Faridah Ahmad Fadzil

Writer Catharine Nicol | May 22, 2014

Owner of skincare, training and spa company Tanamera and the tireless chair of the Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa (MAWSPA), Faridah Ahmad Fadzil is truly Malaysia’s quintessential spa guru.

A font ofinformation on Malaysian healing traditions, Fadzil’s company Tanamera focuses on using local ingredients, following enduring rituals and helping preserve ancient knowledge while promoting wellness practices, which Malaysia is finally beginning to become known for on an international stage.

Nineteen years ago, Fadzil and her siblings set up a natural herbal supplement company. On the basis of the reputation they created, companies started requesting other natural products. Almost by mistake, Tanamera was born. Meaning ‘red earth’ (from the Malay wordstanah merah), Tanamera’s fragrant products are created without toxic chemicals, artificial colouring or fragrances and are packaged in unbleached recycled paper. From natural herbal soaps, mists and essential oils, the company has grown to produce 120 home spa products and 80 professional spa products, as well as spa accessories.

One of Malaysia’s most trusted wellness companies, Tanamera exports widely, and Fadzil has some interesting new destinations on her wishlist for 2014 – South America and Africa. She explains her philosophy with customary lightheartedness, which likely covers extensive research and preparation. “If you go to developed countries, you are going into a very competitive market already,” she says. “People are scared of going into these destinations because of the unknown, but hey, if you don’t try, you don’t know.”

At the same time she is launching Tanamera’s new kids’ range and promoting the brand’s already popular postnatal care, which taps into some of the most fascinating and unique Malay traditions, in the USA.

Many know the brand through their spas, the latest of which is the Penaga Spa by Tanamera, at the heritage boutique Hotel Penaga in Penang’s George Town. “The treatments in Penaga Spa by Tanamera are inspired by the healing qualities of the indigenous plants of the Malay Peninsula,” says Fadzil. “Years of research have unearthed the many benefits of the penaga tree, which contribute to our holistic approach of well-being.”

For us it’s a matter of national pride – we are proud of our heritage
~ Faridah Ahmad Fadzil