From being a model in the glitzy, colourful world of catwalk modelling to becoming the proponent of bare-faced beauty, Nurul Taherah Helmi Raflah, better known as Hera Helmi of Herv Natural Plt, is making a big name of her own in championing confidence through skincare. Known lovingly as “Mommy” to many of her business associates and fans of her Herv Natural products, Hera shares with Top 10 of Malaysia her rise as an all-natural skincare entrepreneur.
“I was a true blue kampung girl, raised by my grandmother in Kuala Kangsar till I was 17 years old. My father and my late mother brought me to Kuala Lumpur only after I have completed my high school. I wasn’t interested in continuing my studies after SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) for some reason, so I decided to become a model, and then an established makeup artist,” shares Hera Helmi. “Later, I became a catwalk modelling coach. Now I am a business owner.”
“Being a model meant wearing a lot of makeup often. I was also a makeup artist. So, what I am doing now, promoting bare skin and using less makeup, is quite ironic,” says Hera. When she first came up with the product concept, many of her peers thought negatively about it. This only spurred her determination to become the champion in bare-faced beauty. “My products are for healthier, brighter skin that does not change the natural skin colour,” she explains. Hera also wants more women not to be tied down by makeup. “Nowadays, so many women are dependent on makeup to make them feel good and confident. My mission is to change that perception, to have confidence with less makeup,” enthuses Hera.
Another reason for that is more spiritual by nature. “For Muslim women, when we want to perform our prayers outside our homes, we would need to wash off our makeup during ablution. But if we have good skin, we can afford to use less makeup, making it more convenient for us to perform our prayers,” says Hera.
Hera is also very excited that her skincare is now available in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. “The skincare sets are sold in convenient travel-sizes from a customised vending machine. I am proud to say that Herv Natural is now a pioneer in self-purchase on-the-go skincare in Malaysia,” she reveals.
“My business is a family-oriented one, so I am “Mommy” to everyone, especially to my 50 business leaders and more than 3,000 agents and employees. They are the backbones to my business.” Hera also holds regular business meetings that are geared towards spiritual strength. “I believe in having a team that has strong spiritual faith. This helps in keeping everyone in a positive mindset, which leads to better performance,” says Hera. “Family is always important. I believe that in treating my family well, my business will also be blessed with success.”
In the span of a year, Herv Naturals is one of Malaysia’s fastest-moving businesses. “It’s because I dare to go against the norm, to lead my team through spirituality, and to help women feel confident with less makeup,” says Hera. Her product wowed the international crowd in a cosmetics fair in Dubai recently. “Now I have set my sights on Jakarta, Brunei and Dubai for the next five years. In ten years, we will market all over the world.”
For the many aspiring entrepreneurs out there, Hera has this to say: “One, is to always have a clear mission and vision as these will guide you accordingly. Second, is to always be a trendsetter, not a follower. Be someone who dares to go against the norm and to set the trail for others. When one is a trendsetter, one will always be a pioneer.”