Business Name and what it does
Bioeco is the name of our small family business, specializing in the sale of ecologically friendly and natural cosmetics, body care products, aromatherapy items, natural perfumes, attars, and essential oils. We source these products from small producers all over the world, including countries like Australia, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, and others.
In addition, we offer perfume and natural aromatherapy blend workshops for individuals interested in this field or for personal events such as birthdays, bachelorette parties, and team-building activities. Occasionally, we collaborate on projects with institutions like libraries and day centers. One particularly interesting project for us involved creating natural soy candles inspired by the cultures and literature of different countries. We would read literature from various nations and, together with the participants, develop an aromatherapy blend specifically for those candles.
We were also involved in a camp for families raising children with disabilities, where we collaborated to create relaxing aromatherapy blends. This experience was incredibly meaningful to us. Another unique project we undertook involved crafting solid perfumes inspired by poetry. During this event, participants would select their favorite poems and bring them to the library, which served as an inspiring venue for the occasion. We would then read these poems together while sampling around twenty different natural perfume ingredients, such as essential oils, attars, absolutes, and resins. Finally, we would create a blend using those ingredients. Following the event, an exhibition was held in the library, allowing people to read the poems and experience the corresponding perfumes.
Our business strategy revolves around offering the highest quality body care products and cosmetics from small producers who possess unique recipes, formulas, stories, and a commitment to using only natural, high-quality, science-based ingredients. We genuinely love nature and people. Furthermore, we prioritize providing the best possible customer experience at our establishment.
We have a strong aversion to cosmetics that are priced exorbitantly, have beautiful packaging but lack any real benefits for the skin or hair, or even harm the environment, water, or soil. You will never find such products in Bioeco.
Located in Klaipėda’s town center, Bioeco operates as a small boutique shop where you can find me, the owner, as well as occasionally my husband and daughter. This is also where we conduct our workshops. Visitors often remark on the cozy and pleasantly fragrant atmosphere of our shop.
Our business thrives on the loyalty of our client community. Some individuals have been using their favorite face cream, perfumes, hair shampoo, or other products from us for over ten years. It’s truly remarkable! We maintain clear and honest communication with our clients and occasionally provide educational information to help them understand the work that goes on “behind the scenes.”
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
I’m Dovilė, a 33-year-old woman who has a passion for natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, writing, reading books, running a small business, and raising a daughter. Like everyone else, I have my fair share of challenging days.
My journey began shortly after I completed my university studies at the age of 23. After graduating with a degree in tourism studies from Klaipėda University, I realized that I lacked the passion to work in the tourism industry at that time. So, I decided to explore other fields.
Aromatherapy had always been my hobby since my teenage years. I was fascinated by the captivating scents of natural essences. I first discovered it on a TV show, I believe, and furthered my knowledge through books since the internet wasn’t as accessible back then.
In the fall following my graduation, I came across a job opening for a managerial position at Bioeco and decided to apply. I didn’t get the job on my first attempt. There were some issues with the first candidate, so I ended up being the second choice.
Little did I know, I couldn’t have imagined or dreamt that this would turn into a long-lasting love story. Initially, I thought I would gain some experience and skills and then move on, without any dreams of becoming the owner of this business.
As a dedicated and hardworking employee, when my director, who was also the owner at the time, decided to take a different path in her life, she proposed the idea of me buying Bioeco. I took on this challenge and embarked on a new adventure.
I hope my stories inspire readers to pursue their dreams, even if they seem difficult, requiring hard work and navigating through uncertain paths.
Earlier this year, Bioeco celebrated its 13th birthday. When it was established, there were not many businesses like it in Lithuania. However, people showed a keen interest in aromatherapy, natural cosmetics, and natural perfume. These factors served as great motivation to start this business. The first owners were a couple of medical doctors, and later, two best friends bought Bioeco from them as they moved abroad. And now, I am the third owner of this wonderful venture.
The challenges the business/market is facing
Over the past thirteen years, the world has undergone significant changes, particularly in the realm of e-commerce. Strategies that once proved effective thirteen years ago have become obsolete. Small businesses consistently face formidable competition. We have also been affected by global challenges such as quarantine measures, electricity crisis, price increases, inflation, and other worldwide issues. Our cosmetics, while not essential, are often regarded as luxury goods. Presently, people are inclined to save money and seek out more affordable alternatives, even opting to purchase from foreign online stores.
Additionally, we are currently navigating the arduous process of town repairs, which has persisted for two years. Unfortunately, this has made it inconvenient for customers to access our Bioeco shop, with limited comfortable transportation options and expensive car parking.
As for personal challenges, I must admit, I encountered a significant one when I initially decided to acquire Bioeco alongside my best friend. However, life revealed that our strengths lay more in friendship than in a business partnership. Consequently, we chose to preserve our friendship rather than continue as business partners, leaving me to navigate this journey alone.
Running a business single-handedly is an intricate process that necessitates acquiring a diverse range of skills and knowledge. It requires a constant commitment where the job becomes ingrained in your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, the passing of working hours goes unnoticed due to the sheer dedication and passion involved.
The opportunities the business/market is facing
Despite everything mentioned earlier, small businesses have an incredible opportunity to provide clients with the finest products, foster a sense of community, establish meaningful connections, and embrace their uniqueness. Our goal is to expand through our natural perfume workshops, organize more events, and undertake additional projects.
Within our range, we offer a selection of unique products, including the world’s oldest natural perfume. This oil-based fragrance is meticulously crafted from distillates of flowers, woods, and various plant components. Bioeco proudly pioneered the introduction of such perfumes in Lithuania. It is my earnest desire for people to become more acquainted with and truly appreciate these remarkable fragrances.
When you have your own business, your possibilities are limitless. You have the freedom to pursue your passions and define your path without any superiors to answer to. You can curate a collection of products that truly resonate with you, products that you wholeheartedly believe in. It’s not about following trends; it’s about aligning with your values. However, it’s important to note that the responsibility for every decision rests solely on your shoulders.
Lessons learnt from running this business
Throughout my tenure of ten years at the company (including five years as the owner), I have gained invaluable knowledge and experience. I have developed the ability to effectively communicate with suppliers and clients, navigate through challenging situations, attentively listen to the needs of clients, exercise patience, devise numerous solutions for every problem, seek assistance when needed, cherish my job, prioritize client satisfaction, identify the finest natural cosmetics products and ingredients, negotiate effectively, persevere in the face of adversity, and demonstrate exceptional adaptability.
In all fairness, it is crucial to deeply contemplate before embarking on your own business venture. Reflect upon whether you possess the necessary resources, passion, dedication, and time required. Combining motherhood and self-employment can pose significant challenges. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider and evaluate these factors before making a decision.
Advice to others about business
I encourage every business owner to prioritize kindness and strive for excellence in their work. It is crucial not to deceive customers, but rather to actively listen and respond to their needs with politeness. In Lithuania, there is sometimes a lack of courteous customer experiences, so let’s aim to improve that. Additionally, it is important to be smart and respectful, especially when it comes to intellectual property. Always go the extra mile to provide additional value to your clients.
I also want to emphasize the importance of seeking assistance when faced with unfamiliar tasks or challenging situations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to domain specialists, invest in relevant courses, find a mentor, engage in conversations with fellow entrepreneurs, explore free programs for small business owners, and consult informative literature. Remember, you are not alone in your journey. Many businessmen encounter similar obstacles, so supporting one another can make a significant difference.
Moreover, if you find yourself in a favorable position, make donations to organizations in need. There will always be worthy causes that could benefit from your support. Let’s foster fair competition and view other similar businesses as colleagues rather than solely as competitors. By cultivating a collaborative mindset, we can create a thriving and supportive business community.