The Solimara Story

How it all started

Solimara was launched because every body deserves Truly Natural Sun Protection.

We became friends many years ago after losing a dear mutual friend to cancer. Since then we realized we had a common interest in natural and healthy products.

During the summer of 2013 we “discovered” some beautiful and nourishing raw materials and we started experimenting with those natural ingredients. At the time many of our family members and friends were unhappy with the sunscreens they were using, which gave us the incentive to create our own natural sunscreen. A lot of research went into it and the more we read and learned, the more determined we got to bring a really good natural sunscreen on the market. Most sunscreens we looked at were not 100% natural and we really struggled to find one that was clear of any chemical or synthetic ingredients.

Edith trialled our first home made sunscreen on a family friend (a red head who sun-burned with every sunscreen he used). After a sunny day on the beach (wearing our home made sunscreen) he just couldn’t believe that he did not get sun-burned. Our sunscreen became so popular among family and friends that we felt encouraged to take it one step further. We contacted New Zealand’s leading manufacturer of high-quality personal care products to further develop our sunscreen. They understood our values and philosophy.

With their expertise and commitment we were able to create Solimara Truly Natural sun protection products.

rosalind-berben

About Rosalind

Born in Wellington, NZ, to Dutch parents who immigrated to NZ after WW2.

My parents moved back to the Netherlands when I, the youngest, was only 3 years old. I grew up in Holland and had all my education there. I always had a soft spot for NZ. After my oldest brother moved back to NZ in 1984, my husband and I came here for a holiday in 1986. While on holiday in NZ I felt in my heart that this was my home country, and in the same year we permanently moved to NZ.

People have always told me that I’m a nurturer, something I never really understood. That is until I became a massage therapist, I realized I found my passion. I just love helping people through my “healing hands”. In my massage practice I have seen a fair share of sun damaged skin. Always wanting to help other people increased my determination to create a truly natural sunscreen.

I’m also a true believer of “being at the right place at the right time’ and “meeting the right people at the right time”. It’s all part of our path of life. 

Edith-Zeltwanger

About Edith

Born and raised in Switzerland.

My connection with NZ really started when my father visited his best friend who immigrated to Auckland in 1972.

After finishing my apprenticeship at the age of 18, I made my first trip to NZ. Totally taken by the kiwi way of life and the natural beauty, I started to visit NZ every year until I finally became a NZ resident in 1996.

Losing my father was a turning point for me. I started to become very interested in natural and alternative remedies. Completing a cranio-sacral therapist course in Auckland added to my knowledge.

My interest in natural remedies/products and Swiss precision was the drive behind creating a natural sunscreen.

rakel-and-michael

About Michael and Rakel

Hailing from Singapore and passionate to bring the best of New Zealand to Asia.

Michael and Rakel became part of the Solimara family in 2018 to help Rosalind and Edith achieve their vision of growing Solimara into a global brand and bringing their range of natural remedies to Asia.

Their story began with a heart-breaking tragedy. Losing her eldest sister to cancer was a wake-up call for Rakel. It sparked her pursuit of finding natural and healthy food and products to first provide them to her family, and eventually expand her objective to make these products available to more people in Asia.

Rakel approached Michael who has had many years of experience working with young New Zealand brands from concept development to being export-ready. Michael understood how start-ups could view exports as both a dream and a nightmare. Raising capital, scaling up and navigating the complex export environments in Asia could prove to be very daunting on young Kiwi businesses who wish to focus on product development, to do what they do best. Rakel knew Michael could bring these reassurances to the table.

With her insights on Kiwi brands and his distribution network in Asia, Rakel and Michael came together to identify a very small number of unique health and lifestyle brands and focus on bringing them to export and valuation success. Not long after, Rakel bumped into Rosalind and Edith at the Coatesville Farmer’s Market one day, smiled at one another, and the rest is history.