Huna Skin Inc. products are formulated using fresh, high-potency plant-based ingredients for unparalleled efficacy and results. Heather Urquhart, a Botanist, Herbalist, and Natural Cosmetic Formulator, founded Huna to bridge the worlds of herbal medicine and botanical science with luxury beauty.

Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr

Huna formulates, manufactures, and distributes organic, sustainable, high-performance plant-based skincare, cosmetic, and wellness products. Huna is unique because it grows its botanical actives on a 30-acre regenerative farm in BC’s beautiful Okanagan region. 

Huna grows the botanicals, hand-harvests them at peak ripeness, extracts and develops the exclusive active ingredients, and professionally handcrafts every product in a fully vertically integrated operation.  

Huna operates very differently from the mainstream beauty industry, where most companies outsource manufacturing to a few major contract manufacturers using the same off-the-shelf formulas. 


“I was healthy, in my early 30s, and vivacious, but my skin looked dull and lacklustre—it was lacking in brightness and vitality, and dare I say, it was starting to show the first signs of aging

“I am a health nut and enjoy nourishing my body with nutrition-packed foods, and I know my skin will benefit from the same treatment externally. 

“In my search, I kept coming across so-called natural brands – traditional synthetic mass-produced products with the same ingredients as mainstream brands, with just a touch of natural ‘coconut oil’ or ‘rosehip oil’ – and passed off as a ‘natural product.’ 

“Some brands with better intentions would offer naturally derived, synthetically processed or altered ingredients. I was looking for healthier, safer alternatives to what mainstream beauty brands offered and searching for a healthy ingredient list that I could recognize and understand. 

“I am very aware and conscious of what goes into and onto my body, and I wanted to find a brand packed with phytonutrient nutrition to feed and nourish my skin. 

“I wanted fresh and natural…really natural…authentically natural. So I concluded that to get what I really 
wanted, I would have to make the 
skincare and did just that! 

“After over a year of solid book study, lab-based experimenting and skill-building in botanicals and skincare science, I developed the initial ‘Huna Skin Nutrition’ Skincare line and launched it to the world in November 2014

“I am definitely not the person who was ‘born to be an entrepreneur.’ I remember when I was five, I started a business selling mini floral bouquets with flowers from my mom’s garden. I went door to door and sold the mini bouquets for .10 cents a piece to our neighbours. 

“I was so proud of myself, and when I showed my mom the money I had earned, she did not think it was cute. She definitely did not see my entrepreneurial potential then, and she made me return the money to each neighbour. 

“That was my first official business venture, and it was a failure, but I learned a lot about setting up a proper business structure before launching. “While working in the corporate marketing world, I was dabbling into making skincare and cosmetics purely as a hobby. I was already a Botanist, so I loved working with plant ingredients; then, I furthered my studies and became a Natural Cosmetic Formulator and Chartered Herbalist

“I kept formulating and making better and better products as I studied and experimented more. I launched the Huna Skin website in 2014 with a small line of sustainable organic plant-based high-performance luxury skincare products. 

“The moment I realized I was indeed an entrepreneur, I was 35. I had just won first place in my first entrepreneur startup pitch competition, winning $100,000 in non-diluted funding, business mentorship, and support for a year. Out of a room of fierce competitors who were well-versed in business and finance, I was the only female and the only solo entrepreneur.

Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr

Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr

“Huna had made only a meagre $13,000 in sales revenues at that time, and we competed against companies with five business founders with commerce degrees and $500,000 in sales. And Huna won! I was so shocked that I did not believe the announcers when they called it out…I hesitated thinking, wha?…No way. 

“I had joined the startup competition only to learn what angel investors were looking for and how to improve my pitching. I had zero expectations of winning, and suddenly, I was celebrating a first-place win! It was an incredible feeling, and it was the first time I began considering myself an entrepreneur, 
that was the moment I realized this 
was my path. 

“It was important to me that we build a solid foundation and profitable business model before we take Huna to the next level. Over the years, we have kept everything in-house – formulating, growing, harvesting, processing, extracting, manufacturing, filling, packing, and distributing. We are experts now in every step of the value chain of our business. 

“It is extraordinarily rare to operate this way these days. Still, it was important for us to oversee and fully control all aspects of creating our skincare, literally from seed to serum bottle. 

“We leveraged scientific and government grants to help with funding and focused on organic customer growth, which has allowed us to grow steadily year over year. Since we are a small, lean team, we have always maintained a close, tight relationship with our direct customers, which has developed into a super loyal customer base

“Since we grow our herbs and flowers on our organic farm as botanical actives for Huna, we had assumed that Farmer’s Markets would be a great place to launch our products in the early days. We were so wrong. Being a higher-end and premium brand meant the product-market fit was for something definitely other than local Farmer’s Markets! 

“We would show up and make a few sales, but most customers wanted to learn how to make their own natural skincare and lip balms, so they would ask us plenty of questions about how to formulate and make the products

Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr
Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr

“Ultimately, very few people would purchase due to the price point. It did not take long for us to realize that we needed to invest money to elevate our branding to match the product quality. So we rebranded, elevated our packaging and introduced Huna into premium retail and spa. 

Making mistakes is part of launching a business; it’s a given. But being able to recognize and understand the error quickly, pivot the business and adapt to changes overnight…to me, that makes a true entrepreneur. Understanding customers’ needs, reading the market, following your instincts, and finding the right solution. I love that part. 

“Shifting to high-end retail and spa was the right move for Huna. In the following years, we saw unprecedented growth of 150-200% year over year

“We won dozens of prestigious international product innovation awards, and our company was named ‘Best Organic Skincare Manufacturer in North America’ in 2019. There is much to say about listening to the market and following your instincts. I have never looked back. 

“I want to shout-out my husband and business partner, Corrado Radicchi. I started Huna as a one-woman show ten years ago, and I ran it solo for the first few years, doing everything from making the product to delivering it to my customers’ doorstep. 

“As Huna grew and blossomed, Corrado quit his full-time sales career and joined me as Director of Operations. He is now COO, overseeing everything from the Huna Gardens and Farm Operations to Production, Order Fulfillment, and Shipping & Logistics. Corrado is also a Huna loyalist to the max; he will not use anything but Huna and insists it’s the secret to his healthy, age-proof skin. 

“My mom has been my other massive supporter since day one. She has worked at the Huna Gardens, helped us in production for every major contract we landed, and made our drying racks for all our herbs by hand; she truly amazes me. 

“She is the most resourceful person I’ve ever known. She’s always interested in hearing how Huna is doing and what new products I am working on, and she is an ear when we are going through tough times and encountering obstacles. 

“My mom has been an enormous support, and her optimism and true grit have driven me through some of the worst days.  

“There was a point early in this entrepreneurial journey when two of our friends passed away unexpectedly and tragically, and it shook me to my core. “First, my husband’s best friend passed away at 35 from cancer. Then, a few months later, our dear childhood friend was suffering silently from severe postpartum depression and shockingly took her own life and the lives of her two babies. 

“I was depressed and at an all-time low in my life. I needed to find happiness again, so I began dabbling into my old hobbies and passions of making skincare and playing with plant ingredients. My happiness and joy returned, and I eventually found my life’s passion and purpose in Huna.  

Heather Urquhart, huna Skin, Luxury Beauty, Botanist, vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr

“A few years after my friend’s passing, I launched a charity fundraiser called ‘Huna for Compassion,’ where we donate $2 from every product sold to mental health and postpartum depression support initiatives. ‘Huna for Compassion’ was very successful and well received from the start – people were so open, supportive and receptive to the narrative and help for mental health and postpartum depression, so we have turned it into an annual fundraiser that we look forward to every year at Huna. 

“We now commit 5% of our annual revenues to supporting our community and the environment. We are proud and humbled to have donated over $200,000 to mental health, postpartum depression, environmental initiatives, disaster and emergency relief, women’s shelters, and cancer care over the past decade!  

“Life can be really funny and unpredictable. I took something dark, low, and sad in my life and turned it into something really beautiful. If anything, I hope that this might inspire and motivate someone to do the same. Sometimes, hitting rock bottom is the start of something new and amazing—you just don’t have the whole perspective to see it yet. 

“At Huna, we have bootstrapped for ten years and built an incredible, stable, sustainable, and profitable Canadian business with a beautiful story and purpose. 

We love what we have grown, and we’d like to go bigger. We have a vision that Huna will be the top sustainable herbal skincare, cosmetic, and wellness company globally. 

“We want to bring more plants into more households and show people what plants can do for their skin, health, and wellness at the same. 

“Huna is sold online, in retail beauty boutiques, and through luxury spas and aesthetics partners across Canada, the US, and New Zealand. We will soon launch in Australia. 

“Huna has secured its first key corporate chain partnership and just signed with a major distribution partner in North America. 

“We would like to take on investment partners with a similar vision, define a killer clear global expansion and D2C strategy together, and grow Huna into the innovative, sustainable global plant-based powerhouse it was born to become. 

“We will need help in making that vision happen. My next focus will be finding the right partners and securing the right capitalBy the end of 2024, I see Huna having an established expert team and funding in place for real scalable growth. I see us having strong D2C growth.”

Author Profile

Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at
Spread the love
Vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr Previous post PORTFOLIO.YVR: Helen Siwak Publishers Message
Jill Sinclair, TedX, Motivator, Vancouver, Canada, Helen Siwak, portfolio, yvr Next post PORTFOLIO.YVR: Jill Sinclair: From TEDx to Training & Development Specialist