Friday, August 12, 2022

Don’t let go of your vision even if it’s hard (and expensive).

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Suntribe sunscreen and skincare products that are safe for skin and for oceans

Please introduce yourself and your startup Suntribe to our readers!

Sure! I’m Julia, I founded Suntribe together with my two co-founders in Sweden in 2017. We offer sunscreen and other skincare products that are safe for your skin and for the environment, and especially for our oceans. We never use any unnecessary and potentially toxic ingredients like synthetic chemicals, preservatives, perfume or microplastics. Our eco-friendly cosmetics are based on 100% natural and organic ingredients. Because we don’t dilute our formulas with water and use powerful natural ingredients like Zinc Oxide, nourishing oils and moisturising butters, our formulas are highly effective for sun protection and skincare. 

How did you get the idea to Suntribe?

I had moved from Germany to Sweden to study at Lund University which is where I met my two co-founders. We all read a study from our university which revealed that 63% of ingredients in the 100 most popular sunscreens in Europe are officially classified as toxic for human health, the environment or both. And we just couldn’t believe it and were convinced there had to be a better way! We couldn’t get ourselves to apply any chemical sunscreen anymore where we couldn’t even pronounce the ingredients it contained. So we started experimenting with natural ingredients that were scientifically validated to be safe and are much better for the skin and environment!  

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?

We were lucky to have the support of the university from the beginning and we started selling our first product very quickly which helped a lot with the financials. The biggest challenges we faced were dealing with all the regulations for cosmetics as well as organizing our team, since we’re often travelling and working at the same time. Thorough research helped with the first and we’ve become much better at communicating. At the moment, our team is working from six different countries and two continents! 

Who is your target audience?

We have two main customer groups. Firstly, it’s people that are into sports because our formulas protect for a long time, also in the water and when sweating. Lots of surfers carry our natural sunblocks. 

And the second group are customers that are concerned about their skin, or buy our products for their babies and children since all our products are suitable for even the most sensitive skin. We see that the demand from both groups is growing as more and more people discover the importance of natural and highly effective sun protection. 

What is the USP of your startup?

The USP of our startup is that we are honest and transparent about the ingredients, the packaging and the production processes we use and why. None of us founders has studied chemistry so we approach product development from a completely different angle, we’re very sceptical. Is this really needed? Can we strip this formula down? Are these ingredients safe? Those are the questions we seek an answer to before launching any formula on the market, and that makes our cosmetics very understandable and safe. 

Can you describe a typical workday of you?

A typical workday for me starts with reading the newspaper and having a healthy breakfast, without that I don’t function properly. Once a day I go for a run, swim, surf or just a walk, depending on where I am. It’s very important for me to compensate for sitting in front of the laptop for so many hours. During the day I have meetings and calls and in less busy moments I’m organizing the team so that we don’t miss deadlines and everything falls into place. 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Suntribe in five years?

Five years from now I expect we will offer a broad range of natural cosmetics as safe alternatives for the most common bathroom and outdoor cosmetics. I also imagine that we’ll be able to offer a 100% plastic-free portfolio by then – so far seven of our products are completely plastic-free -, and have increased our range of vegan cosmetics. And I expect we’ll grow our team so that we can dedicate more efforts towards collaborations to clean the oceans from plastic for example. I see myself stepping down from the operative tasks and assuming a more strategic role. 

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

Be patient and find a great team to help you through small and big crises.  

Don’t think you’ll have to run your start-up like everyone else, find your own way. 

Don’t let go of your vision even if it’s hard (and expensive). 

More information you will find here

Thank you Julia Beyer for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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