Polish-born and raised Marzena Mlynarska obtained her Masters Degree and so successful career in journalism followed in her home country, to which later progressed as a press correspondent after having moved to London 10 years ago.
However, Marzena’s desire to create a truly natural skincare brand first began whilst searching the high-street for natural products without success. Go Do Natural came to light with the aim to deliver the highest quality cosmetics for its customers. With a small range of soaps and creams which were popularised due to the rise in demand for natural products on the market, it was time for growth. The Sknfed company was launched from this springboard by Marzena who still actively promotes her company values by fulfilling a natural, organic and sustainable life of her own. From hitting their very first trade show at Kensington Olympia back in 2018, Marzena leads the Sknfed brand as regulars at Ethical Produce and Vegan Markets.
Now enjoying a work-life balance, Marzena spends time with her 4-year old daughter and frequently travels to discover various new places together, enjoys many sporting activities and indulging in the occasional good read.
Welcome Marzena, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, can you introduce yourself to us as the founder of Sknfed?
Thank you for having me, it is a great pleasure to be a part of a movement that encourages and promotes woman entrepreneurs. My name is Marzena Mlynarska, I was born in Poland where I obtained my Master’s Degree in Journalism, but for the past 10 years, I lived in London. I am the founder and owner of Sknfed – a company that focuses on natural, organic and sustainable skincare. Our products are also vegan and cruelty-free. We emphasise on using nature’s potential to obtain the highest possible ingredients that are non-harmful to the skin.
What incentivised you to feel passionate about creating natural, gentle skincare products having spent a great effort researching the market to no avail?
Since I started being responsible for my own life I understood how important it is to take care of various parts of it. I believe in a holistic approach to our skincare – what you put in your body matters the same as what you put on it. What makes me the most passionate about creating natural skincare is the possibility to share with others the things that nature can offer. I found a lack of firms offering natural, vegan, organic and eco-friendly products and I decided to delve deeper into the subject by reading numerous books and articles and pursuing certificates to start making the products on my own. Upon receiving great feedback from friends and family they shared them further and it all developed itself. I believe that we shouldn’t go along with the crowd but create our own path, thus I decided to do something unique from what was available at the time. This includes our kraft paper pouches for creams that distinguish us from competitors – an idea that arose after seeing my little daughter eat yoghurt from a look-alike packaging – or our body butter and face soap that comes in chocolate-shape. Everything that we do here at Sknfed, from best natural ingredients to sustainable packaging, comes from a great passion, and that is what makes us who we are.
A lot of the so-called natural skincare brands that we see on the market today are in fact used almost entirely synthetic ingredients. Can you highlight the potential skin damage synthetic ingredients can cause and the risks carried with continued use?
Yes, and that is very disappointing to see – they are driven by profits and not the idea of promoting health. The firms are using chemical components that are harsh to the skin to lower their costs of production without considering the implications that they will have on the health of their customers. Those ingredients can cause skin, eye and lung irritation, redness, inflammation, damage to the immune system and even increase the odds of developing cancer.
People are often attracted to the fancy advertisement without considering what the back label consists – at Sknfed we focus on every little aspect while ensuring that healthy active ingredients are our priority.
What is a typical day like for you at Sknfed?
I begin each day with a positive attitude and great smile while waking up next to my little daughter. I spend an early morning with her, enjoying the breakfast and getting ready for school together. After dropping her off I go back to my workshop where I begin my productive part of the day. Given the constantly increasing demand for our products from the domestic and overseas customers and companies, we devote our early day to those orders to ensure that they reach the destination as quickly as possible. While all of this is happening we stay up to date with our socials and answering various queries. We then move to the production process and quality assurance. Lastly, we sit down as a team and brainstorm ideas and ways in which we could support our initiatives – zero-waste, cruelty-free and vegan communities. I then head off to pick up the daughter from school. She is very interested in what I do and sometimes labels our products with her Peppa Pig stickers.
Who is the most influential woman within the beauty industry that you admire and why?
From a young age, the most influential woman with the greatest impact on me was my mum. She always favoured natural ingredients and healthy approach to our lives. Her skincare routine was very pure and simple and she has always been my role model.
What has been the most challenging yet rewarding barrier you faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I came across in my journey so far was meeting and working with some individuals that were falsely advertising their interests. They were driven purely by potential monetary gains rather than sharing my vision of developing sustainable natural skincare. I learnt my lesson and I now make sure that I only work with the like-minded people.
How are you working on your own personal development?
In the past, I always lived through the mistakes I made which taught me to learn from and avoid them. I tend to observe the environment around me and have my own conclusions about it. I used to be very impatient and nowadays I prefer to take my time and prepare for any projects carefully. I think that everything happens for a reason and in its own time – we just have to create the space for our intentions. I believe in the power of sub-consciousness and I focus on the present – expanding my business but most importantly on spending my time with family and friends. Moreover, my parents always supported me and taught me that where there is a will there is away.
The best lesson throughout building Sknfed you have learned so far that you can share?
The best lesson I learnt is how to manage my time effectively –having many responsibilities such as taking care of my daughter, house and personal development does not stop me from pursuing my passion and managing a successful business. Thus, I strongly recommend to all the women out there – do not let some excuses stop you from chasing your dreams.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
The answer is simply there: create your own path and don’t just simply go along with the crowd.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand Sknfed in the next 3-5 years?
We would like to retain our consistent domestic growth and expansion overseas to share our ideas further, add multiple new products to our line and introduce the best gentle skincare for our little ones – Sknfed Kids. Every success has the correct, like-minded individuals behind it and that is why I would like to expand our team. Furthermore, we want to encourage people to reduce the amount of waste in their daily routines, introduce sustainable accessories and promote the move towards a healthier lifestyle. I would also like to search for and discover new natural resources from all over the world that we could use in our skincare.