Saffron Rouge has the pleasure of working with the best organic brands in the world. Suki Skincare is one of our top selling lines and it continues to grow in popularity. With a deep passion for her products, Suki Kramer is 100% committed to creating results oriented skin care that remain clean, natural and pure.
1. What motivated you to start your own line?
I had struggled with skin care issues that were never resolved through over-the-counter products, dermatologist visits or treatments recommended by beauty “experts.” I couldn’t find a product that actually delivered what they promised, and in the course of learning what really goes into cosmetics, I realized the world needed exactly what I needed: something completely new and different - simultaneously highly efficacious and 100% natural – what many touted but none delivered. So I created Suki clinically-proven Natural Solutions Skincare.
2. How long did it take? When was your product line ready for the general public?
After years of collaboration with cosmetic chemists and traditional herbalists, my vision to create innovative, safe and effective treatments with cutting-edge scientific actives in natural bases came to life.
In the early years, after incorporating in 2002, we doubled in size for a few years, then grew at a respectable rate for Suki, all due to a loyal fan base of educated Suki users. I expanded the product range, which now consists of 55 items, plus a line of professional strength products for aesthetic-only use.We are now sold globally in over 500 doors including spas, boutiques and specialty natural retailers, which I’m very proud of.
3. What obstacles did you face along the way?
There was a lot of hands-on trial and error. It took two years to create my first 100% natural, advanced, penetrable, and stable emulsion. That was the launching point, and there have been and still are many obstacles – the economy, competition making claims that are clearly untrue, being a 100% independent, small business has struggles all its own. I’ve always had to be very careful with spending and hiring, and it gets very challenging.
4. Who did you draw your inspiration from?
I can’t think of outer beauty without thinking of inner, or an idea of womanhood that embraces the total person. I feel lucky enough to have grown up in the time of Mary Tyler Moore, Katherine Hepburn and Marlo Thomas, women who influenced my vision of what it means to means to be a beautiful woman – independent, sensitive, bold, emotional, strong, feminine, brash, intelligent, etc. seeing strong images of women fighting for their rights to have a career, be independent and vote, etc. – things people take for granted today – informed my vision of what a beautiful woman is.
5. What is unique, different or special about your brand?
Suki clinically-proven Natural Solutions Skincare is the first and only clinically proven, 100% pure cosmeceutical line of skincare that truly blends science and nature, “evolutionizing” synthetic-free personal care from traditional to cutting edge. Each custom formula is 100% natural (no petrochemicals, synthetics, cruelty or comedogens, for instance). 99% of our formulations begin with our high potency botanic concentrate – a hand-infused, triple-filtered, fresh wild-harvested, highly concentrated solution, which is then blended with high-performance actives. These ingredients work in tandem with your body’s own biological process to target skin issues - delivering up to 84% younger looking, healthier, more radiant, and a clearer, more balanced complexion. Suki advocates the importance of the philosophy Know Your Beauty – to define beauty on your own terms, and make informed choices when it comes to your health and well-being. Suki carefully selects every raw material, formulates, blends, and pours products in-house and always chooses sustainable packaging, all to promote the inner and outer welfare of both you and the environment.
6. Have you or your products ever won any awards?
Our exfoliate foaming cleanser continues to win awards and celebrity endorsements the likes of Eva Longoria, Elisabeth Rohm, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. It is beloved by most everyone who tries it because it is simply a pleasure to use: it smells delicious, feels wonderful on the skin and leaves the complexion feeling refreshed, squeaky-clean, smooth and soft.
The Renewal Bio-Resurfacing Facial Peel has been awarded best skin refiner by Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Awards 2010 and ICMAD Cosmetic Innovation of the Year in 2009. The Daily Conditioner Revitalizing was voted best conditioner in the Harper’s Bazaar Hair Awards 2011. Suki Eye Lift Cellular Renewal Cream was a Shecky’s 2011 Beauty at Its Best Award Winner. Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Bio-Active Purifying Face Serum and the Delicate Hydrating Oil won the 2009 Natural Solutions Beauty with a Conscious Award and the Hair & Scalp Conditioning Oil won the Elle 2009 Green Stars Award.
7. What if anything would you do differently if you could do it over?
I don’t believe in that sort of thing. I’ve learned at the pace I’ve been ready to learn at – Do I wish I could have evolved faster, yes, but I didn’t – I can’t have regrets, that’s a waste of energy. This business has also given me rewards I never anticipated too and I’ve grown a lot.
8. How do you feel about changes in the organic beauty movement?
Unfortunately, most personal care products from shampoo to lipstick contain allergens, irritants, and even ingredients with known links to long term ill health leading to chronic diseases such as even cancer. It is great to see a greater shift towards consumers looking for natural products, as 60% of everything we put on our skin goes directly into the bloodstream. However, each of these “organic” logos consumers can now find on cosmetics differ in the percentage of organic content and more importantly, the amount of allowable synthetics that warrants certification.
Suki was founded with a commitment to helping consumers educate themselves about ingredients, read labels, and make informed decisions – essentially, to take their health and well-being into their own hands. As a result of organic seals undermining these efforts, Suki prefers to remain a no-logo company. The truth is, exceptionally powerful and potent ingredients do exist in nature and science has advanced in utilizing and refining natural ingredients to their most potent and active parts.
9. What advice would you offer other novice women entrepreneurs?
I would say for anyone attempting their own business, go in with your eyes wide open. It’s not like the TV ads (all the free time you want and make a million). In fact, I never had so little time to myself in my life. You must be completely committed to what you want to do and give it the time it needs to develop. You cannot switch gears after a few months to try something else and think it’s going to work. Through the hardship, self-doubt and sacrifice, allow yourself to be afraid and keep on keeping on! Don’t give up!
10. Do you think it is more difficult for women when it comes to business?
I honestly find being a woman in the business world sometimes a bit frustrating. I have been underestimated on more than one occasion, but that makes the successes all the more satisfying. The thing is, more women do create their own companies because of the lack of truly infinite growth that can occur for us in traditional business settings. However, that being said, no, in general I do not think being a woman makes it more difficult when you start your own business – in corporate America, most certainly – that’s why more women than men open their own businesses.