Márta Akpinar-Lele, Founder of Lima Cosmetics
Meet Márta, dedicated entrepreneur and creator who inspires us. Out of the need for natural beauty products, Márta founded her own cosmetics brand LIMA Cosmetics. Her products' minimalistic packaging and wonderful smell speak for themselves - but nonetheless we wanted to hear a bit more about her brand.
Did you know that you can actually get very far using only a few great beauty products? Especially when they have beautiful names (yes, of course we refer to the Mermaid body soap!) and a wonderful scent as LIMA's products do.
Being a true entrepreneur, Márta saw what product was needed and boom! - made it herself. Today, she works with experts on developing new products and is already in the process of launching new ones.
In our interview, Márta shares exclusive sneak peak into the world of natural cosmetics, great advice on what small actions to clean up your beauty shelf and which products are her own personal favorites.
First of all, can you tell us about what made you start your own business and how LIMA Cosmetics began?
Since I was a child, I was fascinated by cosmetics. This was mainly thanks to the female role models in my family: My grandmother and my mother were both eager for quality cosmetics, and I often had the chance to try out their newest creams and beauty products.
Many years passed, I pursued a university degree in marketing and tried myself in different fields of work - from event management through marketing to fashion retail.
During a creative break I spent some weeks at home in Hungary. One day, my mother came home with a handmade soap bar. It was amazing to see a soap bar that was made far away from the industry halls and chemistry laboratories, containing only natural ingredients. I remember that I started the research right away with a very clear goal in my mind: To make the best natural soap for myself and my family.
After many years of research and plenty of formula tests, my products turned out to be so good that I simply wanted to share them with others. In 2016, the LIMA Cosmetics brand was born.
What was the most difficult part about starting LIMA Cosmetics and how did you solve it?
The beginning was challenging, of course. Making cosmetics involves a lot of responsibility. From the very beginning it was clear that I wanted to offer high-quality natural products that people can trust.
The first thing I did was to set up an official manufacturing site and looked out for an independent laboratory to conduct the quality tests on each of our products. Today, I am happy to be able to work with great professionals who share my passion for high-quality natural cosmetics.
"Carefully selected, pure raw materials are the heart of each LIMA product."
What was the most surprising and unforeseen thing that you learned when starting the business?
In the first years, I had to learn a lot about self-management: Using my time and energy effectively and keeping the focus. I am passionate about every single aspect of my work.
The ingredients that are put into each product are very clean, local, organic and plant-based. Why are these things important for you to include?
Carefully selected, pure, raw materials are the heart of each LIMA product. I believe that the customers can experience the difference when using our skincare products. Organically produced, 100% natural botanical extracts simply feel good on the skin!
Therefore, I put a big emphasis on selecting our ingredients, testing them thoroughly over months before incorporating them into a formulation. Also, I decided to source raw materials from local and European producers, directly from the region, where the plants are best grown and harvested.
As a cosmetic manufacturer I see myself in the position to create a difference in the self-care industry simply by offering the customers all-natural, consciously made skincare products that the skin will love.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of developing new products?
Many product ideas arise from the needs of our family, friends and customers. Once the main idea is there, as the product developer, I take out my notebook and start collecting the characteristics the new product should have: The main purpose, effect on the skin, desired texture and feeling on the skin, color and scent, of course. Then I take a look at how I can achieve it using only pure and plant based ingredients.
Usually, many months (sometimes even years!) of testing, re-testing and formulation work are behind every single product. Each new product is tested by family and friends, and only when it calls out that WOW-effect, we proudly introduce it to our customers.
Your brand puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability. What are your best tips on how everyone can start to live a more conscious and sustainable everyday life?
I am always terrified to see bathroom shelves fully packed with plastic bottles. I am a great fan of our natural soaps, and I experience that these soap bars are not only better for the environment, but by using them the skin looks and feels much healthier.
If you want to start somewhere, my advice is to stop using plastic bags in supermarkets, plus get rid of all those nasty plastic bottles in the bathroom and go for a beautiful and fragrant soap bar!
"Usually, many months of testing, re-testing and formulation work is behind every single product."
Which one of your products is an absolute must-have that should be present in every bathroom?
All of them. Well, I can’t imagine my daily routine without any of our facial soaps. I use them in the morning to refresh my skin and in the evening to cleanse and to remove make-up. With these round-shaped, fragrant soap bars I can replace so many other products and my skin looks so radiant.
Also, I think we all need an uplifting and pampering self-care routine once a day. For this, I can’t imagine a better way, than to use a beautiful bar of fragrant soap with a creamy lather and a delicate feel on the skin!
My goal is to offer a small range of well-thought products that are all-natural and effective.
What product from your range is your personal favorite and why?
My all-time favorites are our bestsellers: The LIMA Cosmetics facial soaps. These solid bars are simply amazing: they cleanse the face without a dry-out effect.
After the face wash, the skin is smooth and healthy. Especially on hot summer days, these soaps are everything my skin needs.
"I believe that we can take 20 minutes of time for a self-care ritual every day. Even if it is after a long day at work, make sure to treat your body. You deserve it."
Your products are all about self-care, pampering and luxury treatments. What is your best self-care advice that women who are always on the go can easily incorporate into their everyday life?
I believe that we can take 20 minutes of time for a self-care ritual every day. Even if it is after a long day at work, make sure to treat your body. You deserve it.
Pay attention to what you need: Do some sports, read a book, light a candle or emerge in a fragrant, all-natural bathing experience in your very own bathroom. All LIMA Cosmetics products are designed to give you the ultimate sensory feeling whenever you need it.
Can you reveal a bit of the future plans for LIMA Cosmetics? Are there any new products or projects on the way?
The year of 2019 is already predicted to be a very busy year for LIMA Cosmetics. New products and family sets are coming. Nothing unnecessary, only the best-quality, all-natural products that will enrich your everyday life.
Also, pregnant ladies might be able to find an amazing new product on our website coming up in the next few months. So it is definitely worth subscribing to our newsletter to keep yourself updated and inspired.
We are always looking for sources of inspiration, especially on Instagram. Can you share your favorite accounts with us?
Sure. I enjoy very much the content and entrepreneurship of @jamie_jaymes and @peonyswimwear.
Thank you very much for the interview, Márta!
➸ Head over to LIMA Cosmetics' inspiring Instagram account for inspiration, great energy and only positive vibes.
If you liked reading about Márta, you might also like our conversation with the serial entrepreneur and coach Anastasia Dimitriadou, or our interview with the founder of Danish fashion brand ArtFusion Copenhagen, Louise Autrup.