Every Friday we like to feature an outstanding member from within The Clean Hub program. This week we chatted with the founder and CEO of Atlantis Skincare, Zane Piese. Atlantis Skincare is a UK based all natural skincare brand founded by a mother and daughter duo, Zane and Anita Piese (pictured). Atlantis focuses on creating freshly handmade face and body product that transform simple everyday rituals into deeply therapeutic experiences.
What I really liked about my chat with Zane was her passion for clean beauty and mindful living. It really shines through in our podcast and is an essential foundation for any clean beauty founder. In fact, Zane’s passion for mindful living transcends into Atlantis Skincare in their ecologically balanced business methods. They practice sustainable sourcing in which they get product ingredients direct from mindful, trusted and on-site tested farms in Latvia, Tuscany, and all over the world.
Zane also does a great job in talking about the fundamental reasons for using clean beauty as well as some clean beauty tips. Her candidness about starting a beauty brand brought me great warmth and I know that you will all enjoy it. Check out their website at https://www.atlantisskincare.com and Instagram @atlantis.skincare.
Now on to the show!
Raquel: Hello and welcome to The Clean Chat podcast. I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Friday we are highlighting an exceptional Founder from within The Clean Hub program to share their inspiring story behind the brand. Watch out world because clean beauty is a force to be reckoned with. Now onto the show.
Hello everyone and thank you for tuning in, today we have the fabulous Founder and CEO of Atlantis Skincare, Zane . Atlantis Skincare is a UK based all-natural skin care brand known for creating freshly handmade face and body products that transform your simple every day beauty rituals into deeply therapeutic experiences. Thank you very much Zane for coming onto the show today.
Zane: Thank you for inviting.
Raquel: Not a problem. So I thought we would get started by just asking you a bit about your story and how you started Atlantis Skincare.
Zane: Alright, so originally I’m from Latvia and my mom is a medical doctor, she always has been working with traditional methods. But from my childhood I remember if we had any issues with health she always started with natural remedies. If for example a natural remedy didn’t work of course she would switch to traditional medicine and helped in other ways. But for me as a child I remember how beautifully she could manage our illnesses with so many natural products.
Growing up I slipped away from nature but in later years I felt I should do something about it. I was quite depressed at one stage because life for me was very boring. When I get to this stage I know something should change because I’m not on the right path. So by accident I found the London School of Cosmetic Scientists and they have training course, Cosmetic Science. So I took this course but for me it was very heavy and old style chemical cosmetic training where I can’t learn the logical way to learn my own formulas. They gave a frame and you should stay in the frame and that’s it. So I was thinking I want natural I don’t want another brand full of chemicals so by accident again my friend gave me formula botanica online address. So I went to this school and I thought, oh wow it’s something totally different. It’s kind of like two different worlds, ying and yang or black and white. I started training with Formula Botanica and I finished coursed liked this, done, done, done… I spent all my free time on studying and creating formulations and giving them away to my friends and family and they were like, oh wow it works, it’s beautiful and smells nice, gentle and it works. I was kind of ready for my own brand.
I went on holiday to Santorini, to Greece and one day I was sitting in the sun and meditating and thinking I need a name for my skincare brand. And it just came, it just came, the very minute. Where before I was trying think and had all ideas and I don’t want to be the same as others and nothing. But logo, I got name, I got list of products I’m going to make. So basically everything born on Santorini.
Raquel: It came to you, it was like a dream. So that’s where the name Atlantis came from.
Zane: Yes. Probably it’s inspiration from history of Santorini where they think Atlantis might be part of island before, big changes happened in history. So I felt like it might be true so this name just came to me in this place so it just happened.
Raquel: That’s really cool. So before that you kind of knew more or less what kind of products you wanted to bring in, you needed that final touch, the name to kind of bring it all together and the branding.
Zane: I don’t know why but in my eyes if baby’s born baby needs a name. So the same with business, it’s like a baby, if baby is born the baby needs a name.
Raquel: Yeah that sounds great. So what is Atlantis’s mission, what are you trying to achieve?
Zane: Because I love quality things, I think people deserve more quality stuff now on our planet because we are kind of switches to everything cheap. Cheap doesn’t last and from a sustainability side of living, cheap is just make more rubbish of what we already have. So my mission is to create the highest possible quality skincare and in the future I’m working on hair care products for example at the moment. So I want to use just the best ingredients, I just want to use the best methods I can to make the best products I can.
Raquel: That’s awesome, and you mentioned something about sustainability and I saw that you actually source your products sustainably. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Zane: I’m trying to find small farms for as much products as I can. At the moment we have farms in Brazil and Peru, they supply our batters and they are really small farms with real people who do the job because they don’t know another way how to earn money and the quality of these ingredients are just amazing. Also I have Olive Oil from a small farm in Tuscany, trees where they’re growing. I have some plants from Latvia where I know fields where they’re growing. So basically I am trying to know the source of each of my ingredients so I can be sure it is clean, there is no chemicals used and people who are doing this because they love it so it’s changed the vibration of everything when each person involved loves what they do.
Raquel: It’s almost like mindful living, right?
Zane: It is mindful living, yes. I believe in mindful living because just by mindful living we can reduce the harm we’re doing to planet. For example, we don’t shop in Tesco’s. Apart from milk and bread we go to the local market where people sell local, of course it is some oranges and apples from different countries but still main part all coming from local farms, from England, from Summerset. So basically it’s fresh and it’s money staying in where we live so basically people can trial in their businesses here. Also we are really looking after what we are buying in terms of we don’t use plastic bags. Next purchase will be metallic straws, so basically each ingredient I’m using in daily life, I’m really thinking what I’m using. And also we cook all our food at home, we don’t use readymade food at all so we know what we’re putting in each soup, stew or whatever we’re making. So it’s time consuming, sometimes it’s very difficult, for example I finished making my cosmetics at 10 pm so it is very difficult when I’m having such busy days but at the same time I’m doing this for my family and my children learning from me and they will pass these skills to their children. So basically it’s kind of like a generation thing and I want to be healthy and happy. Healthy, happy families create healthy happy country, there is no other way just starting with each of us on the inside, how we doing and thinking, how can we improve.
Raquel: How can we make it better, and I think that’s so important. That’s something that really isn’t thought about very often and I’m glad that you’re promoting that not just in your everyday life and food but also within your products. So could you tell us what are some of your favourite ingredients to use in your products?
Zane: My super favourite one is Sea Buckthorn oil. Sea Buckthorn is a bush, you need both genders, female and male bush to create berries.
Raquel: I didn’t know that.
Zane: But berries are full of so many amazing ingredients, starting from, least of which vitamins and minerals. You can use it on the inside and on skin both ways. When you go to collect berries, you can squeeze out berries and drink, it’s full of vitamin C. You can’t even drink it just pure, you have to use something else to dilute it because it’s so sour you can’t drink it. But benefits on skin, I saw my friend, she used on a daily basis Sea Buckthorn juice and her skin was like wow, 2-3 months and has changed completely because Sea Buckthorn helped regenerate cells quicker and it used to be used in hospitals when you burned your skin, seriously burned. And heals, make no scars so basically all regeneration processes are stimulated. Also Sea Buckthorn oil contains omega fats that are very good proportions because just eating omega is not important, it’s important to use it in right proportions and in Sea Buckthorn it is in right proportions. So basically I have dried Sea Buckthorn berries from my friend’s farm in Latvia, they squeeze out juice, dry them and send it to me. I have olive oil from Tuscany as I told so I’m making Sea Buckthorn oil and I’m using this oil in my products and we also use this product into adding to salad daily.
Raquel: That’s a good point, the skin care is so clean that you can eat it.
Zane: Sea Buckthorn is definitely both sides so it’s good for your liver it’s good for your tummy, good for your skin as well. So it’s my favourite, favourite ingredient.
Raquel: I’ll have to look into that. So how did you do all the research for all the different products, is this from Formula Botanic?
Zane: So basically how I am doing, when I am starting to make some products I start through all plant-based ingredients. I make a huge list, for example for my day cream I think it was 5 A-4 lists with different ingredients and when I’m going one by one and I’m reading and looking for as much information I can find about this ingredient and if it’s good enough for me I’m keeping and if it’s not good enough just getting rid of it. So basically it’s just 2-3 days where I was studying each ingredient trying to find the best in this cream.
Raquel: Wow, that’s really important I think that that is a really good thing that you’re doing. So do you have any beauty tips for our listeners?
Zane: I think that whatever you do, whatever works for you, the main thing is to do it on a regular basis. For example you should clean your face every day and apply cream every day. It can’t work if you’re doing this once per month or per week. it’s just all about regularity so stick to what you choose and do it on a daily basis.
Raquel: Yeah this is true, I heard that if you don’t wash your face or your makeup off you age like a few days.
Zane: Probably. If you use natural makeup it’s better. If you really use chemical based makeup, like made for example from ingredients like crude oil, it really can block your pores and skin is an organ and skin breathes. If skin can’t breath of course it loses all its processes, part of the normal process as it should be. So I would definitely stick to cleaning face every day, it’s very important if you work in polluted areas or use makeup. It’s nice you’re 25 years old and think I will never be old (laughter).
Raquel: (laughter) I know.
Zane: I remember myself and I was thinking, oh creams fphhhss.
Raquel: I remember when I saw my first wrinkle I thought what is this (laughter).
Zane: (laughter) So it’s real life and I can’t blame anyone who is 25 years old and they think it’s never going to happen to them but unfortunately it’s happening and the sooner you start the better it will be.
Raquel: Yeah that’s a good idea. And let’s talk about your products. So what is your most popular skincare product with Atlantis?
Zane: At the moment, I don’t know how it happened but it’s Night Elixir because for me it’s day cream and night cream and I’m using it for 2 or 3 years already. To be honest my skin improved and people even give me comments going you are not getting older, what’s happening to you? But from feedback from other people in the last couple of months it’s Night Elixir. Night Elixir is a mix of oil and butters. So basically it’s the most natural product that it could be and I’ve chosen ingredients to help regenerate skin. So it’s the reason it’s Night Elixir, you put it on your face in the evening and when you wake up in the morning it’s soft have no oil left at all. So basically everything is going in.
Raquel: So it’s a mix of oils and butters and you put it on before you go to sleep.
Zane: What I’m doing because it’s kind of half hard, I’m just warming up in my hands and tapping over face and the next morning it’s gone.
Raquel: Absorbed. Yeah that’s what I like to put, some sort of cream or something on my face and then I don’t wash my face in the morning. Is that something you do too?
Zane: Yeah I don’t wash, I try to use water time after time because I think we have so many amazing cleansers and toners around so of course I’m using Atlantis Skincare but I know there are other brands and people are doing things from heart and creating amazing products. So it’s just a matter of what you choose and how you choose. What I can tell my passion is to help people to learn, read ingredient lists. This is so important not only in cosmetics but food. When you’re learning this skill you automatically turn like upside down and read the ingredients. Sometimes you are surprised what’s in the ingredient list.
Raquel: I know definitely. Every time I think, oh I’ve found a natural beauty brand and I turn it over and there’s a word I can’t really tell.
Zane: You know many, especially with American brands because regulations are a little bit different from Europe. Sometimes we have an amazing bunch of ingredients and your reading, oh my god sounds amazing and then last on the list is preservative or something else it’s just like oh no you just destroyed all the goodness.
Raquel: Like you were doing so well (laughter) That’s what I think as well. If you’re going to do natural, do natural don’t go half.
Zane: The problem with many brands is I’m lucky I can do from leisure on my own so I understand the process, so many business owners, they have no idea how to make formulation, they have no idea about ingredients. So basically if you order your formula with someone else, they have different passion or sometimes no passion at all they just want money this way and if you don’t learn about ingredients yourself and you check all the processes and go, no this ingredient is not acceptable in my creams of my formulations so it’s different. But if you have no idea and you understand business you don’t understand beauty.
Raquel: Definitely. And so how long ago did you start Atlantis Skincare?
Zane: I think it’s already 4 years because time is going so quickly and because I got 4 years and 4 grandchildren in one year it’s kind of like a roller coaster. I was thinking, oh my god how many years have passed already but it is 4 years since I started cosmetics science course. I can’t tell it’s useless because I learned more about physical and chemical processes in creams, when you create them and it gave me deeper understanding of how to create a good cream and some more skills in different areas but in terms of cosmetic formulation I can’t use it all. But Formula Botanica is giving you such a great bunch of skills where you understand process and you understand how you can change ingredients without disturbing the balance in cream. So basically it’s 4 years hard work and lots of learning.
Raquel: So are there any words of advise you would give to anybody looking to enter or start a natural beauty brand?
Zane: I would say think about your values and stick to them. And another thing is don’t be shy on pricing because it can continue your business. For example we went to Hong Kong for a show and we found a distributor and they offered our products to airline, they had like 8 airlines they worked with and they were asking for 70% of price, so basically its mission impossible you can’t earn anything. So if you’re not ready for reducing price to give some parts to retailers you can’t go forward at all and you can’t change price when it’s already give to the customer. So basically it’s very, very important. No money no business. It’s like business without money, it’s not working this way. If you start with wrong pricing it’s very difficult afterwards, so I would really really recommend to think about pricing 10 times, not just 3 or 7.
Raquel: Who your customers are and how you think you should charge because not all brands are the same. Just because you’re a natural beauty brand, like you said you have different types of customer and you’re presenting them with different types of products. That’s a really good tip I think, is pricing. I think people don’t really think about it, they want to like get it out there and have as many people buy it as possible but like you said that can really affect business.
Zane: Also when you do wrong pricing, you might create work for yourself but if you want to grow business in long term, business needs money to grow. So if you have no money and no space in pricing to have some it’s just you created workspace for yourself and as soon as you can’t do it anymore it’s ended. So basically when you start you sit down and think very properly where I want to be in 5 or 10 years. Is my brand growing to proper business or am I just working for myself and selling my creams on markets online. So basically it’s the basis of everything, no money no business.
Raquel: Yeah that’s a really good tip. So what are the next steps for Atlantis Skincare?
Zane: Oh we are taking part of a natural organic show in April in London, then we’re to Hong Kong again. In autumn we’re very excited to be part of Indie Beauty Expo in London.
Raquel: Oh in October?
Zane: Yes I’m really excited about this and looking forward because Indie Beauty I think is an ideal place for natural brands to be. Yes they work in the right direction and work to promote natural beauty. For example we were taking part of CW awards and it was totally wrong place for us because it was mainly big stream brands like Nuxe, so basically old old brands which are working with old methods and people just passed us. So basically it’s kind of like who are you?
Raquel: So it’s like take a step back and see where you want to be in terms of conventions and where would make sense.
Zane: Yeah definitely. And also I think it is costly but it’s very important to take part in awards because unfortunately people notice you much better if you have award. You can have amazing product but with award badge on it’s a different story already.
Raquel: Yes, somebody else saying that you’re product is good besides yourself.
Zane: And because the market is so overcrowded at the moment and people are lost because there is natural, organic, all this is mixed in one big like porridge and it’s so difficult to understand which product is good and which is a gimmick of marketing. Unfortunately we live in a situation like this at the moment and it’s not easy to start a natural brand at all. And all the people I know that started are so passionate about it and I love it. I love it because it means if you are passionate about it you will put your heart in it. This is what we need on the planet, more love.
Raquel: Yeah mindful energy towards something that you’re passionate about, no I agree. Awesome. Where can people get a hold of your products?
Zane: At the moment we are on Atlantisskincare.com, we are on Lovelula.com and soon we are going to be on Amazon and we have some talks with some retailers already so watch this space (laughter).
Raquel: Yes watch this space. I love the brand and definitely check out their website and their Instagram. Thank you very much Zane for coming on the show today.
Zane: Thank you for inviting.
Raquel: Yeah not a problem, I’m very excited to see your brand grow obviously it’s doing very well and growing so everyone watch this space and thank you for listening to Clean Chat everyone. Have a great day.
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