Welcome to "With Love by Dondolo," a blog series that celebrates the inspiring journeys of female entrepreneurs who have not only conquered the business world but have done so with passion and purpose. In our inaugural feature, we sit down with Kim van Haaster, the visionary founder of Bloomeffects, a skincare brand that beautifully combines love, innovation, and the power of nature.
Kim's story is about a beauty industry expert who dared to dream bigger. Kim's desire to create her own skincare range led her to an unexpected source of inspiration—the Netherlands and love. In a serendipitous twist, her husband, Hein, a fourth-generation tulip farmer, introduced her to the star ingredient of her dreams: royal tulips.
What follows is a tale of love at first bloom, as Kim and Hein embarked on a research journey, commissioning studies on the skincare benefits of tulips. The result? Bloomeffects, a brand that harnesses the power of tulips in its formulations, creating products that promote cellular growth, boost collagen, and provide unparalleled hydration.
What does love mean to you?
Love means a lot of things but for me it means home. I’m Asian Australian, with family in Melbourne. I’ve lived in NY for years and now live in the Netherlands. For me love is that feeling you have with those around you that makes you feel at home no matter where you are.
Who / what inspired you to start your own skincare brand?
It was in part out of necessity to be really honest. I had recently relocated to the Netherlands for love, and found myself out of work after walking away from my career in beauty for love. I was of course inspired by the beauty of our tulip fields but it was the discovery that the tulips are one of the only flowers that continue to grow after they are cut that really gave me that “light bulb” or rather “tulip bulb” moment. I also observed the way tulip bulbs are grown and learned quickly that the waste/by-products are not used or upcycled. So we applied for government grants in research to help us discover what was “in” a tulip that could be beneficial to skin which ultimately supports a circular economy for tulip farming.
Bloomeffects is rooted in sustainable farming, have you always had a passion for sustainability?
To be really honest - the short answer is no. I'm an early 80s baby and we hardly learned about recycling correctly let alone sustainability when I was at school. I think you start to really care about your future and the future of others when you become a parent. You naturally want the best environment for your kids to grow up in and to not only preserve what we have, but try to reverse the damage. I think becoming a mom has made me hyper aware of how important micro and macro sustainability efforts are coupled with living in a very sustainability focused city. Amsterdam ranked 2nd most sustainable city worldwide. https://green.org/2023/04/21/the-ten-most-sustainable-cities-in-the-world/
What has been the most surprising thing about your experience with female entrepreneurship?
I became an entrepreneur right at the beginning of covid (as well as becoming a first time mom). What has continued to pleasantly surprise me is the love and support from fellow female founders and entrepreneurs. They get it - especially those in the same category and are mothers! We raise each other up and support each other.
What has been the most rewarding?
Changing people's lives - sounds dramatic since I founded a beauty brand. But honestly, I have read heartfelt reviews and people coming up to me in store telling me how Bloomeffects has really helped their skin and changed how they feel about themselves.
After becoming a mom, did you feel that your passion for clean products strengthened?
For sure! I didn’t really know much about the clean beauty movement before pregnancy. It was getting a list of ingredients I was not allowed to use during pregnancy which made me think - if it’s not good for me now, why should I re-introduce these ingredients back postpartum? I also think clean is evolving (well certainly for us) into conscious beauty - meaning good for you and better for the environment. Which circles back to being more sustainability driven these days.
What advice would you give young women interested in creating their own brand?
Be prepared to work harder and longer than you have ever worked in your life. It is extremely rewarding at times but the day-to-day is grueling and can be isolating. Stay single minded in your success and dig deep, you will need all the grit you have!
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