LIFESTYLE INSIDER: ABSOLUTELY WUNDERFUL
HER PASSION FOR ARTS AND SCIENCE IS WHAT GOT EVELYN MARIETA, THE FOUNDER OF WUNDERBATH, TO START CREATING HANDMADE BEAUTY PRODUCTS. TAMMY CHAN SPEAKS TO THE NUTRITIONIST-TURNED#GIRLBOSS ON HOW SHE MANAGED TO BRING THIS LOCAL BRAND TO GREAT HEIGHTS.
Evelyn Marieta, the founder of Wunderbath, talks about how her love for arts and science led her on the road to becoming a beauty entrepreneur.
With a vision to make Wunderbath the leading bath and cosmetic company in Asia, it’s obvious Evelyn has her work cut out for her. While many might assume that her journey to start her own business must have been smooth, Evelyn, who was born in Indonesia and is now a Malaysian PR, reveals that she had faced her fair share of challenges. She recalls that back in school, she was an overweight kid who suffered from acne. This led her to research about nutrition and eventually one thing led to another, and she decided to pursue a degree in nutrition.
FEMALE: How did you come up with the name Wunderbath?
Evelyn: “Honestly, it wasn’t my first choice when I started. I wanted to create a superhero-themed brand and the name I proposed at first was Soap Opera. After finding out there were lots of other businesses with the same name, I tried Wunderbar that’s adapted from German, which means wonderful. As we progressed, we tweaked the name to Wunderbath.”
F: What is your favourite creation?
E: “Our Wunderbutter body butter range! It’s my favourite because it’s one of the harder formulations as I had to redo it many times to get it right. It’s now our bestseller, especially among kids suffering from eczema or psoriasis.”
F: What’s the one thing you like most about this job?
E:“The process of creating new products! I love my evenings where I get to play around with ingredients without much of an agenda. The other day I created a rainbow highlighter and I went out all week with shiny, colourful cheekbones!”
F: What do you remember about your first batch of soaps?
E: “My first batch of soaps was just plain rectangular. Then one day I had an idea to prank my boyfriend (now husband) to get him to eat soap that looked like a fried egg. We all had a good laugh! My sister was so intrigued by the design of the soap that she encouraged me to expand my collection to other food-shaped soaps.” EVELYN WEARING THE WUNDERLIPPIE IN MARY JANE
F: What’s the hardest custom-made Wundersoap design request you’ve got?
E: “One of our services includes creating customised soaps. Some can be really hard as it involves several colours and tedious work. We’ve had a customer who requested for the soap to be shaped like his girlfriend’s face and another that wanted the soap to be in the shape of a tutu. We usually turn down non-solid shapes like a tutu as you’d need chiffon to make its shape.”
F: Your Wunderlippie lip balm is considered to be one of your best-selling products to date. What made you decide to make it vegan and lead-free?
E: “That product is actually the reason why I started creating my own cosmetics. I found out that most commercial lipstick brands in the market contain lead. I’d like to think that I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle: I don’t drink soda, I limit eating fast food, etc. But when I read that news, I realised that I had never considered the safety of a product I’m continuously ‘eating’ throughout the day, which is my lipstick. So when I couldn’t find lead-free lip balms in the market, I decided to make my own. It’s lead-free for safety and vegan so it also means that we don’t use carmine, which is red colouring made from the crushed bodies of bugs.”
F: What’s the biggest change you’ve made to the brand so far?
E: “During inception, it was supposed to be a brand filled with minimalistic products – rectangular soaps in black and white designs. Even the duck soap (Wunderduck) was initially in black and white. Then I decided to stay true to my own personality rather than create a brand based on what was trendy at that moment.”
F: How do you like to spend your free time?
E: “I like discovering new creative outlets. I’ve been playing around with acrylic and batik painting recently, and also learning how to play the drums.”
F: Who is your biggest motivator?
E: “My family. My dad started just like how I did; creating handmade greeting cards and drawing comic books when he was young. From there, he went on to build a successful greeting card and printing company.”
THE WUNDERDUCK SOAP, RM12.90, AND YOUTH POTION ANTI-AGING MOISTURIZING BODY SPRAY, RM24.90
EVELYN AT WORK
WUNDERBUTTER BODY BUTTER, RM33.90 WUNDERLIPPIE IN MARY JANE, RM19.90
FRIED EGG SOAP, RM17.90