Get Inspired: Beauty With A Cause

By Kimberly Rodrigues

AAsma Ishaq of Jusuru Internationalccording to Asma Ishaq, looking and feeling good should also include doing good. Ishaq, president of nutritional-supplement company Jusuru International and nonprofit champion, has a long history of being socially responsible. Her company donates portions of the proceeds from Jusuru Life Blend, its flagship product, to charitable causes that help enrich communities close to home and halfway around the world. Most recently, Jusuru provided much-needed relief to victims of the January earthquakes in Haiti—hand-delivering more than 35,000 bottles of its own oxygenated water, plus clothing and first aid kits. In our holiday gift guide this month (see page 14), we remind readers to purchase products that support the earth, their health, and other charitable causes. Here, we sit down with Asma Ishaq to find out how her company is doing just that.

Why did you choose to help the people of Haiti?
As soon as we heard the news of the earthquake, it really got our attention and called to us. We made the decision to ship out the medical supplies and water as soon as we could, but it was very difficult to get the items on land. It took almost three months. Jusuru has a corporate commitment to give a portion of our proceeds to charitable causes, and this was a great opportunity to do that.

What was it like in Haiti?
It was truly eye opening—not one inch of that space had been saved. Every time you thought you saw the worst, there was another building or home destroyed. It was just an endless travesty. Haiti is an already-impoverished country, and [the earthquake] just compounded all of its challenges and struggles. The people’s reactions to us were mixed, too. There was a lot of resistance, psychologically, because they wanted to know if we were credible and if we authentically understood the magnitude of their tragedy. [But many of the] people were so happy. With the water they were very appreciative, but [I could sense] there was a little pinch of resentment that people weren’t doing enough for them.

What did you learn from your experience in Haiti?
It really reinforced my business philosophy of knowing that businesses have a responsibility in their community, whether they realize it or not. This experience made me want to have the most successful business I can—to be able to create wealth so we can do something good with it.

WhWorkers in Haiti clean up rubble from the would you like our readers to take from your experience?
When you think that the little things won’t help, resist that thought as much as possible. Making even the tiniest donation can make a huge difference (and I’m not just talking about money). Every minute of our lives we make decisions: to smile or not to smile to someone; to say thank you or not to say thank you; and whether or not to contribute to the betterment of other people around you. It makes a huge difference; there’s nothing too small you can do. Whether you are a businesses or an individual, you can set an example for someone else.