Noéma’s List of Best–Practice Muses



Noéma’s List of Best–Practice Muses



We’ve alluded to the importance of supporting businesses with good practices in the past. Whether those practices translate to sustainable sourcing, transparent processing, or a responsible end of life, at the heart of a successful business is the implementation of well-thought out and managed business operations. Taking a critical look at the concept of business operations, and then dissecting what qualifies an operation as ‘good,’ allows Noéma’s Activated Essentials range to be approached with our vision – not only with the mindset of introducing better products, but with the intention of setting a business standards from the get–go.

We’re creating an unparalleled micro-range of activated essentials. Find out how you can co-design your own natural skincare range with leading experts – and get it free for an entire year.

Business operations encapsulate what goes on behind the scenes. It’s the inner workings of a business -  carefully planned, designed, and managed to ensure efficiency. Operations are largely dependent on the systems and processes of bringing a product from conception to reality. It’s the trepidatious balance between systematic design, day-to-day functions, sharp planning, intelligent execution, & a holistic understanding of the business environment. 

Which begs the questions –

In the midst of this fluid equation, what is the overarching and universal incentive behind actually running a business? Is it to make money, influence customers, maintain power - or all of these above?

And most importantly, how do those prompts influence how a business runs?

If you’re familiar with Noema’s work at all, you already know that we are painfully transparent. We’re inviting you along with us as we weave through the intricacies of starting a skin care line tailored and designed by customers. At the heart of those intricacies is the creation and implementation of good business operations.

To get our heads in the right place, we’re looking at successful companies that we personally admire and those that are publicly admired. We’re pondering their business operations…or at least what we can find about the processes. 

Our hope is by taking a critical look at how other businesses operate, we can pull from their gains and losses and create a system that encourages Noema to thrive.


Case Study – Toms

A community development darling, Toms sells the idea of corporate responsibility, along with shoes. Since the beginning, they’ve maintained tied to their brand values and ensure they operate with the belief that people's lives can be improved through business.

By setting a high-standard through their environmental & social impact, customers expect accomplishments along with transparency in their business operations. Toms creates an Annual Giving Report, requires suppliers to certify materials and are members of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. They also encourage seasonal third-party audits to understand their business practices and improve their operations. 

Noema’s Takeaway: 

From the beginning, Tom’s established their brand and purpose. We’re doing the same through our signature crowd-developed skincare range and ever-growing resource base. As we continue to grow, we’ll stay accountable to our customers via the Chronicle. The idea of audits in intriguing, and we’d love to invite a third-party to review and offer improvements to our business operations once we reach a certain point of growth. 

Case Study – Dr. Haushka 

Dr. Haushka, a German-based beauty brand, turns away offers for expansion and ownership on a regular basis. Not because they’re arrogant, but because they believe in the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (groovy Austrian philosopher), that pushing aggressively into new markets isn’t necessary. Instead, they wait for demand to find them. 

That simplistic approach to consumer demand trickles down to how the company makes their products...namely, how they prioritise quality over everything. Their products promise to deliver the “vitality of the highest-quality biodynamic, organic, and wild-harvested plant ingredients.” With a B-Corp Certification in hand, a cult-like following, and an operations process that encourages farmers of their herbal goods to contribute to the company as family, Dr. Haushka maintains rural German purity in a cutthroat and power-hungry skincare landscape.

Noema’s Takeaway: 

Dr. Haushka emphasises the importance of taking time to create deep connections with where we source ingredients. While we’re a touch less bohemian, we buy into their belief of purity in the creation and practice of quality products. Their B-Corp Certification (once again, something we aspire to receive) is a telling sign of their operations prowess and investment into making things well.


Case Study – Tesla

Think of Tesla as a cautionary tale. With a big name, hundreds of backers, a legacy to uphold, and grand visions of the future, Tesla is in an unstable place, regardless of their admired business practices.  Highlights of their practice include complete innovation in a stale industry, an intrinsic consumer attraction, and a revolutionary approach to buying a car through pre-distribution financing. 

However, the alternative ecosystem Tesla is revered for overlooks a key factor of their business operations: their employees. With a messy manufacturing history, a penchant for overworking employees, a lack of job stability, and a growing number of employees sleeping in cars outside the manufacturing factory, it’s safe to say that Tesla doesn’t fall under the good business operations in 2019. 

Noema’s Takeaway: 

To value people and a solid business plan, regardless of what comes our way. Noema and Tesla are worlds away in terms of target market, product, funding and goals. But the one thing we share is that we are running a business with people at its core. As Noema expands and starts putting our ideas into motion, people will remain at the heart of what we do. We see Noema contributors and thought-leaders as family. 

That’s the beauty of creating something within an intimate and small team. When something feels off, shifting business operations can be done rapidly. Tesla’s approach to business operations reminds us that while the shiniest things may be alluring, it’s the ones that work well that can withstand the long haul.

We can investigate and ponder how other businesses’ do things for days. Turning a critical lens is a testament to our interest in getting our operations right – from the very beginning.

If there are any business operations that you admire, nay worship, we invite you to send us some information. We’d be more than happy to dive in and take notes - after all, Noema is a collaborative project.

Katherine Guerrero 2.png

Katherine Guerrero
Content writer /
Environmental policy


Co-Design Your Activated Essentials —

Here at Noéma, we’re busy researching the best ingredients - so that we can make the best activated essentials for you, with you. We’re taking a radically new direction in skincare; we use you as the key ingredient.

By collaborating with industry experts such as naturopaths, biochemists, product specialists and formulators, our aim is to create an Activated Essentials product range with the best ingredients, formula and design.

We’re taking applications from our diverse community to contribute to co-designing an essential micro-range of products right for them. Get involved in upcoming events and workshops covering wellness, self-care and design.


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