Kosmea is one of my favourite Australian skincare brands, with a cruelty-free range of products centering on certified organic rosehip oil. Their Purifying Cream Cleanser, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil and Replenishing Moisture Cream have featured in my January,February and March favourites, respectively. I recently had the opportunity to ask Kosmea founder Marie and her protege daughter, Olivia, some questions about following their dreams, running a family business, their products, and coming from my home town.
Marie, you founded Kosmea as a mother of small children, and now your daughters Olivia and Carla play an integral role in the family business. What does it mean to you both as women to have achieved such success? What would you like other women to know about following their dreams?
What it means to both of us is feeling proud that we have built a business based on healing the skin. It is fantastic when you hear the testimonials of women who have tried everything on the market to have the best skin possible and then they try Kosmea and it’s an instant hit with their skin. The advice I would give to other women who want to follow their dreams is: when you find something that you are so passionate about, then take the bull by the horns and go for it, as passion is one of the best ingredients for a successful business.
Kosmea is still essentially a family-run business. What have been the benefits and challenges of ‘keeping it in the family’? What role do you think your mother-daughter bond has had in your success?
The benefits of Kosmea being essentially a family business are far and wide, such as flexibility, independence, creativity and control. Also, being a family business provides for a closer contact with management, less bureaucracy, an built-in trust factor with established relationships, and hands-on training and early exposure of the next generation to the business.
Some of the challenges of running a family business are not knowing when to stop working and having a work-life balance policy in place. Another challenge is when family members are very close and work together, you can sometimes brush over important issues as you think they just ‘get’ you, when sometimes they don’t. In addition to our inherent mother-daughter bond, we attribute our success to shared business philosophies. From day one, we had the same expectations and goals.
Kosmea’s motto is “skincare as nature intended” and your range of skincare products centres on organic rosehip oil. Why are natural and organic ingredients so important to you both?
We are living in a world full of synthetic and harmful chemicals that are slowly destroying our earth. Kosmea is an Ancient Greek word meaning ‘harmony’ and that is our mission. Our skincare products contain only the best ingredients that do not cause harm to our earth and, more importantly, do not strip and unbalance our skin.
Kosmea now has offices in Australia and the UK and sells its products across the world. What’s next for the Kosmea brand?
To develop more export markets, in particular China. We will be distributing our products there before the end of 2012.
And finally… The Jenkins family is originally from Adelaide, South Australia (just like me!). What are both of your favourite things about our city and state?
Adelaide is the best kept secret, it’s what I call a big country city. I love the fact that within 20 minutes you can drive from the beach to the Adelaide Hills. Adelaide is the most fantastic city to bring up a young family and the food is the best in the world.