If life offers you a unique opportunity you take it, right?
When we booked our trip to Morocco we were expecting to tick a few things off our bucket list and be pushed a little out of our comfort zone, but what we got was a whole lot more.
We met Ibrahim on our Sahara Desert tour in Morocco. He was our designated driver and since the car ride was well over 6 hours each way from Marrakech, the radio broken, we spent most of the car ride learning about Morocco and getting to know each other. It was during this ride he informed us of the many women’s co-operatives that had recently emerged in South West Morocco, designed to provide women with the opportunity to work in rural regions. Naturally, being two social workers and a mental health nurse we loved the business model and the way it empowered women to join and maintain a presence in the workforce.
Our interest was sparked instantly and the concept of Atlas Argan Australia was born.
Inspired to learn more about the co-operatives we requested Ibrahim to make an impromptu stop at a local cooperative where we met Karima, a young Moroccan woman who passionately spoke to us about the argan oil she and other women at the cooperative hand pressed, using a method that had been passed on through generations of Moroccan women. Dubious at first after using many argan oil products back at home that left our hair greasy, we ran some argan through our hair and after a whole lot of encouragement applied some to our faces – we’d never heard of it being used on skin before and didn’t want to encourage any break-outs. To our surprise the oil absorbed quickly into our skin and hair, no greasy residue left behind. As young women who had tried hundreds of beauty products striving to achieve healthy and nourished hair, skin and nails, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the 100% pure organic argan oil and the fact that it is cruelty-free and ethically sourced was a massive plus. As we engaged in friendly conversation we were struck by the enthusiasm and confidence radiating from this young woman whilst communicating with three foreigners, all of which she modestly attributed to developing since working in the co-operative.
Inspired by Karima’s story and witnessing first hand the opportunity Argan Oil co-operatives had created for her and other women just like her we immediately knew we somehow wanted to support this. It was in this moment that we decided we would bring the oil home to Australia, allowing Australian’s to experience the amazing benefits that 100% pure organic argan oil has to offer, and at the same time support the local women of Morocco to utilise the skills and knowledge they have harvested over centuries to produce this ethically sourced ‘liquid gold.’
We are three women who share something in common, our desire to make a difference. Our business is built on the foundation that everyone deserves an equal opportunity in life and that gender should not defy one’s ability to reach their full potential.
This fuels our passion to achieve social change and improve the lives of women in South West Morocco. Yes, we know it sounds like a huge ask, but we figure there must be some merit to the saying “shoot for the moon and you can land on the stars”. If we can help provide the opportunity for Moroccan women’s lives to shine a little brighter, while ensuring Australian’s can achieve naturally beautiful hair, skin and nails, we think it’s worth it!