Maria Robson and Suzanna Urszuly of Mahina Beaute: Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry
An Interview With Jilea Hemmings
Do your research and get certified! We see many people starting a skincare line by whipping something together in the kitchen. While it can be great, there is much to learn about skin care products. Especially about skin sensitivities, product preservation and shelf life.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maria Robson and Suzanna Urszuly.
Mahina Beaute is a clean beauty line offering plant-based skin care products designed for a holistic, self-care experience. The brand was created by two healthy living bloggers when they found a disconnect with their vegan lifestyles and skin care products on the market. All Mahina Beaute products are 100% ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and formulated with Ormus, a natural, alkaline mineral that fights off toxins and aids in the rejuvenation of skin for improved radiance.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Maria: I had horrible cystic acne in my 20’s. Looking back, it was a blessing as I’ve understood how powerful natural herbs, food, and mindfulness can have on the physical body. We both started as vegan bloggers who always had a deep passion for beauty and alternative medicine. At that time, there weren’t many luxurious vegan skincare brands. We dabbled here and there, creating some products. When we decided that this was something we wanted to pursue, we went back to school to learn the ins and outs of formulating skincare products.
Suzanna: I was born in Hungary, and culturally I grew up using herbs and essential oils. I’ve always been very interested and fascinated by them. I read Maria Treben’s book “Health through God’s Pharmacy” when I was 13. I loved putting together herb teas, baths, and tinctures. A few years later, I bought some books on essential oils and started experimenting by creating body oils for various issues such as dry skin, eczema, etc. I had a blast!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Suzanna: The most exciting story I can share is the overall transformation I’ve gone through. I’m a late bloomer, but finally, in my 40s, I figured out what I genuinely love to do. I never thought it would take this long, but I am incredibly grateful. As our skin care grows, Maria and I are growing with it spiritually as human beings. We have transformed so much during these last few years. It’s amazing because sometimes we come up with the same idea for a new product. For example, Maria will share a dream she had with me, which is the same thought I had while hiking.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I think we started to see a shift when we tested our products with a third-party company. When our products were confirmed that they indeed met cosmetic standards, it gave us the confidence that we needed to feel ready to take this company to the next level. It permitted us to look forward and think big without worrying that our products would have shelf-life stability. The lesson here is, are you unconsciously hiding from success? For us at that time, it was that we weren’t 100% confident in our ability as formulators. Having a third party approve of us meant so much. They even commented on how much they loved the smell of our products!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Maria: Definitely our loved ones. They are the ones that ultimately gave us confidence and the space to start this business and even, at times, put a fire under our tushies. My grandmother always had something critical to say about my endeavors growing up. When I showed her our website and products, she looked at me with a big smile and said, “This is you!” That is when I knew that I was on the right path.
Suzanna: I agree with Maria. We have an incredible support group of our family and friends. Many were testing our products along the way and giving us power points and suggestions. Sometimes, they were hard to hear, but they were sincere and helpful.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
Maria and Suzanna: It is a known fact that a handful of white label companies manufacture the majority of skincare on the market. We formulate our products ourselves. This means that we have control over how things are managed and executed. The more our company grows, the bigger our lab will be, as we intend to continue to have our in-house lab. We want to build a company with people that love and are excited about clean beauty as much as we are. It means returning to the basics, where the products are made with love and not by a machine. Our focus is on ingredients that are good for the skin but also add a special energetic element, such as the ingredient ORMUS. We use quantum energy and reiki to enhance our products’ final stage. Water holds energy very well; by instilling this frequency in our products, we can bring our customers a higher level of consciousness.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Maria and Suzanna:
1. We love that the “clean beauty” is gaining momentum. We believe you can make beautiful products without harsh chemicals or fragrances that ultimately harm the endocrine system and the environment.
2. Our customers seem more knowledgeable about ingredients and social causes, which we love!
3. We’re excited that cruel animal testing is on the decline. There’s no need to retest the same ingredient repeatedly when it’s already proven safe. Also, there are a lot of new ways to test that don’t involve animals.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
1. The US allows a lot of harsh chemicals and preservatives for skin care. It is different in some parts of Asia and The European Union, where it’s more strict. We would like to see the same kind of standards here as well. Especially concerning is the use of chemicals proven to cause cancer, yet they are still allowed here in skin care products.
2. We would love to see 100% elimination of animal testing in the cosmetic industry worldwide.
3. We should all start to move towards 100% sustainable, biodegradable packaging. Unless the customers demand it, the industry won’t change fast enough. There are a lot more options than when we first started. Even though sustainability has moved to the forefront in recent years, there is still much more that we can do as an industry. We would love to see more innovative packaging ideas and designs.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
Maria: Beauty is energy. We are all uniquely beautiful. It can feel like the end of the world when we have skin issues, but when we learn to surrender and try to feel good in our bodies, that is when our true beauty shines. Skincare and cosmetics are tools to enhance that beauty. Use it with joy and watch how our beauty grows.
Suzanna: Never compare yourself to anyone! Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and every one is unique. There is no one like you! Social Media can be a setback sometimes because you look at all these beautiful people with beautiful lives, and everything seems perfect. But we have to remember that social media is not real. The struggles and heartaches are often not shared on these platforms, or the “beauty” is done with a filter. I feel that pausing social media, taking a break once in a while, and connecting with nature and yourself are very helpful.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”? Please share a story or an example, for each.
1. The beauty industry is constantly changing. Instead of following trends, create items that you genuinely love.
2. You will need help. Hiring people can get expensive, but we recommend finding an intern or people trying to build a resume and experience. Especially help with social media, as that can take a lot of time. Help with packaging, shipping, etc.
3. Do your research and get certified! We see many people starting a skincare line by whipping something together in the kitchen. While it can be great, there is much to learn about skin care products. Especially about skin sensitivities, product preservation and shelf life.
4. Go with the flow. We did our soft launch a few months before the pandemic. It was hard to navigate sales then; instead of pushing through it, we pivoted and used that time to reformulate our products, rebranded ourselves with new logos and bottles, and update our trademark. Looking back, we both felt blessed to have been given that time to redo things without the time pressure.
5. The beauty industry is one of the most expensive fields to enter. Unless you are a celebrity with financial backing, it is best to take your time and do a lot of research. We rushed to launch our company and had to redo our trademark, labels, photography, and website because of it.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Maria and Suzanna: We often said that we’d love to help people build their dream business one day. We’d love to invest in small companies that are sustainable, cruelty-free, and environmentally conscious. This way, we can double our gift to the world. We will be able to help the individuals realize their dream and give back to our planet simultaneously. This is our ultimate dream.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Maria: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
As small business owners, we had to wear many hats, especially in the beginning. We didn’t have the budget to hire all these people to help us. So we took some classes and did everything ourselves, from SEO to social media, blogs, newsletters, photography, and graphics. It was great as it showed how strong we were, but I eventually had a lot of anxieties and stress due to all the pressure building. On top of that, I had an autoimmune disease to take care of, which was a challenge. When I realized that I didn’t have to do everything all at once and permitted myself to complete a task on my timeline, it allowed me to let go, surrender and finally work from joy and excitement again.
Suzanna: “Stop thinking about why you can’t; instead, focus on how you CAN.”
I love this! So simple. Procrastination and perfectionism used to be my issues. Both are based on insecurities and fear. I was afraid to do things in case I failed. I also wanted everything to be perfect; if it wasn’t, I didn’t want to do it. It took some time to heal this core wound, but finally, I can say I’m doing pretty good. I don’t expect everything to be perfect, and I don’t put pressure on myself. I operate my business from my heart, and It brings me so much joy. I think if you enjoy what you do, you will succeed.
Link to Website: https://www.mahinabeaute.com/
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.