Tell us a little something about you and the product line “Susanne Kaufmann” which is named after you…
My grandmother passed the knowledge of the healing powers of nature on to me. Not one single idea in medicine or conventional cosmetics doesn’t originate in the medicinal plants of Mother Nature. At the beginning of the 90ties I started to think about natural cosmetics. In 2003 I radically changed the SPA concept of my hotel, the Hotel Post Bezau, and I was convinced that we needed organic cosmetics, that were a fit to the new Spa concept. I was searching for a brand that originated in Austria, that is organic, effective, functional, sensitive and luxurious and that was designed beautifully and I couldn´t find anything. In cooperation with Ingo Metzler, our producer, only 15 minutes away from Benzau, and a dermatologist I decided to launch my own organic beauty brand. In December 2003 we started with 24 products and we produced them for our house only. More than 10 years later Susanne Kaufmann organic treats carries more than 77 products and is distributed worldwide.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland are still the most important markets for Suanne Kaufmann organic treats. In addition we sell Europe wide in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, Norway, Rumania and the Czech Republic. The demand for organic cosmetics is growing especially in the Asian and American market. We are very much looking forward to the future.
What are you especially looking for when choosing ingredients?
Each ingredient is chosen because of its quality. The secret lies in the focus on minimal substances and complimentary combinations. We try to obtain our ingredients from our region, which means a 500km radius and additionally each ingredient is made of renewal resources. Our ingredients are biodegradable, like our cleansing system that is based on sugar tensids.
Do you notice a change in the awareness of people towards quality and the manufacturing conditions?
The subject of environmental protection and sustainability has arrived in the middle of society and it is looking more stylish and health-conscious then ever. We live in a communications society, the consumers are better informed and they question simple, strictly on selling oriented marketing campaigns. They want to know where the products they consume are produced, where they come from. Nowadays organic products need to not only be natural and contain healing qualities but they need to be effective. There are sensational scientific developments not only in regards to the ingredients but also with the compatibility. And slowly consumers trust organic cosmetics when it comes to anti-aging and special skin conditions.
Which basics do you recommend to every woman?
It depends on the skin type, the time that is available for the skin care routine and the environmental aspects.
An important part of our skin care is the cleanse. Oftentimes people do not invest enough time into cleaning their face in the morning, although it is especially important since our skin works over night. After the cleanse a daily moisturizer that nourishes and protects the skin is important. And since our radiance is coming from our eyes I recommend every woman to use eye cream.
Additionally a serum or a concentrate can be used with the daily moisturizer. During summer time I can recommend a light moisturizing hyaluronic serum, in winter time a rich nourishing concentrate.
Which one is your absolute favorite product?
Definitely the Anti Aging Linie A eye cream! I apply it daily and I pat it in softly. At night I actually use it as an eye mask. Our eye cream contains highly active ingredients like the natural cell shield ectoin that stops skin aging and stimulates the collagen production.
What do you think of when you look at your professional live?
If I think of the beginning of our cosmetic brand 13 years ago, I would have never thought that we would come this far. That the brand would develop like it did. From a relatively small and local production in Austria we ship to the whole world today.
How do you see the future of “Susanne Kaufmann”? What plans do you have?
We hope to continue to appeal and to receive positive resonance with our products. We also continue to consequently work on the quality of our products – for one we want to further develop the products we already have, using new ingredients to permanently improve the existing formulas and we also have plenty new products to launch.
With the new production site that is currently built in Egg and that will open in the spring of 2017 we can set new standards in regards to quality and sustainability.
Have you ever felt that being a woman held you back in your career or have you rather felt that it is advantage?
Rather as an advantage.
What is your biggest strength?
I want to say my biggest strength is my ability to read people and my ability to connect people. Without my business partners, friends and employees the brand wouldn´t be where it is today.
How do you see the future of consumption and sustainability?
I always try to look positively into the future. I believe that our society wants to distance itself further and further away from a throwaway society and that quality is chosen over quantity.
We not only focus on sustainability when choosing our ingredients but also in regards to our packaging. The majority of our products are filled into glass bottles or jars. The rest is package into recyclable plastic bottles.