We interviewed Nino Oniani and Irina Keidia via zoom recently for our Women Worldwide series. These female entrepreneurs have shown us that passion, determination, and knowledge can lead to a dream vocation in life. Read on to find out more about Zeg Skincare and what goes into running the business.
Tell us about the journey that led you both to launch your brand Zeg Skincare…
I have always been committed to giving best care to my skin. I was researching the most powerful formulas available on the market, however the more I researched the more I understood potential harm of some of the ingredients in those formulas. For the past few years I opted for the best botanical products available on the market, however I soon realised they didn’t meet my expectations in terms of delivering results, no matter how expensive the botanical brand was. That was when I decided to look around and research properly how could botanicals really work when you add proper scientific knowledge to it.
I was lucky to know some of worlds’ best scientists in the field who created custom made formulas for my skin. The result was tremendous. This period coincides with my true passion with entrepreneurship and the credit goes to Imperial College Business School where I had just graduated from my MBA and met some incredibly successful entrepreneurs who had started up just a few years before, and had successfully grown their companies. They not only inspired me, but they actually taught me. I decided to dedicate my career to entrepreneurship, and I had two conditions for it, one was, the business I would start should be scalable and another was it should definitely be my passion. Skincare and Beauty ticked all those boxes, in addition I had access to the yet undiscovered Georgian nature, a country that is nestled between Europe and Asia, which has tremendously diverse climate zones and a wide variety of potent medicinal botanicals. I then approached longtime friend Irina, who shared my passion about skincare, she is also one of the leading marketing specialists in Georgia. We both had individual expertise which would work perfectly together to deliver the best possible product. We set to create an independent beauty company, with clean, potent ingredients that deliver results.
Our strategy is accessibility; and we want all our products to be affordable to as many people as possible. – Nino Oniani
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
The Pandemic has been our biggest challenge so far, especially with product development which slowed the process down. Uncertainty is probably one of our biggest issues as well. – Irina Keidia
If you to were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?
What advice would you offer anyone interested in venturing into the skincare business?
Be persistent, be patient, and be hard working, but most of all have a deep passion for what you’re doing. Science knowledge is probably one of the biggest assets if you want to deliver a good product. – Nino Oniani & Irina Keidia
Talk us through an average business day in your life…
Almost every day starts following up our ongoing tests, trials and research. Because we are in the active NPD phase this is an essential part of our business. I think it is a very exciting time right now to be in this business; science advances, including opportunities given by BioTech gives us lots of possibilities to move forward.
This process is followed up by meeting with our scientists most days who are based in the UK near London. These meetings are probably the most important ones for us at the moment as this is where we have the chance to deliver some truly great products, by tweaking, testing, and altering even slightly you can get something completely new.
Recap on sales and marketing activity is also part of our daily activity. We decided to go down the route of having our own state of the art online store, to us this means daily review of the sales channel. While Irina might be doing that, some days I might be engaged with the investor zoom meetings. – Nino Oniani
Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?
This whole journey is rather difficult, I will not sugarcoat this for you. Problem solving on a daily basis is part of the process. The value chain in our business involves many stakeholders, meaning there are many things that can go wrong. Staying positive is probably not part of our strategy, I would say that actually solving problems is. Being an early bird probably helps us both! – Irina Keidia
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
To be honest situations vary and so do our motivational approaches. What helps most is encouragement from one another. But if there are any quotes we can think of, then these two are probably the ones that make us think big to not lose motivation. – Nino Oniani & Irina Keidia
“If you can’t do it with feeling, don’t.”by Patsy Cline
“For those who dare to dream, there is a whole world to win.”by Dhirubhai Ambani
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Nowadays social media is a key consumer marketing tool, it allows us to connect and engage with potential customers, easily reach them, share directly updated information about products and their benefits, and allows us immediate interaction and customer feedback. It is quite Important to make engaging content to get attention. Our target customers are professional skintelligent women who have money to spend and want to keep their skin looking good. They are self confident, passionate about skincare and a healthy lifestyle, they have ‘Digital First’ attitude, with social media a primary source of brand reviews and product information.– Irina Keidia
How do you want people to feel when they first see and try your products?
We want people to feel empowered when they use our products. We want to emphasis their natural beauty. We don’t want our users to live up to a standard of none existent beauty. We can promise to help make better versions of themselves with long term health in mind. – Irina Keidia
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list, and which of your products would you take traveling with you?
There are a few favourite destinations, they include Italy and Montenegro, but desirable locations would probably be Jamaica or Mexico. We would always take our Oxygen Serum and Eye Patches with us wherever we visit in the world. But we would also like intrepid travellers to come and visit our very own Georgia to see the beautiful mountains and the nature that surrounds us. – Irina Keidia
What’s next for you and your brand?
We are going in to a speciality and SPA product market, keep your eyes peeled as you might see ZEG Spa in a number of places around the world soon. – Nino Oniani
Where can people find out more about Zeg Skincare?
Website: Zeg Beauty