After being featured in Elle Germany, we thought it would be timely to introduce one of our favourite retailers and our first international retailer – Greenglam.
Besides having a really interesting background, and the most beautiful shop space, Nina from Greenglam has been very influential in introducing the well kept brand to Germany and Elle. We asked her a few questions and were happily surprised to learn so much – we hope you enjoy…
Tell us a little about where your shop is located – since we haven’t been there before, we’d love to envision what the area is like?
Our store is located in the heart of Augsburg, a renaissance city in Bavaria. It is situated in a small alley just around the corner from the busy city center. It is a beautiful location, it was built in 1515 by the “medieval Jeff Besoz“ Jakob Fugger – at that time one of the most influential and visionary europeans and the richest man on earth at the time. The building consists of several houses with 4 beautiful courtyards – we are lucky enough to be next door to two of them. greenglam. the store is quite big, 270 square meters makes us one of the largest green beauty spots in Europe. We have big, beautiful, light flooded, arched rooms filled with beautiful goods from all around the world. We stock more than 150 Brands at the moment.
What inspired you to open your beautiful shop and how did you end up in that location?
To make a long story short – I am actually a pharmacist from Sweden and I took my Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy – investigating anti inflammatory properties of Samoan medicinal plants. After finishing my Ph. D I got an invitation for a post doc at the LM University in Munich, where I met my husband. He was investigating stinging nettle for his Ph. D. We left Munich for Augsburg, started a family and took over a pharmacy. After a few years we had the chance to open a second pharmacy – and wanted to do something different – a greener pharmacy. We planted a garden filled with medicinal plants in the back, stocked homeopathic drugs and I decided we should start to stock natural beauty. My husband supported me all the time, but got worried – will we find the right customers for all these jars and tins in this location (it is not in an area with lots of traffic – it is next door to a hospital). Since he loves to do programming in his spare time, he gifted me with an internet shop – greenglam.de was born. Our design was very different to other on line shops at the moment, I think my Scandinavian genes were responsible, very clean and modern. Internet in Germany at that time was all about cheep and discounts – selling exclusive products on line was an odd thing to do. Somehow it was the right time – greenglam grew and grew. We decides to take over a smaller pharmacy in the center and move greenglam there. After 5 years greenglam had grown so much, that it was impossible to do both pharmacy and on line in this space – I had to choose – and since greenglam allowed me much more creativity and was loads of fun I decided to go for greenglam. One day riding my bike to work, I had to choose an other route since there was construction work going on – and there it was – a small sign on a door in a very small alley – TO RENT! Peeping through the window I saw beautiful arches and huge spaces ….. The location was in a desolated stayed, filled with rubbish and looking more like medieval chamber of torture than an urban retreat….. The moment I was allowed to visit the space I knew it was perfect and that the rooms themselves are so beautiful you do not need to spend a lot of money – white paint would work miracles! I knew from the first second exactly where our day spa would open its doors, where our logistic center would be, and which room would be my office! In cooperation with a lovely woman, our interior designer, we created a modern beauty hotspot, with a Scandinavian feeling. We knew that the fact that we are located in a pedestrian area, would mean that it will take some time until people discover us but with greenglam.de we already had a stable back bone. We have been granted some wonderful press, thanks to our PR Agency Stilart (the best!) and hence the funny thing was, people who lived in Berlin,Munich or Hamburg who visited friends in Augsburg told them: I want to visit greenglam! Green what? Five years after opening greenglam.the store the people of Augsburg are really discovering our green space!
What are the best & worst parts of owning your own store?
I absolute love my job – everything about it – the challenges too! I can be creative (I love design and fashion) and it feels like you are part of a wonderful movement at the moment. Suddenly everybody wants to reduce plastic, buy soaps and beautiful well kept razors! The hardest part was always to find the right staff – we need passionate, highly competent people, who understand green and who are trained in beauty. Our customers are utterly well informed and my staff has to be tip top informed! Luckily, I have the best staff in the world – we have make up artists, beauticians, hairdressers working at greenglam – if you call us a highly competent person will answer you questions with pleasure!
Anything you wish you knew right from the get go?
Think if I started from scratch today I would have spent less money on the interior – I would go for more upcycled furniture – and more money on our spa – I hope to relocate the online store in 2 years and would love to use the space for the spa – have lots of ideas for this …
We focus on trying to turn routine tasks into rituals – what are some things you do everyday that might be considered ‘habits’ but are more of a ‘ritual’ for you?
My most important ritual is enjoying a pot of black malty Assam in the morning – preferably in silence reading the newspapers, next to my husband. I even bring my own tea when we go on vacation… Riding my bike to and from work is also one of the best moments of the day – I am lucky enough to have found a route through the city filled with flowers and beautiful houses! At the moment I am working on a new ritual – I try to use my water rower every second day – listening to pod cast and books.
What are some misconceptions you feel exist about self-care?
That it is only vain to take care of the outer you! It is so much more – it makes you take care of who you really are – to listen and honor the beautiful person you are inside and outside. It makes you listen to your own needs! And to have well groomed legs and feet, makes you feel comfortable and proud – gives you that extra backbone and that stride you need to master the day – confident and prepared!
Any products you’re loving right now?
I have a very puristic, white bathroom (Scandinavian!) and I love to look at my small but stylish collection of products on the shelf: foam cleanser from NUORI, Deodorant from Susanne Kaufman, black razor from Well Kept, Toothpaste from Dr Lhothka – all black and white and absolutely nailing it in point of efficiency and performance. In the drawer I store my beauty regime: The one thing I cant to without the Anti Ocidant Serum from The Organic Pharmacy! It was my first green beauty product, and the reason I decided to go for green beauty!