Marni Task, founder of Indu Lotion: Doing things her own way

Hometown: Pepperpike, OH

Who she is:

  • Founder and creator of Indu, a line of aromatherapy lotions, sprays, soaps, and candles
  • Yoga teacher – Senior certified Jivamukti and Anusara Inspired teacher
  • Lead signer for Enchanted Hearts (a Kirtan band in Cleveland)
  • Mom to Lila Grace and wife to Rick
  • Superwoman – I added this one because she really does it all!

Marni was my main yoga teacher for 4 years when I lived in Cleveland.  I credit her for inspiring me to love yoga and teach this beautiful practice after going through her teacher training program.

I have so much love for this woman because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her incredible guidance and her unwavering support.

Marni always has a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.  She’s a pure JOY to be around!

So it was a natural choice to feature Marni’s journey on {the JOY depot}.

I caught up with Marni to talk about Indu and how she started her journey.  Here’s her story.

{side note: For those of you who haven’t tried Indu, go out and get it because you’re missing out!  Marni used to rub the amazing lotion on my neck during savasana (final resting / corpse pose) and it was heaven.  I do the same with my students and it’s a big hit because they LOVE the smell of Indu!}


{the JOY depot}: Tell me about your dream (aka Indu).  

Marni: It didn’t start out like a dream.  Basically I wanted to rub lotion on my students during savasana like my teachers, Sharon and David, did to me.  I liked aromatherapy so I experimented with oils and came up with a blend.  Soooo many people asked where to buy it so I ended up selling in bulk.  I didn’t have a name and my friend Christopher Hildebrandt came up with Indu.  Indu means nectar of the moon.  Another friend also helped me with the logo.

I started in 1998 and every year it sells more and more.

{the JOY depot}: What do you envision for the future of Indu?

Marni:  When people ask for something, I make it.  I see the requests come and let it fold organically.  I saw there was an interest for the lotion so I thought to myself “you should do it.” I started with lotion, then soap and then spray.  Soon, there will be candles.  If enough people ask for it, I make it.

When I first started, people gave me suggestions to expand my business fast.  People urged me to start a business.  I had some famous clients in NYC and they had connections, but I wanted to let it grow slowly.  Now Indu is in many yoga studios and boutiques around the country and will be at the local Whole Foods {editor’s note: Starting this month, Indu lotion can be found at select Whole Foods in the Cleveland area}.

I don’t know what it will look like when it’s in Whole Foods.  I don’t like to sell anything.  My husband is a sales guy.  My philosophy is if you like it, then you buy it.  I don’t want to sell to anybody. People usually find out about Indu after someone rubs some on them during class.  If you push people to buy your stuff, it doesn’t work.

{the JOY depot}: What obstacles have you faced?  

Marni:  If there is an obstacle it is making it myself. I mix it, shake it with a mantra, label it and bottle it myself. I don’t make a ton of money from it by most standards. I had to learn where I could get the lowest price on bottles. Big companies don’t usually sell to the little, grassroots, just starting out kind of company, unless your ordering in tens of thousands. I have been blessed to have connected with several companies that have made exceptions for Indu because they believe it will grow as I do . I’ve just put one foot in front of the other and slowly Indu has grown.

I used to make Indu completely on my own, but as it has grown I’ve invited friends, family and yoga students to help make the lotion. Everyone leaves with a free Indu lotion, soap or spray after they help. I am considering mass producing Indu with a manufacturer. Although I haven’t yet because I like the idea of keeping it small scale and homemade and mixed with our good vibes and mantras.

{the JOY depot}: Do you have any advice for people who want to follow their dream?

Marni: Everyone starts in different way.  There’s a group called Ladies Who Launch and they talk about how women start businesses different than men.  Women start in an organic way with no business plan.

So go with your heart.  You have to see what’s in your heart.  If that passion is in your heart, then keep going.  Don’t quit your day job.  I’m not someone who throws eggs in one basket.  Other people go bankrupt when doing this.  I’m taking baby steps and letting it grow one inch at a time and hopefully it’ll keep growing before it loses momentum.

{the JOY depot}: One last question.  What brings you JOY?

Marni: Practicing yoga…especially joyful is the calm after a yoga class in savasana!!.  Joy = hanging out with friends.  Joy = singing and making music together.  Watching American Idol and seeing someone’s dream come true!  I’m sure there is more, but those are a few!


About the JOY Coach

Minling Chuang

Minling is the founder of {the JOY depot} and is on a mission to help new entrepreneurs start their dream business. She spent many years working on branding strategies for top brands like Lean Cuisine & Nestle Toll House and launching multimillion dollar products. Now Minling's passion is to help people create profitable businesses they love! She is also a Kundalini Yoga teacher in Venice, CA. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. And if you want to start your own business, book a clarity session with Minling.

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