The name Saruna was created from a blend of “Sakura” and “Luna”. Sakura, the Japanese word for cherry blossoms, and Luna, the Latin word for moon, signifies Nanyen Lin, our founder, and her identity as a Taiwanese-Canadian. Taiwan is heavily influenced by both Chinese and Japanese culture, and having grown up in Taiwan, cherry blossom seasons were her favourite time. Her family often went on trips to see them in the spring, and it's a fond childhood memory that she cherishes. In 2002, when she and her family immigrated to Canada, they took a road trip through British Columbia and Alberta. While the rest of the family was asleep, they drove past a pack of wolves, pups and all, resting on the cliff with the moon shining brightly on them. It was a magical moment that she will never forget, as it felt like the country welcoming them with open arms. Can you see how these elements show up in our logo?
How Did SARUNA Get Started?
When Nanyen was little, she collected pop cans for the 5-cent recycling program at convenience stores. She even searched for rocks and painted them into animals to sell on her front lawn. She has always wanted to own a business. After graduating from the University of Waterloo, Nanyen saved up money working at a 9 to 5 job and made the full-time leap in January 2020! Unfortunately, it was just before the first COVID lockdown in March of 2020, so markets were scarce. Today, Nanyen has a full-time role working at Shopify while running this business online and at markets in Kitchener-Waterloo outside of work hours.
About SARUNA Products
Nanyen has a vast amount of interests and hobbies, and she loves trying new things. To be perfectly candid, we only make products that make us happy. To date, our favourites have been creating soaps, candles, and paintings. We find the process very relaxing and therapeutic, and the end results give us endless joy. For our bath works line, we use essential oils and all-natural ingredients unless otherwise requested. As Nanyen suffers from eczema, she tries to make bath products that are suitable for her sensitive skin. In fact, the bath salts are her favourite for soothing the itches! To avoid headaches, we make our candles with soy wax and we ensure that all the fragrances used are paraben-free and phthalates-free. All SARUNA products are made in small batches straight out of our kitchen!
KALA is an Polish illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario.
Her work has been influenced by European cartoons from the early 1900s that she watched growing up like Krecik, Koziołek Matołek, Wilk i Zajac and more. Later on, she was introduced to the world of anime and manga which shaped the semi graphic style of her artwork and her interest in character design and illustrated books. She creates her illustrations using either digital or traditional medium like acryla-gouache. She and I are childhood friends and we recently reconnected over our love for art! She has always been a huge inspiration to me and I am happy to share her products with you.