Spotlight on Success: Mai-Liis Kivistik’s Journey in Holistic Beauty and Amazon Entrepreneurship

May 29, 2024
We are excited to introduce Mai-Liis Kivistik, our valued Powerful Marketers Hub community member! Mai-Liis is a certified naturopath, founder of MaiWistik Skincare, and an international yoga and face yoga teacher. Her passion for holistic longevity and natural beauty shines through in everything she does.

Passion for Holistic Beauty

Mai-Liis is dedicated to promoting a holistic approach to beauty and wellness. She believes in rediscovering timeless natural beauty through herbal remedies and face yoga, emphasizing long-term care and healthy choices over quick fixes.

Marketing Challenges in the Beauty Industry

In today’s fast-paced world, Mai-Liis highlights the difficulty of value-based branding. Many consumers still gravitate towards low-cost, quick solutions, whether in fashion or cosmetics. Educating customers on the benefits of herbal remedies and the importance of avoiding harmful ingredients like parabens and sulfates is a significant challenge. Value-based branding is about honesty, dedication, and building trust, which requires time and commitment but ultimately fosters long-lasting customer relationships.

Amazon Selling Journey

Mai-Liis’ journey on Amazon has been filled with valuable lessons. Initially, she underestimated the complexities of the platform. Here's a glimpse into her struggles and triumphs:

Trademark Challenges and Rebranding

Mai-Liis initially launched her products under the name "Herbazen." However, she faced opposition from a large German natural cosmetics manufacturer who contested the use of "Herba" in her brand name. Legal advice confirmed that fighting the opposition would be costly, forcing her to rebrand. Thus, MaiWistik was born. This rebranding process cost her around 10,000 euros and delayed her entry into the market.

Lessons Learned:

  • Always ensure your trademark is internationally recognized before investing heavily in branding.

  • Be prepared for unexpected legal challenges and have a contingency plan.

Logistical Hurdles

She discovered that shipping products herself was complicated and expensive. Utilizing Amazon’s warehouse was a better option, but it required registering her trademark in the EU, an additional unforeseen cost.

Lesson Learned:

  • Understand the full logistics and cost implications of shipping and storage before starting.

VAT Complications

When Mai-Liis sent her products to Amazon’s warehouse, she learned that she needed a VAT number for the country where her products were stored. Navigating this process involved dealing with an agency, providing numerous documents, and enduring a long wait. The entire VAT registration process took 12 weeks, much longer than initially anticipated.

Lessons Learned:

  • Research all tax requirements for international sales well in advance.
  • Working with a reliable agency can help, but it’s crucial to manage expectations regarding timelines.

Product Development and Market Research

Mai-Liis emphasized the importance of market research and competitor analysis. Her initial product idea changed completely after realizing it wouldn't succeed in her target market. She focused on a product related to face yoga, specifically one that trains the masseter muscle. This involved meticulous attention to detail, from ensuring correct product dimensions to finding the best transportation methods.

Lesson Learned:

  • Thorough market research is essential to validate your product idea.

Advertising and Launch

After a year of preparation, Mai-Liis finally launched her product on Amazon. Setting up advertising and navigating the platform's intricacies was a new learning curve. Despite the challenges, her persistence paid off, illustrating that Amazon is not a get-rich-quick platform but a place to build a business from scratch.

Lessons Learned:

  • Patience and persistence are key; expect a significant time investment before seeing returns.
  • Go where people already are. It might be very difficult and costly to create and promote your own store in a new market. Platforms like Amazon already have the customer base, making it easier to start.

Benefits of the Powerful Marketers Hub:

"Participating in the Powerful Marketers Community creates a platform where you can share ideas, experiences, and learn from others. A strong network of contacts helps in finding business opportunities, collaboration projects, and recommendations, which are essential for any business growth.

Additionally, I gain valuable information about the latest marketing trends, strategies, and tools. For example, I heard about the Submagic app here before it became popular in Estonia. There are also various marketing material templates available for download from the virtual environment. This is not just a fun place; it is a genuine environment where you can seek advice and build your business.

I also like that I am surrounded by like-minded people who all understand the challenges of business. Regular interaction at virtual and in-person events helps to find quick solutions to any problems, generate new ideas, and have interesting discussions. It’s also important to me that this community was initiated by women. The business world is often dominated by masculine energy, and I feel it’s super good to see feminine energy driving as well."

Mai-Liis Kivistik, 2024

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☑️ Connect with Mai-Liis Kivistik on LinkedIn and check out her website.

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