Skin care ingredients sourced from harsh, yet pristine, environments come with a sort of built-in credibility, having survived in a challenging climate to come out beautiful and functional. This is part of the appeal that both Europe's Nordic Beauty and the US's Beauty from the Heartland have. Lyeska skincare’s signature ingredient is sourced from yet another severe climate: Sibera, a subarctic region with rich black soil and a remarkably short growing season.
Here, founder Katya Hegg shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Katya Hegg, Founder and CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Lyeska skincare
Launched: August 2015
Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York
Cash flow: We’re a small company and have doubled our sales from 2015 to 2016; now we’re selling up to 150 units each month. Eye cream is our number 1 seller.
Team work: 1 full-time employee; and I have contractors for trade shows, markets, etc.
Distribution: Lyeska skincare is sold globally through our own ecommerce site lyeska.com. In the US through retailers such as Brooklyn Beauty Fashion Labo, Urban Outfitters, Aha Life, Decovo, and more. In Canada, we are partnering with Cosmodiz beauty store.
Years in beauty: 7
Years at Lyeska: 2
Entrepreneurial experience: Lyeska is my first company. However I always was passionate about skin care and interested in having my own natural skincare line, especially after having my first child and becoming more conscious about the ingredients we eat, put on our bodies, and use in our household.
The business: Lyeska is a Brooklyn-based, natural and sustainably produced skincare brand based on unique Siberian cedar (pine) nut oil. We source the highest quality oil, which is wild harvested in remote Siberia, hand shelled and minimally processed and combine it with carefully evaluated and sourced botanical ingredients. At this time we offer facial lotion, eye cream, facial cleanser, rejuvenating serum, face oils and soaps. All our formulations are vegan and cruelty free.
The wow-factor: We believe that our product line has something unique to offer to customers searching for natural, yet unique and sophisticated products.
Research has shown that Siberian cedar (or pine nut) oil contains one of the highest ratios of antioxidant Vitamin E and essential fatty acids to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, deeply moisturize and protect the skin.
By offering natural products with a unique ingredient, backed up by research in efficacy as well as elegant and sustainable packaging, we can appeal to our target consumer.
The customer: Our consumer already can identify with natural products and is looking for something unique and effective to try. They most likely have experience with face oils like Argan Oil or Rosehip oils. Most women who buy from us are between the ages of 30 and 65, read all the ingredients before they buy, and ask questions about efficacy and how our products can bring results based on their skin concerns.
Milestone moment: We were recently picked up by Cosmodiz, a Canadian beauty store at the Indie Beauty Expo. I am excited to hear that sales are going well and they have many Lyeska loyalists.
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: When you choose to create an indie brand, first do the research to understand your target audience. Then understand your competition. There are many great natural skincare brands available to customers, so what will make yours unique, how will you find your niche? Look at the right formula to make your product accessible and meet the need: who would use it, why, price point, efficacy, ingredients, packaging.
Most importantly be passionate and love what you create so you can relay that passion to customers. Keep going, don’t get discouraged if things are not moving as fast or some buyers say no to you, don’t take it personally. Leverage social media and networking, always connect and collaborate with other likeminded beauty brands, you never know what you can learn and apply it to your business to be more successful.
Just one: I absolutely love the California-based brand Etta + Billie.