The Lekker Company is a Dutch company founded by Dewi van de Waeter in 2014. The company sells 100% natural personal care products with the aim of developing practically edible (because it’s so natural) cosmetics and making people more aware of the ingredients they apply to their skin. The Lekker Company currently sells natural cream deodorant, ocean friendly sunscreen, and lip balm, and aims to make the future bathroom completely natural, vegan, and sustainable. Good for the world and good for your skin.
The idea for The Lekker Company started at Dewi’s kitchen table. After a 30-day vegan challenge, during which Dewi tried to eat plant-based, she discovered that many cosmetics on store shelves contain animal products and other ingredients like aluminium, parabens, and even plastic. Not very natural. All the ingredients were written in incomprehensible language. Then the idea was born. Just as we want to know what we’re eating, we also want to know what we’re putting on our skin every day. Dewi started making DIY care products in a mixing bowl, using ingredients that you can find in your own kitchen cupboard. For example, coffee and olive oil to make a scrub, and baking soda, which you can use not only to bake cookies but also to make deodorant. After reading the book “The 4-Hour Work week,” Dewi knew she wanted to start her own business. She made 100 glass jars filled with lip balm, body butter, scrubs, and the now famous deodorant. She opened an Etsy shop, and “Lekkerineenpotje” was born (Dutch for “delicious in a jar”). For four years, she continued to bring the glass jars to the local market every weekend. Her mission: introduce everyone to “Lekkerineenpotje” and switch to 100% natural and effective personal care.
It wasn’t easy, and Dewi never thought her business would grow as it did today. The turning point came when she last-minute registered for a pitch at Albert Heijn (the largest supermarket chain in The Netherlands). Without any expectations, she pitched her mission about “Lekker”. She surprisingly ended up second place out of 80 applicants. Before she knew it, her products were on supermarket shelves, and she suddenly had to switch from production in 40 small organic and gift stores to a local factory.
To operate on a larger scale, “Lekkerineenpotje” underwent a rebranding to conquer the international market. This is when “The Lekker Company” was born, a more international name. The word “Lekker” was kept because it’s Dutch for “delicious,” “yummy,” “tasty.” And everything the company makes is vegan and therefore, “Lekker.” The Lekker Company continues to expand its range of natural products with products that every team member loves. The company now sells through its website and many retailers throughout Europe. The focus is on the Benelux, where they have around 3000 points of sale. The rest of Europe has about 1000.
To make everything as simple and transparent as possible, all the ingredients used in The Lekker Company’s products are stated on the packaging in understandable terms. This way, you can be certain about what you’re putting on your skin.
Challenges the business is facing
One of the biggest challenges for The Lekker Company is competing with large players in the personal care industry, that often offer their products at lower prices. These companies often have more resources to invest in marketing and promotion and already have an established customer base. Additionally, many consumers are accustomed to traditional personal care products and may not be willing to pay for seemingly more expensive natural alternatives. Finding sustainable packaging materials and ingredients that meet the company’s standards is also a challenge. The Lekker Company aims to use only sustainable materials that are less harmful to the environment. However, finding the right materials can be difficult and increase production costs. They are very proud to have found packaging made from paper, but it comes with limits in terms of the type of products it can be used for.
The company’s best-selling product, the cream deodorant, presents unique challenges. People are accustomed to using spray deodorants, which are quick and easy to apply. As a result, it can be difficult to win the trust of consumers who have been using traditional deodorants for a long time. To overcome this obstacle, The Lekker Company emphasizes the benefits of using a natural cream deodorant, which is better for the skin and the environment. According to Trustpilot, 91% of the customers give the cream deodorant a five star rating after using it.
In a highly competitive industry, The Lekker Company understands the importance of producing high-quality natural products that meet the needs of consumers while promoting sustainability. By investing in making the best natural and vegan products and educating consumers about the benefits of natural and sustainable alternatives, The Lekker Company is creating a new standard for personal care products.
Opportunities for The Lekker Company
The Lekker Company is still pretty early in the game, people are more conscious, and health-focused than ever, and Lekker products match their new expectations for personal care: products that look, smell and feel great and are B-corp worthy.
As more consumers become aware of the environmental impact of conventional beauty products, there is a growing demand for natural and sustainable alternatives. The Lekker Company has taken on this challenge by providing a range of vegan and cruelty-free personal care products that are both effective and gentle on the environment. The company’s commitment to sustainability extends to its choice of packaging materials, which are designed to be environmentally friendly and recyclable. Even the glue on the packaging is 100% vegan, something you probably would never think of.
In response to the growing demand for natural and sustainable personal care products, The Lekker Company continues to expand the product line with facial cleansers and body bars in the future. With a focus on using natural, plant-based ingredients, the company continues to meet the needs of consumers who are looking for healthier alternatives to conventional beauty products. The Lekker Company’s dedication to sustainability and innovation has earned them a loyal following among consumers who are looking for products that are effective and environmentally responsible. As more people become aware of the benefits of natural and sustainable beauty products, the market for brands like The Lekker Company will only continue to grow. With a commitment to quality and sustainability, The Lekker Company is well-positioned to meet this demand and continue to thrive in the natural beauty market. Smelling good, 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable: That’s what makes them ‘Lekker’.
Lessons learnt from running a business
Starting and running a business can be a challenging but rewarding journey. Dewi van de Waeter, founder of The Lekker Company, has learned some valuable lessons along the way that she would like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs.
“It’s important to make products that you would buy yourself”, according to Dewi. When you are passionate about your own products, it shines through and resonates with your customers. It’s also essential to learn from other businesses with different products but similar customers. This can give you valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t in your industry. Starting a business often means doing everything for the first time, without prior knowledge. While it can be daunting, it’s also an incredible opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace the learning process and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As the saying goes, “failure is the mother of success.”
In sales, it’s important to remember that ‘no’ often means ‘no, for now’ or ‘not yet’. Don’t get discouraged by rejection and keep working on building relationships with your customers. Persistence and determination can go a long way in business. Running a business is a never-ending journey of growth and learning. It’s important to stay open-minded, stay connected to your customers, and always be willing to learn from your experiences. If you have a vision and are willing to put in the hard work, you can turn your passion into a successful business. But of course luck is also a big part of it.
The Lekker Company is starting a natural lovers’ revolution with their natural, vegan and sustainable products. Hopefully, more and more people are loving The Lekker Company for making good personal care, naturally.
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