Some ten years ago, among the endless streams of adorable cat videos and movie trailers that were proliferating on YouTube, Heather Marianna started her own channel. Little did she know then where this would take her. In the years that followed, she would regularly post on the channel sage beauty tips and teach her subscribers skincare solutions using the everyday ingredients that can be found in anyone’s kitchen or pantry. 

The tips were easy to follow, convenient, effective, and perhaps most importantly – all natural. It also helped that Heather has a charming on-camera personality, doling out no nonsense advice as if one were listening to a sister, a friend, a confidante. Not long after, Heather’s profile would get even bigger when she appeared on the Bravo luxury travel reality series “Tour Group” where she set off with strangers on a televised adventure through Morocco, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. This led to more television gigs on other cable channels like MTV and Oxygen. 

By this time, Heather’s popularity was soaring and her YouTube channel was garnering millions of views. She had become the go-to expert when it came to providing practical solutions to common skincare concerns that soon television stations regularly invited her to host on-air segments doing what she did best. In just a few years, she had appeared in no less than a hundred segments in which she would tackle specific ailments such as dry skin or blemishes and come up with just the right concoction of fruits, vegetables or other natural ingredients to correct them. Her friends then began hounding her for similar such remedies and eventually all began urging her to just start her own line of beauty products. 

At first, she was hesitant. But why not? Still, she wondered how to even begin. And was it what she really wanted? Just before all this began to escalate, she had already been an entrepreneur of sorts, building several promotions, marketing, and sales consultancies and agencies along the way. In fact she was already an established consultant when she decided to step away from the nine-to-five grind. So she already had a knack for business. But her main reason for abandoning the corporate world was because it didn’t quite provide her with the creative challenge she needed to carry on. Closer to the truth, however, was that everything that came before was merely preparing her, and in fact leading her toward her most personal passion project. 

“I’ve always had bad skin that in turn started my fascination for the beauty world,” Heather confesses. Born and raised in California, the notion of a healthy lifestyle was always there. So even as a child, she was already mixing up avocados and bananas and making her own face masks. Her grandmother was an early inspiration who prompted her to be creative and discover things for herself and basically tolerated her nonstop experimentations. “I researched all the properties of fruits and vegetables and spent endless hours in the kitchen trying this or that and seeing what worked and what didn’t.” 

In the course of her learning about beauty, she also discovered an eye-opening truth: “I realized that the majority of ingredients on most of the popular products at the drugstore or the beauty counter contain a bevy of chemicals that would be unknown to the average person. It really was a revelation” she recalls. And that, she says, led to her frustration over why people would willingly put something on their skin without understanding the consequences they might bring. 

So when Heather was ready to embark on the journey of starting a beauty brand – it was a no-brainer. “I wanted to create all-natural alternatives to all these pricey products that are all composed of synthetics. I wanted people to stop paying these enormous amounts of money for products when I can create healthier, more affordable choices.” Her quest took her to many different sources for the purest of ingredients before she began narrowing down her options. It was important to find just the right ones that would live up to her expectations. 

She also eventually decided that instead of outsourcing to three or four different entities, she would be best served by consolidating everything she needed and run her own operations. Without middlemen, she could then effectively maintain high quality standards while keeping costs accessible to average consumers. After meticulous research and development, Heather launched “Beauty Kitchen”. 

Today, Beauty Kitchen is among the most sought-after, one-stop beauty solutions for all-natural skincare as well as a favorite brand for bath and body products that deliver on healthy ways to rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. The collection includes a wide range of daily maintenance regimens or treatments for addressing skincare concerns such as dry, oily, dull or rough textured skin, dark spots, redness, or signs of aging. Each product contains innovative blends of plant and fruit extracts with potent soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties. 

The brand showcases varieties of face masks, sugar scrubs, toners, body mists, moisturizers, collagen eye gels, and more. Free of glutens, parabens, sulfates, and chemical preservatives, the collection is cruelty-free tested by dermatologists, and handcrafted in Heather’s US facilities. 

The popularity of “Beauty Kitchen” would prompt Heather to introduce a sister brand in Canada she calls “Marianna Naturals”.  In 2018, she even opened a Beauty Kitchen boutique in Boulder City, Nevada, which she hopes to be a prototype of more stores nationwide. But like everyone else, the recent pandemic paused some of her plans and created new challenges for Heather. 

Although, it became apparent that they were nothing she couldn’t handle. In 2020, suddenly her employees couldn’t just work on site. Then, the bulk or her orders shifted dramatically to an almost overwhelming demand for her hand sanitizers. In compliance with all State and Federal regulations, Heather made do and rolled up her own sleeves to fulfill orders herself while everyone was in lockdown. 

As the world slowly emerges from the pandemic, business has also started to normalize. If anything, the recent crisis only brought attention to how important it is for people to be more mindful about their health and wellbeing – and that vegan choices provide a wealth of benefits. Heather says, “More than ever, self-care and wellbeing matter. We’ve all been through a lot this past year, many are still going through it. 

The invisible stress, anxiety, and trauma of the pandemic and even the cultural turmoil that began before that take a toll on our mental health and by extension that shows up on your skin and body. Nourishing yourself through a healthy beauty regimen and lifestyle is always the best way to unveil your natural beauty and that’s what I want everyone to discover in Beauty Kitchen.” Both Beauty Kitchen and Marianna Naturals are gaining a following not just among the public but with beauty industry insiders and media as well as celebrities including Vanessa Simmons, Christina Milian, Dascha Polanco, Lisa Vanderpump, Viola Davis, Victoria Konefal, and more. 

Along the way, Heather has also met many individuals (and even well-known personalities) who want to create their own beauty brand. And having been in that position of not really knowing how to start, Heather then decided she could help. 

Taking her company to the next level, Heather has begun offering white label services that utilize her already dependable infrastructure and she has also launched a Brand Incubator and Accelerator program. She then guides everyone who enters the program on the step-by-step process of starting a beauty brand. Her services also include full turn key coaching, the retail ready manufacturing, and practical consultancy on making the entire process affordable for people who really want to launch a brand. 

She admits, “It’s a huge step and commitment to make. But it all begins with your own vision. If you have one that you are passionate about, why not turn it into a business, a livelihood that really engages you? I’ve been there and I know it’s worth whatever growing pains are ahead. And I have nearly ten years of experience so I can help anyone in the program get onto wholesale sites, in retailers, and so much more.” 

Her expertise in beauty and business keeps Heather in constant demand. She has recently participated in several beauty industry conventions where she was invited as a speaker on starting a beauty business. Simultaneously she is still overseeing Beauty Kitchen and Marianna Naturals, crafting new products to launch, scheduling appearances, and exploring new collaborations. 

It also helps that she is – along with her circle of friends – her own best customer. She draws on her own skin issues along with those of her friends. She also happens to enjoy hearing stories from her customers who openly confide in her what they need from a beauty product. This inevitably inspires her to come up with her next wonder product. And whatever that may be you can rely on the fact that Heather will make sure it is effective, healthy and all-natural. 

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Ksenia Sobchak, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication: Fashion Journalism, Central Saint Martins

Ksenia Sobchak enjoys blogging on fashion, style, lifestyle, love and CBD areas. Prior to becoming a blogger, Ksenia worked for a renowned fashion brand. Ksenia is a contributing author to leading fashion, lifestyle and CBD magazines and blogs. You can bump into Ksenia at her favourite cafe in South Kensington where she has written most blogs. Ksenia is a staunch advocate of CBD and its benefits to people. Ksenia is also on the panel of CBD reviewers at CBD Life Mag and Chill Hempire. Her favourite form of CBD are CBD gummies and CBD tinctures. Ksenia is a regular contributor at leading fashion, lifestyle as well as CBD magazines and blogs.

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