Certainly not every beauty brand that begins at a farmer’s market finds its way on to the shelves of Whole Foods Market. But Zatik Naturals has done just that, thanks to the patience and perseverance of founders Ovsanna and Garik Mkrtumyan. For over 10 years, the pair has built the brand up as a staunchly independent venture, and one that more and more consumers are glad to be discovering online and in store.
Here, entrepreneur Ovsanna Mkrtumyan shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Ovsanna Mkrtumyan, Co-Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Zatik Naturals
Launched: October 2007
Headquarters: Glendale, California
Cash flow: Zatik Naturals has been self-funded from day 1. And, we have managed to grow the company without outside help.
Indie how? To me, a beauty brand is independent when it is not owned by any investors, venture capitalist firms, or by another brand; when it is founded and funded by the original owners.
Team work: 4 full-time employees, 1 part-time
Distribution: We ship direct to 200+ health food stores across Southern California, Northern California, Arizona and Nevada. We sell via Amazon and our direct website www.zatiknaturals.com and ship using regular USPS. We also sell to T.J. Maxx and Marshall seasonally to make it available across the USA, Canada, and Europe. We learned that this way more people learn about our brand and are looking to buy.
Years in beauty: 11
Years at Zatik Naturals: 11
Entrepreneurial experience: This is my first company. Prior to Zatik, I worked in corporate finance and banking. I did not have any entrepreneurial skills until my husband and I started Zatik to experiment [with] our ability to deliver safe cosmetics to our community.
The business: Zatik was founded as a hobby for Garik in 2005. The hobby turned serious when he first made his Active Balancing Cream with Ginko and Pumpkin in 2006. I fell in love with the product and decided to fire up his dream. We partnered up in 2007 and registered the company, built a website, and started selling in farmers' markets with total of 5 SKUs. It took us 2 years to learn sales skills, how people reacted [to] our products and packaging; and after multiple reformulations and packaging changes, we got into our first store in Canoga Park called Follow Your Heart. In 2010 with Whole Foods Market’s local program we were granted 3 trial stores in our area to test our products. The journey began from there. We have been a Whole Foods Local brand since 2010 and now sell our products in 2 of their regions: Southern Pacific and Northern California.
The wow-factor: Our formulas are the best in the market. Due to our 2 patented raw materials from MCT Oil we are able to deliver a true organic, effective and safe skin care that has unique clean scent, does not discolor from light and air, and has a 2-year shelf life. Our formulas do not contain alcohol, gluten, soy, or any GMOs. We pH balance our products and make them to order. This means we don’t mass produce. We also use CO2 extracts in our products, which contributes to the effectiveness of the product.
The customer: We have multiple categories so the target audience is different for each: for skin care, female ages 24 – 35; for hair, unisex ages 24 – 65; for body care, unisex ages 28 – 40; health, unisex ages 30 – 65+.
Milestone moment: We have been mentioned in the follow media / blogs / journals. That really makes me proud. BuzzFeed, Kelly’s Thoughts On Things, TaylorLife, The Bundle Eco Diva, Consumer Queen, My Life On&Off Guest List, The Spa Insider, and several others.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: [When starting] something new, you must have passion, determination, and patience.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Mkrtumyan says, the Zatik Relieve Eye Serum is a must-have. Having 3 kids, cold dry weather, working long hours isn’t easy around my eyes. I don’t like seeing the lines. I cannot get enough of this serum, it softens and smooths the lines plus lets my skin have a natural glow and younger look to it. It also acts as a great primer before make up.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.