This year, 26 Projects partnered up with Majda Ficko, Founder and CEO of Olen Cosmetics Corporation, to refresh their logo, website and overall branding, as well as content marketing and strategy on both print and digital platforms. Olen is a Canadian company that manufactures and distributes 100% natural hair and skincare products for babies, children and adults. With her business expanding, it’s now the perfect time to focus on marketing and spreading their amazing story.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Olen Cosmetics Corporation, tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I started working at the age of 18 as a licensed hairstylist, and at the age of 21, I opened my first business, a hairstyling salon. After 10 years in business a lot of my customers were getting married and starting to bring in their kids for haircuts. From there I decided to open a children’s specialty salon called Kids Kuts (later known as Hair Do Zoo – known for the animal shaped chairs for kids). In 1987, it was Canada’s first and only children’s specialty hairstyling salon. Things were good and busy until I got married and became pregnant.
Demitri, my first son, was born with a very rare syndrome called Cornelia de Lange that left him severely mentally and physically disabled. The first three years of his life were spent in and out of the Children’s Hospital. My life was focused on just keeping him alive. My business and franchising plans were put on hold indefinitely.
Along with Demitri’s constant hospital visits, we had experienced many other problems. As a result of needing to be fed overnight through a feeding tube, he would soil his diaper throughout the night. I had to get up every two hours to stay on top of his diaper rashes; with his syndrome he is very susceptible to infections and a severe diaper rash could lead to another hospital run.
Can you tell us bit more about diaper rash?
What I learned about diaper rash is that it’s not really a rash. It resembles a chemical burn. Diaper rash? Sounds cute but it’s not… burns hurt. A lot of the time, it’s not parents’ fault when their baby develops a rash. At night babies are sleeping and soiling their diapers. When their delicate skin comes into contact with chemicals, it breaks down the skin, and the longer the contact the more severe the rash. A severe rash can open up the skin which can lead to secondary infections. That’s where the real problems can start.
I tried everything available on the market that promised it could help my son, but nothing worked and some actually harmed him. Most of the popular, well known diaper rash creams contain chemicals, perfumes and alcohol, ingredients that should NEVER be in baby products.
So what could you do to help your son?
I was desperate. My son was in pain, I was exhausted, and nothing that I bought worked on him. And then one day, my husband said “Why don’t you work with the chemist that helped you make the shampoos and conditioners for Hair Do Zoo to see if you can make something for Demitri.” From there, I went to visit Demitri’s doctors, pharmacists and other chemists and asked them “Tell me what ingredients I need to put into a product to help my son’s rashes”. All the medical professionals advised that the main ingredient should be Zinc and as much of it as possible. One doctor mentioned that the hospital burn unit uses zinc plaster bandages for patients with second and third degree burns.