Student Launches Health and Beauty Business


Sarady Merghani ’19, a neuroscience major, is taking advantage of one of Middlebury’s many programs dedicated to fostering student creativity to start her own business combatting stress on campus. Many agree that stress and well-being are unequivocally linked. Merghani hopes her health and beauty products will help students relax and reduce their stress levels.

The Old Stone Mill, a beautiful historic building nestled beside Otter Creek in the heart of downtown Middlebury, is space where the creators and innovators of Middlebury College come under one roof to share new ideas, explore creative passions and collaborate in a supportive environment. It is a venue through which many notable Middlebury entrepreneurial ventures have passed, and soon, Merghani’s business, Sulara, will be among them.

Sulara is a new line of health and beauty products inspired by ancient regions around the world and ancient techniques of personal care. Merghani named the business after her younger sister, with the intention to capture the beauty and regality that her name carries.

“She was named after a princess, actually, and my business kind of runs off of this idea of luxury and pampering yourself and making sure that you treat yourself as a queen, or a king,” Merghani said.

Her business sells toilette boxes that contain three primary products and one regionally-inspired beauty product. For instance, her toilette boxes may contain a combination of a cleanser, body scrub, body mask, or body butter, as well as a third beauty product determined by the region that inspired that particular box. Currently, Merghani is conducting research on Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Nubia, and Ancient China to inform her business.

“There were specific regions that resonated with me and I ended up picking those,” Merghani said, noting that reading about the royal families in these regions in ancient times sparked her interest in ancient beauty practices.

Sulara uses all-natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, to hydrate even the most sensitive skin. Merghani has been researching all-natural beauty and health since seventh grade, a period in her life she describes as incredibly formative.

“I have sensitive skin and it was hard for me to use cosmetic products without my skin breaking out or lightening, like getting lighter, and I didn’t want that,” she said. “I wanted to maintain my skin color but I wanted to take care of it and so I started doing a lot of research and reading books about natural ingredients and the importance of using natural ingredients on your skin.”

Merghani has made it her personal mission to share her self-care journey with her peers. She is very intent on testing her products this semester and plans to host an event soon as a beta-test before the company’s approaching launch. Merghani explained that many of the ingredients she uses, such as tea-tree oil and certain mint oils, can have a very intense effect on the user, depending on the desired sensation. She said she is eager to hear feedback from students.

“I use them and I like them, and my friends use them and they like them, but those are all subjective opinions and so I want a complete stranger to try it out,” she said. “So for this semester I will host an event where people try out the products as well as do some self-care nights.”

Merghani hopes her business can help solve the problem of high levels of stress and low levels of self-care. With her product, she hopes people will discover new ways to take care of themselves while also supporting the endeavor of a fellow student.

“There’s a lot of science behind mindfulness and aromatherapy, not just in terms of how important it is, but how effective it is in reducing stress and getting your mind focused,” she said. “Centering your body, mind and spirit, that’s what my company aims to do with our products as well.”

She prioritizes good ingredients, selecting only the best, sourcing from local vendors of organic, fair-trade and humane products.She believes that in taking care of ourselves, we also must take care of the world around us. The success of businesses like Merghani’s relies on the good consciousness of consumers.

She is also thoughtful throughout the creative process of her products, looking to the past to inspire her, a laudable pursuit amongst claims that such prioritizing of all-natural ingredients is nothing but a well-marketed trend. Merghani boldly states that in fact, all-natural self-care is not a fad but a practice of the wise and mindful that is here to stay.