In the midst of a financial crisis in hard-hit Latvia, MÁDARA has built a strong cosmetics brand. Today they have 30 employees, operate three shops in Riga and export products to 20 countries. The message is emotional and the products are based on the natural flora of the Baltic region. The cartonboard pack is an important communicator, emphasising the products’ natural image by printing on the reverse side of the board, which has a silky smooth surface.
Once upon a time, a woman named Lotte was passionately interested in cosmetics made from natural ingredients. She starting experimenting with soap-making at home in her kitchen. After a bit of experimenting, her soap came out really well, and she started selling it to like-minded people. While better established competitors have massive sales and marketing budgets, MÁDARA stood out through guerrilla marketing on the Internet: Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, etc. That’s where the story began three years ago, and that’s where Lotte met Zane, who worked in marketing. They became friends and together with two more enthusiasts established a company which now has six owners with varied expertise.
Deeper than skin
Despite its tender years, MÁDARA has already been named Latvia’s greenest business and has won prizes for leadership and design. “We want to help make a better world to leave to the next generation,” says Lotte Tisenkopfa, now the board chair. “MÁDARA is our story about loving our origins, the place we come from, and about good design, high-quality organic products and honest business dealings.”
The products are certified according to ECOCERT, an international standard for organic products. They are produced for a target market of women aged 25 to 45 who live in the city but love nature and want to stay healthy, fit and beautiful without doing harm. The lack of start-up money was not so much an obstacle as a reason to follow a different path.
“We have no experience of ‘normal’ conditions, since we have always worked in an economic crisis,” says Lotte. Parents who lent start-up money can breathe a sigh of relief. In its first three years, the company has grown 350% annually. The parents are celebrating their daughters’ success and enjoying a lifetime supply of free products. All profits are reinvested in the company.
Korsnäs White printed on the reverse side
The company understands the importance of packaging. Both its bottles and its paperboard boxes are matte. The board is printed on the reverse side, which Lotte and her partners like for its raw, silky smooth feel. “The printing has to be attractive, but the tactile feel when you pick up the product is just as important,” says Lotte. For MÁDARA, which has a thoughtful environmental policy and critically reviews the environmental performance of both suppliers and ingredients, Korsnäs White was a natural choice.
An outstanding delivery service
Kvadra Pak JSC, MÁDARA’s converter, has worked with Korsnäs for many years. “In this case, Korsnäs White was an obvious choice due to its structure and strength, which enable us to drop down in grammage,” says Larisa Bogatirjova, a salesperson at Kvadra Pak JSC. “That provides us both environmental and economic benefits. But what we really appreciate about Korsnäs is its service, especially the delivery service. The Baltic States are really feeling the economic crunch, so we’re trying to keep less stock and run shorter production series. Korsnäs has really proven its flexibility.”