Inspired by jamu, an Indonesian who lived in New York, Metta Murdaya then created high class skin care products that used natural ingredients.
“We use Indonesian natural ingredients such as kemiri (hazelnut), rice, tea, turmeric, but we also combined them with American technology,” Metta Murdaya, co-founder of JUARA skin scare, said in New York to VOA.
With her three partners, Yoshiko Roth, Jill Sung and Tami Chuang, Metta created JUARA in 2006 in the U.S. They started with one product, and now there are 10 products for facial skin and body. There are facial cleansing from rice, facial mask from turmeric and moisturizer from ginger.
“So, we produce all products in the US. The quality is good and we also guarantee that the ingredients are good, have been tested. Vegetarian without paraben or chemicals that damage skin. So, it’s like best of east meets best of west,” the alumnus of Department of Architecture, University of Berkeley said.
At that time, Metta felt that in the USA there were not many skin care products made from natural ingredients. Until one day, when she was looking skin care product to prevent aging, she remembered a jamu recipe that she didn’t really understand.
“I thought, maybe it has benefits, hasn’t it? So, because in the market that time there were no products that I believed natural yet effective, then why didn’t I make it myself. Why not try?” Metta explained.
Through JUARA, indirectly Metta also tried to introduce Indonesia and its cultures. She was happy because she saw that Americans started to show interest in natural ingredients that were often used for jamu in Indonesia, that she used in JUARA products.
There were famous celebrities in the USA like Amy Adams and Brooke Shields who became JUARA’s regular users. Even though they don’t have their own stores, JUARA skin care products can be found in various high class boutiques in the US and online as well.
Metta said that there was an important message she wanted to say through JUARA, where she wanted the users to keep chasing their dreams and to be champions (juara means a champion or a winner in Bahasa Indonesia-red) in their own lives.
“We want to remind people, if you do what you love, then you do it well, everything can happen. I didn’t expect that because I explored Indonesian concept accidentally, now it can turn into a business in the US that is (loved by) celebrities. If you work hard, then everything will be achieved,” Metta said.
In 2014, JUARA expands its products to Indonesia. In the future, Metta is going to innovate as well as promotes Indonesia and its cultures through JUARA.
“It’s still just a beginning, so (we) will keep creating new products and keeps promoting Indonesian jamu, so more people will understand and like it. Not just JUARA, but Indonesian cultures,” she said to VOA.