masks there. So the main ingredients in that and those are also the one of the face masks has moringa. So moringa is again moringa oil or moringa. Herb is great, great for pigmentation, and just really help. With its high in vitamin C. So it helps, you know, just really with skin health in general.
 
[00:39:25.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, I just want to say to people, I wish you could see Annie because her skin is absolutely glowing and healthy, you know, just clear and so nice. So I think it's a good testament to your 18 years old.
 
[00:39:42.260] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Oh, I appreciate it. Yes, I'm much more older than 18, but I appreciate that. I think so. You also have some exciting news that you shared with our readers in the magazine, which is that you have been accepted into the lunar startups.
 
[00:40:01.150] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Yes. That is, again, one of our amazing opportunities. April has been a month of like a lot of new starts for us getting into Mall of America and now with Lunar Startups. So Lunar Startups is a Twin Cities-based accelerator program. And basically, they're there to help us scale our small business into into something even bigger. And it's you know, we the first two days of orientation were just amazing. That was actually yesterday and today. And there are so many things that we learned, so many experts that we just met just on the first couple of days.
 

[00:40:35.080] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

So I'm like really excited about how the whole thing is going to work out, where the whole program lasts for about six months. So we're in it until September. And just everything, all the everything that they offer, it's it's an amazing, amazing opportunity. You know, just knowing that a small business has so much to work on coming up with the product was, I think, probably the easiest thing in terms of running a business and then just the marketing and the the finances and the operations and manufacturing and and the legal.

[00:41:05.200] - Annie Qaiser, Guest

That's just been a huge, huge learning curve. And I don't have a business background. My husband, who's the who's also the co-founder of so-called Wellness, he also doesn't have a business background. He's in it. And both of us have just been kind of learning the ropes as we go along and stumbling into this opportunity. Lunar startups, when we were accepted were like, "Oh, wow, this is amazing."
 
[00:41:27.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
They just won. You know, I want our listeners to know, too. That is not an unusual story. This is how entrepreneurs start. You have a passion. You have something that you're just so excited about and so passionate about, and you want to offer it to the world. And then you have to think about all the business stuff that goes on around it.
 
[00:41:45.670] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Absolutely.
 
[00:41:46.850] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, I think thankfully there are some great organizations out there like lunar startups that can help people to scale their business. You've already had kind of a proven concept. Now you get to scale that business into something really spectacular. Congratulations on that. That's a huge thing.
 
[00:42:03.170] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Thank you.
 
[00:42:04.060] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I also want to let people know before we're kind of wrapping up know the show here. And I want to let people know that Annie has agreed to sponsor a giveaway for Mother's Day for Natural Awakenings and she is offering 100-dollar gift certificate.
 
[00:42:20.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And people can go to our Facebook page, Natural Awakenings, Twin Cities Facebook page to sign up. Sign-up is going to be until May 5th. So you want to do it right away. Somebody will win and be able to give it to their mother or keep it for themselves and get themselves a whole bunch of really great products. Well Annie, thank you so much for being with us today. It was an honor getting to know you and getting to know about Silk Road Wellness.
 
[00:42:46.930] - Annie Qaiser, Guest
Thank you so much, Candi. And I really appreciate you taking the time to tell people about us. And, you know, just having me on the show, I want to sign off by saying "Hello, wellness is for everybody."
 
[00:42:59.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 Radio Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And I'm wishing for you a lovely day!
 
Read the full July 2022 Magazine