#BeautyBoss: Victoria Ziarnik, Founder of Ziavic Beauty
This week’s #BeautyBoss is Victoria Ziarnik, Founder of Ziavic Beauty—a line of skin care products made with natural, botanical ingredients that have been used for generations in the Pacific Islands. Growing up around Polynesian culture and as the daughter of a botanist, Ziarnik learned to use plants for different things, such as monoï as a hair treatment, tamanu oil for sunburns and bug bites, and made her own face masks out of homemade tropical fruit and honey.
Upon realizing the effectiveness of these natural treatments, she set out to learn about the scientific aspects of the native plants and their proven properties, and made it her mission to connect with the beauty of nature and provide advance skin care products featuring ingredients from her native islands. We chatted with Ziarnik, who discussed her Polynesian roots, secrets to success, beauty tips, and more:
When did Ziavic Beauty launch?
Ziavic Beauty officially launched in November 2018! However, it took us about two years to develop and launch the brand. It was quite an experience to build a brand from scratch—we did everything ourselves including funding, ingredient and packaging sourcing, and everything in-between. Traveling through French Polynesia to source ingredients and create products was and still is the best part of the job!
What inspired the creation of Ziavic?
My mother was born and raised in Fiji, so my sisters and I have always been close to our Polynesian roots. We grew up doing Tahitian dance and hula, and playing the ukulele. We grew up in the islands and spent most of our summers in French Polynesia with our local family and friends! Before my father became a physician, he worked as a botanist with some of the pioneers of South Pacific botany, so he’s an expert on the flora of the islands—which really gives us a leg up when creating our botanical formulas. I have always been passionate about beauty and skin care, and I also went to school for marketing. All of these pieces fell into place over the years, so we always say that Ziavic Beauty was meant to be!
We’re really passionate about sharing the authentic culture and beauty of Polynesia with the world, because it’s not talked about a lot; people usually think of overwater bungalows and white sand beaches when they hear “French Polynesia,” but the lifestyle and culture is so much richer than that. We wanted to share the true spirit of Polynesia with the world through Ziavic Beauty. We also wanted to give back to our island home by donating $1 from every sale to local charitable organizations throughout the South Pacific, supporting the environment, community, and more.
What does the brand name mean?
Ziavic is a combination of my first and last name. We wanted to create a unique name with a personal touch. Ziavic Beauty is all about sharing the soul of Polynesia, and Polynesia is well-known for its personable and friendly people, so I wanted the name to reflect that and show that there is a real, friendly person behind the brand!
Tell us more about your line. Do you have a hero product?
All of our products are manufactured on the island of Tahiti. Our ingredients are sourced from islands around the South Pacific; most of the world has probably not heard of many of these places. For example, our vanilla comes from the island of Taha’a, our coconuts are grown in the Tuamotu islands, our Monoï de Tahiti oil is sourced from the Marquesas islands (where it is thought to be a love potion!) Our authentic Monoï de Tahiti is the first cosmetic product to obtain the Appellation d’Origine stamp—a French certification that guarantees the quality and origin of the beauty oil. if you look closely on our jars, you’ll notice the stamp!
All of our products capture the spirit of Polynesia so well; however, I would say that our hero product is our Tahitian Black Pearl Perfecting Masque. This masque contains French Polynesia’s finest and most famous natural ingredients: authentic Tahitian black pearls, Monoï de Tahiti, and volcanic sand from the beautiful black sand beaches of Tahiti. It’s unique, luxurious, and the closest you’ll get to French Polynesia without actually being there!
What’s your favorite product from your line?
It’s too hard to choose! What I love about our products is that they can be used together for optimal results. For example, you can start by exfoliating your body with our polish, then apply our soufflé to seal in the softness and moisture from the scrub. Our masque delivers instant and noticeable brightening effects. I love that each product has immediate, noticeable effects, not to mention the fragrance of the scrub and soufflé are to die for!
Imagine stepping off the plane in French Polynesia and breathing in the warm aromatic air that smells like a bouquet of Tiaré flowers—that’s what we wanted our soufflé to smell like! Our products are more than just beauty products, we really wanted to capture the true essence of Polynesia in every jar.
Where are your products sold?
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by many of the women who started indie beauty brands of their own and grew them into companies that compete with some of the beauty industry giants! To name a few, I’d say I’m quite inspired by Victoria Tsai of Tatcha and Chichi Eburu of Juvia’s Place. They both took inspiration from their cultures and homelands and created unique, groundbreaking beauty brands.
Another founder that has stood out to me over the years is Cashmere Nicole, the founder of Beauty Bakerie. I believe she started off in Section 8 housing, she was a single mom, she battled breast cancer, and she still managed to launch Beauty Bakerie all on her own and grew it into a multi-million dollar brand in a pretty short amount of time! It was tough launching Ziavic Beauty with my resources and connections, so I have a huge amount of respect for what she has done. I hope to follow in their footsteps!
Secrets to success?
For me, it’s being open-minded, adaptable, always learning and being aware of changes in your industry, and never giving up! I can’t tell you how many roadblocks we hit when building and launching Ziavic Beauty—some seemed almost impossible to overcome. But speaking from experience, there is no issue that can’t be overcome if you are persistent and resourceful. As it turns out, many of these roadblocks led us to discover even better solutions and outcomes that we wouldn’t have found otherwise!
Being comfortable in your own skin! For the longest time I wouldn’t leave the house without putting on a full face of makeup. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that accepting and being comfortable with who you are and what you were born with is the greatest feeling! It’s something that you’ll have to learn for yourself—no one can do it for you. Once you’re confident in your own skin, no one can bring you down and you’ll feel beautiful no matter what!
Every time I go home to Tahiti, I’m really inspired by the local lifestyle because it’s so simple and it promotes wellness every day: you see 90-year-old grandmothers living independently and happily! I think some of the best wellness tips from Tahiti include:
Being part of a tight-knit community of people who care for each other. You see people of all ages helping each other and spending time together in the islands.
Living an active, outdoor lifestyle. You see locals going to the beach, playing soccer, paddling, and simply enjoying the fresh air every day after work!
Eating healthy—there is no shortage of fresh fruit and fish in the islands!
Having a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with like-minded people!
Slow down and enjoy life! Don’t let it pass you by while you wait for something to make you happy in the future. I used to feel like I was never doing enough—even though I graduated from college as the valedictorian and built and launched a company by the age of 24, I always felt like I was falling short. Don’t fall into this trap! It sounds cliché, but don’t be too hard on yourself, live in the moment, cherish your friends and family, and say “yes” to doing things outside of your comfort zone!
How do you like to relax?
I like to spend time with friends and family, go to the beach and do outdoor activities, go shopping, go out to eat and try new foods, and travel. I also enjoy brainstorming new products for Ziavic and thinking about all of the future possibilities for my business!
[Images courtesy of Ziavic Beauty]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk