Andrea Taimana, Founder & Chief Science Officer, Organic Bioactives
Start-ups are often hard ups. Entrepreneurs are often met with challenges and obstacles on the road to success. They invest money, time, and their life into an idea and watch it almost powerlessly whether it sinks or swims. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. It is very easy to cower, retreat to comfort zones and stick with security. Entrepreneurship is all about having a consistently positive attitude, displaying constant determination, and maintaining a laser focus, especially during tough times. Akin to such zeal and vision, Andrea Taimana is one such inspiring beauty industry leader and proud Founder & Chief Science Officer of Organic Bioactives.
Andrea is highly passionate about entrepreneurship and aims to improve skin health and appearance further by identifying and harnessing natural biodiverse and bioactive constituents found within New Zealand’s flora and fauna. With her remarkable efforts, Organic Bioactives has won the top Prize in the L’Oreal Innovation Runway 2020 competition, chosen by a jury of world leaders in the cosmetic R&D community, and Beauty Matter Next Award in 2022.
Andrea’s entrepreneurial drive began when she was 21 years old and started her professional career as a clinic manager with no business management skills. As a manager, Andrea had to handle all aspects of the business from admin and operations through to planning and management; she learned some of the most valuable business lessons.
She says, “After 18 years I decided to go on my own and opened my own clinic business which brought a whole new perspective to my professional and personal life but also a lot of challenges, sleepless nights, and unknowns which I had not expected.” At the beginning Andrea struggled with trusting her own intuition and even though she failed badly a couple of times, she always rose back stronger. As a result, Andrea tended to listen to those she perceived as having greater business acumen when it came to serious decision-making. “I also had a hard time delegating and very often ended up overwhelmed, stressed, and tired. I had no time to unwind and reflect on what and how I was doing. That never ends well,” adds Andrea.
Andrea’s great vision, integrity, persistence, and courage pushed her forward and helped to mold her into the person she is today.
Organic Bioactives: Innovating from Tradition
Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, Organic Bioactives is the result of 12 years of research and experimentation to develop an in-depth understanding of New Zealand’s native flora combined with scientific cosmetic research. Andrea shares, “I suffered severe melasma all over my face for more than 22 years. I got sick of the false promises and poor performance of skin-brightening cosmetic products on the global market. I started to research, innovate, and create firstly for myself. When I noticed an incredible improvement in my long-lasting and embarrassing skin condition, I decided to share my knowledge and experience.” Andrea also studied Te Reo Māori and Rongoa Māori (Māori language and traditional medicine) during that time. She now applies this expertise to all business practices, providing the perfect mix of cultural tradition and advanced cosmeceutical innovation.
Incepted in 2019, Organic Bioactives was able to secure capital the following year enabling the company to establish a team of R&D scientists and set up comprehensive testing laboratories to further understand the science behind New Zealand’s unique botanical biodiversity and natural extracts. Currently, the company is broadening awareness of New Zealand’s untapped biodiversity together with modern skincare science– starting with hand-picked, wild-grown botanicals – following traditional harvesting practice of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand through to chemical-free green biotechnologies to create innovative bioactive ingredients for the cosmetic industry.
“We have collaborative agreements in place with local iwi (Māori communities) to supply botanicals. These communities carry the traditional knowledge of how to approach our native habitat in a respectful and regenerative way. This business model is designed to empower female Māori entrepreneurship, providing economic and educational opportunities for these communities,” shares, Andrea.
Andera and team are constantly innovating cosmetic ingredient solutions with comprehensive and multitasking modes of action which are unique in a cosmetic raw material market. By providing one product that delivers several multitasking results, the company develops premium quality cosmetic ingredients at affordable prices.
The vision of Organic Bioactives is to develop sustainable cosmetic bioactives that are 100% natural but parallel in efficacy to synthetic alternatives. Andrea states, “All of our ingredients are backed by the highest calibre of green science and are clinically proven to make positive changes to the skin. And are good for the environment.”
Andrea’s current and future goals are to introduce Organic Bioactives to the cosmetic world globally and to rank among New Zealand’s top exporters of cutting-edge, all-natural cosmetic bioactives.
“As a woman in business, I believe in meaningfully supporting other women through personal and professional mentorship. I am passionate about empowering women in my team and, especially those from disadvantaged local indigenous communities. And I love that those fair-trade relationships make it possible for us to rise together because only empowered women can share love, nourish traditional knowledge and further educate one another and younger generations. Together, we are creating a new generation of ethically sourced, conscious beauty without compromise,” she concludes.