How it Started
Hi! I’m Sara, one of the owners of Sana Direct Ltd. In 2005, I had an idea to start selling my favourite health products online to fund my university studies. My partner, a software developer, wanted to try building an e-commerce store from scratch (some of you may remember that first site!), and then we needed a name for our project.
Sana = Healthy
While travelling, I saw an advertisement in a supermarket in Palermo, Sicily. It was for a product that offered “pelle sana” (‘healthy skin’) and the word stuck. I already had “mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body) in mind as inspiration, and by the time I headed home, the business was called ‘Sana’. Then with a focus on direct sales, it was christened ‘Sana Direct’ and incorporated.
Our Values: Customer Care
From the start, we wanted Sana to feel like the online equivalent of an old-style corner shop. We’re so sick of dismissive customer service and call-centres ourselves, and wanted to create something small and friendly. Our business number is my personal cellphone, and you’ll get a real person answering your emails. Writing this page took me down memory lane and I found our 2015 newsletter! We were all so young then!
Our Values: Quality and Earth-Friendliness
It always annoyed me how hard it was to be sure of retail product quality. Companies often didn’t know what tests had been done, or didn’t want to part with the info. We decided that product quality and purity testing would be a priority, and this information is available to you too, just ask. Being small, we indulge a bit of idealism, changing products and packaging when new information suggests we could do better by our customers or the environment. To maintain the vibe we work with other amazing local companies like Kilmarnock Enterprises and Hamburger Transport.
How it’s Going
I finished my uni studies with an MSc. in 2020 (don’t do the maths on that), and while I now work in public health and consulting (with a hobby of photography and blogging), Sana is still here! That’s because, despite our many hiccups, we gathered loyal customers along the way that feel like friends. While we’ve grown a little, small is still our style. We have no full-time employees – everyone has other jobs, or is retired! We ship everything from our houses, handing the reins to enthusiastic relatives when we travel. If you have any questions, or just want to say ‘hi’, the comment box is below 🙂