Q&A with BISA co-founders Lisa Richards and Amy Andrle
Why did you launch BISA?
BISA is the evolution of our previous skincare company, L’eela. It’s a luxe and ethical brand for people who obsess over beauty products, functional ingredients, ingredient origins and process details as much as we do. We started the company because we were looking for skincare products that didn’t already exist--ones that are safe, clean, green and effective but that also utilize the beneficial properties of CBD.
How are your products different?
Our products set a higher standard for integrity and efficacy by incorporating the therapeutic benefits of powerful ingredients such as marula oil, squalane, hyaluronic acid and moringa oil. For our CBD, we leverage our partnership with EVG Extract. Their proprietary TERPEX technology extraction method allows us to incorporate the CBD molecule, while also harnessing the natural components of the hemp plant including proteins, lipids, amino acids, antioxidants, and plant terpenes.
What do you enjoy most about being entrepreneurs?
There’s so much we love about being entrepreneurs! The freedom to express ourselves and develop a product line that is uniquely ours, for starters. Every day is different and we both get to wear many hats--from R&D to marketing to sales. There’s never a dull moment. The coolest part is getting feedback from our customers and hearing how much they’ve benefitted from our products.
What challenges have you faced in product development?
Consumer education has proven to be one of the biggest hurdles. With CBD regulation, we are limited in what we can say. In addition, there are a number of general issues with marketing and selling CBD, such as payment processing. It’s something everyone in the industry is facing.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs in the wellness space?
Stay true to yourself and to your mission, and don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. We also would advise any entrepreneur to make sure that you take time for yourself. It’s very important to find balance--sleeping, eating, exercising--so that you don’t end up getting burned out.
When you’re not running BISA, what are some of your favorite things to do?
Hanging out with our families, yoga, swimming, and enjoying all that Denver has to offer!
BISA BLOG #1: Behind The Brand
From the name to the packaging to the ingredients, co-founders Amy Andrle and Lisa Richards have been intentional in every step of creating the BISA brand. Curious to know a little more about how BISA came to life? Here’s a closer look behind the brand.
The name: The name of the new body care line wasn’t accidental. Amy called her grandmother “Bisa,” which is the short version of the word “Bisabuela,” great grandmother in Spanish, a name she was elevated to upon the birth of Amy’s daughter. Bisa was an enormous influence on Amy growing up. Her grandmother fled Cuba in 1961 with her children to start a new life with only the clothes on her back. Amy remembers her Bisa as a generous and resilient woman with strong faith and the belief that if you follow through on what you believe, things will work out.
Just like Amy’s Bisa, both Amy and Lisa rely on their intuition, gut instinct, purpose, and passion to guide their journey as women entrepreneurs. The strength and determination that Bisa needed to build a new life in a country where she didn’t even speak the language was remarkable and continues to inspire Amy every day.
Bisa is just one of the many women who inspire Amy and Lisa. “We’re inspired by women who juggle everything and get stuff done, especially moms. It’s incredible to see women who are taking charge and making things happen whether it’s with their kids, businesses, relationships, or volunteering. Women really do make the world go round.”
The packaging: The yellow tile patterns on the packaging were inspired by Cuban tiles known as "mosaicos hidrálico,” a nod to Amy’s heritage. Lisa, a long-time yoga practitioner, wanted to incorporate a yellow sunburst to symbolize the energy from the third chakra, which is located around the navel and is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. “From the very beginning, we chose to listen to our intuition and go forward. It was faith, gut instinct, and a belief that what we were doing aligned with our intention and purpose that kept us going.”
The products. Each of the carefully curated products in the new line features a minimal number of intentionally selected botanically derived ingredients with a specific purpose. For example, Marula oil is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids for deep hydration as well as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Rosehip contains retinoic acid, a major wrinkle fighter. The ingredients are the highest quality options, natural, wild harvested and responsibly sourced. The luxury skincare line features advanced botanical formulations and proprietary CBD extraction technology. All of Bisa products are vegan, paraben free, cruelty free, and GNP lab certified.
BISA’s Motto. Balanced Beauty Inside & Out. How we feel inside reflects how we look on the outside. An authentic smile, a confident step, a pain-free, well-rested body all support the glow and beauty projected outward.