Father & Daughter Duo
Oquist was founded by a father and daughter duo, both with extensive
experience in the beauty industry. For the past 20 years Pavel has been running his own business developing, sourcing and producing natural cosmetics for the pharmaceutical market in the EU. Olga’s professional experience has been within strategy, sales and marketing in well-known Swedish fashion and beauty retail.
While working in the beauty industry Olga started to become personally interested in sustainability and conscious consumption, which also made her realize how unsustainable the FMCG industry really is. After having her son she realized that she no longer could stand behind the strategies and unit driving marketing campaigns of big corporations. There must be another way! She thought.
Having a father with a business in the natural cosmetics industry was almost too good to be true and the duo still wonder why they waited so long before starting their own brand. Both have a heart for the environment and arts which all turned out to be perfectly channeled into their unique concept.
They complement each other very well – Pavel with his experience and structure in formulation, sourcing, production and logistics while Olga manages marketing, brand and communication.
The brand is still 100% self funded and run through the passion of the father and daughter duo.
By founder Olga Ringquist:
It all started in mid 2019. Since dad and I are tea lovers we discussed the future of our new business idea over two ceremonial bowls of tea. I just had become a mother and didn’t want to go back to work and continue supporting the unsustainable FMCG industry where I had been working for the past 8 years. And how lucky was I, having a dad that had been running his own business developing natural cosmetics for the past 20 years. He was of course happy to see how we could help each other. His dream was to prove the efficiency and power of natural ingredients, while mine was to find a sustainable way to produce and consume beauty.
We agreed that our formulas had to be waterless. This way we could significantly decrease our carbon footprint while skipping the need for preservatives, known to irritate the skin, disrupt the skin microbiome and harm eco systems. Plus, dad had already been developing waterless products since 2012 and wasn’t particularly happy to hear the K-beauty movement was getting all the cred for reinventing this concept in 2019.
“Our formulations should also be more potent and concentrated so that they can be used for several purposes”, dad said and sipped the last drop of tea from his bowl. “You know those shower products for lazy men that are 6-in-1. We could do that too”
I laughed for a while but then thought, why not? That would make our concept even more sustainable. We just had to pack it in a nicer way, I figured and tried to imagine how my own routine could be diminished to ONE step. For a skincare junkie as myself it felt totally insane but also intriguing at the same time.
“We obviously also need a sustainable packaging”, I said and refilled our bowls with a fresh batch of tea. “And it should be beautiful. People should want to keep the product out on display because it’s so beautiful”
We both drank our tea in silence for a while, imagining what this not-of-this-world packaging could look like. Then dad almost choke on his tea and said:
“This!”, he pointed at his bowl while
continuing coughing. “Terracotta. It’s. Sustainable.”
I looked at his bowl and then at mine while sliding my finger over the porous material. Obviously it’s good enough for food and beverages, why isn’t it used for cosmetics?
“It’s basically earth and just returns back to earth if thrown away”, he continued. “The Egyptians stored their skincare in terracotta. We can also store ours in a couple of jars”
“No”, I said and felt that childish smile take over my face. “It shouldn’t be jars. It should be sculptures. Pieces of art”
Dad looked in the distance and said: “Waterless and multifunctional cosmetics in a piece of art. I like it”
We both smiled and knew something great had just happened.