27 Things with Marika Nanni

One of the more dynamic women we’ve met, Marika is fiercely loyal, extremely fun and has an incredible sense of fashion and direction — proven on a trip to Marrakech together where she successfully navigated in and around the souks as if it had been there before, and emerging hours later with enough carpets to decorate her new house. She’s an impressive lady, to say the least.

Blessed with being half Thai and half Italian, Marika has lived in some enviable international cities before settling in Bangkok after 30 years abroad.  Returning to her home country in 2018, she co-founded Moringa Project Thailand, where they harvest the moringa plant grown on their own farm in Hua Hin for use as organic wellness products. Together with her family, Marika is following her passion for creativity and healthy living. After a career in the fashion industry, she is now on a mission to share their discovery of the mighty plant and all of its’ wonderful benefits. Moringa Project Thailand products are now available in spas and resorts such as Kamalaya, Chiva Som and Anantara. As a mama to two kids, Marika never seems to stop moving — her energy and enthusiasm for her family and work clearly comes through everything she does.

1. What’s your astrological sign?

2. What is your current state?

3. Who is your hero/heroine?
Honestly, some of my closest friends and family are my heroes.  

4. What made you start and when did you decide to do what you’re doing now?
I worked for 18 years in the fashion industry which I loved but it eventually got too consuming.  I headed up a large team, looked after several big accounts and was constantly juggling projects.  When my first born turned 1, that was also my turning point and I took a break to spend more time with him.  Funnily enough that break didn’t make me feel ‘free’, I guess being so work-driven, I felt lost without it.  I started working on some consultancy projects but I ultimately knew I wanted to start something that was mine.

That same year I discovered Moringa.  The more I read about this miracle tree, the more I thought, why doesn’t anyone know about this amazing plant?  I decided, together with my family, to launch a brand that would share the benefits of Moringa with the world.  If it can help to improve people’s lives, not just from a skincare perspective but a health and wellness one then it would be worth it.

5. How would you describe your work?
I have to put on many hats running the business which means often getting out of my comfort zone.  Marketing was my previous focus but now I have to work on everything and anything to make sure the business runs smoothly, our customers receive the best experience and products, whilst continuing to research and educate about Moringa.

6. What’s your connection to creativity?
I’m constantly creating, whether it’s products, packaging, graphics and content but my best creativity comes when I’m collaborating or coming up with new ideas.

7. How do you choose what projects to work on and who to work with?
Having shared values is really important to me.  Many of our partners are those pioneering sustainability, supporting clean and natural brands/products or local businesses.  I am meeting many people in the  wellness industry who are sharing their knowledge and experiences to improve and help the lives of others, and together we hope to spread the word on Moringa.

8. How do you measure success?
When customers tell me how our products have changed their lives.

9. Who is your favorite artist?
I’m a modernist, abstractionist and futurist at heart so works from the early to mid 1900’s.  Anything from Picasso, Miro, Kahlo, Kandinsky, Rothko, De Kooning to the Italian Futurists.  My final History of Art essay at university was on Malevich and that’s as abstract as it gets.

10. What do you believe in?
That things happen for a reason.

11. Do you have any rituals? What are they?
Before I sit at my desk I burn palo santo, light a candle and place a crystal at my desk clearing the space of any negative vibes that might obstruct my work.  I try to incorporate essential oils into my routine whether it’s in the diffuser or dropped into moringa oil which I use with a clear quartz gua sha or face roller to massage my face in the morning.

12. What is your spirit or totem animal?
I did this quiz, – the Wolf!  It characterises loyalty, family and friendship, teamwork, protection, wildness, freedom, instincts, playfulness — that’s pretty spot on!

13. How do you keep yourself healthy?
Trying to get into the routine of doing yoga 3 times a week, took me a while to deal with the studios being closed and moving it to online classes but I’m getting there! Making sure we take the kids out to the parks or anywhere green during the week to get some fresh air and many weekends away at the beach.  I find the water, beach and sea air keeps me healthy and active.

14. What does wellness mean to you?
Finding balance.  Being conscious of what you eat and put on your skin. Taking time for yourself in a busy schedule to reset, to slow down your mind.

15. How do you get inspired?
I get inspired by my travels, what I read and the people around me.

16. How do you give back?
I donate to charities monthly and go on food donation drives to families in need in the province where the Moringa Project farm is based.  There are so many villages that have been affected by the lack of work/money due to the pandemic.  I also donate all clothes, children’s toys and necessities directly to these families.

Moringa leaves

17. What do you want to leave behind?
Good memories.

18. Which words or phrases do you use the most?
“Do you know what I mean?”

19. What is your motto or favourite saying?
Let go of the things that don’t serve you.

20. What does your ideal day look like?
Woken up by my kids with cuddles, a yoga session, being productive at work, late afternoon out in nature, preferably at the beach watching the sunset then ending the day with a glass (or few!) of wine with my husband or good friends.

21. Are you a morning lark, a night owl or a hummingbird?
I definitely used to be a night owl but now with the kids I’m up early…usually against my will!

22. What is your next adventure?
We are planning a road trip down to Koh Tao in a couple of weeks which we had to cancel last year due to lockdown. I’m also looking forward to a stay at Kamalaya wellness resort in Koh Samui who stock our products so it technically qualifies as ‘research’ 😉


23. What foods (& drinks) do you like to enjoy the most?
Italian, Japanese, Thai food…and wine.

24. What is your favorite symbol?
The Eye.

25. What is your biggest indulgence?
My kids and massages.

26. What is your greatest fear?
Loss and failure.

27. Finish this sentence: Wisdom is….
Understanding and compassion.

Find out more about Moringa Project Thailand
Follow  @moringaprojecthailand

27 Things are short interviews conducted with interesting women around the world that explore the connection between their art and health, wellness and design, creativity and spirituality. Why 27? It’s a mystical number filled with wonderful meanings and associations, and also serves as the inspiration behind this part Proust-questionnaire, part-personality quiz that is meant to be both enlightening and empowering.