Family Business: Health Factory
Viktoria Shevchenko believes that naturalness is the main component of beauty and health. Nature is capable of amazing things. The main thing is to learn to accept and use its gifts correctly. Viktoria and her husband Evgeny created a unique company producing natural cosmetics and folk medicine. Today, the Bizoryuk health factory produces about 900 types of goods. The company’s founders plan to expand and scale up their project.
Commercial Director and co-founder of the Bizoryuk natural cosmetics and folk medicine company
Viktoria Shevchenko and her spouse are parents with many children. They have always paid much attention to a healthy lifestyle, natural nutrition, and the state of their bodies. When facing colds and influenza, their family often used folk medicine. It turned out so effective that it subsequently gained great popularity among many of their friends. That is how Viktoria and Evgeny came to the idea to start their own business and share their useful findings with a wide audience.
Today, their factory in Krasnodar unites several workshops and supplies goods throughout Russia. Highly-qualified experts (nutritionists, cosmetologists, and pharmacists) are working on the products.
In an interview with the Global Women Media, Viktoria Shevchenko talked about the history of the project’s development, the main achievements over several years of work, her own values, and the principles that she applies in not only business management but also bringing up four children.
– How is production at your factory organised today?
– Today, the range of our goods includes about 900 products. These are ointments, soap, shampoos, serums, balms, etc. We have five patented trademarks: TumbuSun, Caucasian Healer, NeuroFood, Monastery Pharmacy, and Sea Heals. Each of them has its own features and is aimed at solving specific cosmetic problems.
Our products are made of natural components and most processes of creating them take place manually even after the project has grown into a factory with several production departments.
In addition to standard workshops, we have a snail farm, on which we extract mucin, a component that is used in many cosmetics. Our team also plans to start working with the poison of leeches in the near future.
In general, our team consists of 40 people. Now we are building a new major factory and plan to expand our headquarters to 150 working places and increase our product range.
It is important for me that the business brings maximum benefit to people. That concerns not only the distribution of high-quality and demanded products. I like that we can create jobs and help people sharing our values develop together with us.
– What is the source of such a huge number of recipes for your products?
– Our staff employees include a professional nutritionist who is constantly looking for new effective recipes and ways to improve existing products. Highly-qualified cosmetologists and pharmacists also provide us with their consulting services.
A priest who is our company’s friend has been collaborating with the company for many years and providing us with some of the recipes. Of course, we pay special attention to old recipes. For example, my mother once found a book with yellowed pages with information about various means of folk medicine. Having extensive experience in this field, we chose the best recipes, tested them on ourselves, and then used them to create our products.
When working on our cosmetics, we find it very important to have a deep knowledge of different components and their properties. Otherwise, it would be simply impossible to find really effective recipes from among all other information.
The more we work, the more interesting this field becomes for me. The more we learn, the more we immerse ourselves in the production of natural cosmetics and the more new ideas appear. I can’t help admiring how rich and generous our nature is.
I want as many people as possible to know about the power of natural components. Of course, there are cases when a problem can be solved only by means of medicine with a chemical composition. However, if we talk about not only the treatment but also maintaining health, there is nothing better and more effective than natural remedies. Our task is to show that to people, to give them the opportunity to try to change their lifestyle.
– What is the most inspiring thing for you in your work?
– When my business went through the initial phase, I personally attached each label and packed the goods. That always inspired and motivated me because I received warm words of gratitude in response to every performed order. Customer feedback is still the main source of strength and energy for me. I often hear stories about people trying different expensive means to solve skin or hair problems and finding the way out of the situation thanks to our budget products.
Moreover, sometimes our customers ask us to create some specific products not included in our assortment yet. That is especially pleasant because they trust us like no other manufacturer. We cherish such relationships with customers. In my opinion, that is one of the drivers of our business growth.
When reading and hearing words of gratitude from clients, I want to create even more. If what we do is really valuable and important to people, we must keep moving forward.
The fact that people not only buy our products but also use them actively inspires me as well. I am not fond of collecting a huge number of jars and tubes at home. Therefore I always wanted to produce the products that will be used until the last drop. For me, that is an indicator of the quality and value of the product.
I enjoy my work in all its manifestations from day to day. I enjoy communicating with the team, customers, and partners. I am proud of all our achievements, new products, and the interest of customers in existing goods. Of course, our work is not always easy but one must understand that entrepreneurship is continuous work requiring not only financial investments but also time, effort, and energy.
I do not like talking about difficulties or challenges in a negative context. In my opinion, everything that makes us think and look for solutions inevitably makes us stronger and helps us become better.
– Your answers show that you do not perceive your project only as a business bringing financial profit. What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
– I have four children, and our business is like a fifth one. That demonstrates how much I love what we do. Probably, entrepreneurs who are more pragmatic in dealing with their business will say that I am doing wrong or even unprofessional. However, I can’t do that differently. The fact that our company continues to develop actively proves the effectiveness of my ‘mother-like’ approach once again.
One can say that I am really ‘babysitting’ with production. The moments of launching new products and the transition to new stages of development are always very important for me. I wholeheartedly want to take a full part in these processes. Maybe, that is because our ‘fifth child’ is still small: the company is only 7 years old. Perhaps, when it grows up and we give it everything we can, we will let it develop more independently and will focus our attention on other projects.
I believe that children, business, and favourite activities are what helps us always stay in shape and continue to develop.
My husband and I have a family business. And I really like how we complement each other harmoniously in the management of the company. Evgeny is quite straightforward and strict. He holds a discipline that made it possible for us to arrange an effective working process. I am naturally a very soft person caring about each employee. Such softness is also very important. However, it becomes most effective only in balance with strictness.
For me, one of the important leadership principles lies in maximizing the potential of the employee by creating comfortable conditions for him or her. If I see that it is difficult for a person to communicate with people and he or she gets tired of it quickly, I try to find some other tasks where he or she can be useful, for example, the field of procurement. I believe that balance is also important here. It is necessary to make sure that the chief listens to the employees and the employees really want to work scrupulously. Then the business will grow and give pleasure to not only its owners but also all team members. Everyone will certainly benefit from that.
– As an entrepreneur, do you have life hacks and original tips on how to be effective personally?
– One of the main rules that I can advise everyone to use is to set concrete and very clear goals and tasks.
We live in a world with an infinite and incredibly intensive flow of information. Something is constantly distracting us: we are tempted to look into the phone, visit social media, look out the window, or watch what is happening on the TV screen. We spend a lot of time on something that doesn’t bring us any good. If we have a clearly formulated goal in our mind, our brain automatically tries to focus on it and give up all the distractions.
When we go to the store with a list of products, it is easier for us to buy the necessary goods. If we do not know what we need, shopping can take much time and effort. The same happens with the solution of any task.
The more often we set clear goals, the faster the habit of ‘not being distracted’ is formed. Then start getting more pleasure from everything we do.
– You listed the principles important for communication with employees in your business. What is important for you in the process of child-rearing? Who would you like them to become in the future?
– I want them to become happy people. If I see that they are in a state of peace of mind and know how to enjoy every day, I will accept any their choice. Unfortunately, it often happens that people achieve great success in their careers and earn a lot of money and fame but lose something much more important: interest in the world around them. That is why, when bringing up children, I pay much attention to instilling certain thinking and perception of life in them.
At the same time, as a mother and entrepreneur, I teach children the correct attitude to finance. They should understand that money can be earned only by honest labour. In summer, I invited the children to help us in production. They attached labels to goods and received monetary rewards for that. Sometimes I come up with similar tasks as housework. Thus, my children saved up money for this summer and bought a pool and toys for themselves.
That approach is quite controversial and someone may not like it. However, I believe that explaining to children the difference between the value of work and greed is possible if presenting it correctly. When earning money by performing tasks, the child begins to take a more responsible approach to saving money, planning, and goal setting.
I want my children to not only be clever but also be wise, not complicate their life with barriers in front of themselves, and not be afraid to try something new and develop.
I also try to instil a love of travelling in children. However, I try to present it not as a way to relax but as a way to explore the world, learn other people’s worldviews, and notice the peculiarities of other cultures. I have lived in Uzbekistan with my parents for 18 years. That experience has largely shaped my thinking. I really liked how the inhabitants of the country celebrate their holidays in the atmosphere of friendship and harmony as if each of the events had a truly national significance. It is very useful to notice such things: they help us become multifaceted personalities able to look at things from different perspectives.
– What would you wish women of the world?
– The main woman in the world for me is my mother. That is why I would like to focus on the things that are important to her when formulating my wish. I believe, such an idea will be close to women from different countries.
I would like to wish women an easy attitude to life with its changeability and instability. Sometimes we create obstacles for ourselves by focusing on the fear of doing this or that thing. At such moments, it is very important to stop thinking and to ask yourself: is it really so scary? It is likely that you just need to overcome doubts and take the risk. Take a step towards your dream and you will become a million times happier!
Viktoria Gusakova, Global Women Media news agency
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov