Her optimism, discipline, creativity, and desire to dream big took her on an entrepreneurial adventure of a lifetime. Refusing to be stuck in a mundane job, founder and cosmetic formulator for Wunderbath, Evelyn Marieta decided 2015 was going to be the year she started her handmade, vegan, and cruelty-free bath and cosmetic line. Wunderbath had an aim – to turn daily tasks, such as bathing and self-care routines, into creative experiences; something it has successfully achieved today.
The world of Wunderbath
With a degree in Nutrition and Food Science/Tech and training as a food scientist, it became second nature for Marieta to want to create products using the best, right, and safest ingredients. Fans of Wunderbath often rave about brand’s quirky and whimsical products. Each item goes through a creative thought process, with Marieta’s inspirations being drawn from simple, daily things. She shares how her personal episodes with itchy, sensitive, and peeling lips led to the creation of natural lip stains in fashionable colours, or how “sipping on a cup of kopi-c at a neighbourhood kopitiam” birthed the adorable Kopi-C candle (complete with a Hainan cup and saucer).
Her first product ever made, the fuchsia pink WunderWoman Lip Stain, packed with nourishing and moisturising ingredients like vitamin E, pure shea butter, jojoba oil, and rosehip seed oil in winter melon flavour, stands as one of the brand’s best-selling products to date. “Our healing ‘Fairy Godmother’ body butter also deserves a special mention,” the proud creator adds. “My friends and family with eczema swear by it, and I managed to remedy my baby’s rashes with it too.”
Marieta recollects how she did not expect the business to flourish as quickly as it did. She believes her youth and innocence contributed to her enthusiasm, and one of her biggest challenges was to scale up to meet demands. “Scaling up continues to be challenging up to this day, especially in the handmade industry. Thankfully, my team and I are now experienced enough to do this quickly, without compromising quality.”
With two new product lines having launched, or launching soon, in the second half of 2022 (including their enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy collection under their new Christmas Wunderland line), the future looks exciting indeed for Wunderbath.
The parenthood journey (so far)
Aside from her work ‘baby’, Marieta and her husband, Jim also welcomed their young daughter, Emma, into the world in 2020. Despite their baby’s early arrival at 35 weeks, the couple eased into parenthood. Marieta finds it easy to love and dote on her daughter, whom she affectionately calls ‘Pea’; no matter how sassy she can be.
Adopting gentle parenting in her home has proven to be rewarding, and the loving mother adores witnessing the world through Emma’s eyes. “As cliché as it sounds, it is the best and most fulfilling experience I have ever had,” she shares. “People say being a mother is stressful, but as far as my experience goes, my baby has been my happy place. I just find so much joy playing, talking, and simply looking at her.”
She credits her spouse for supporting her on her journey as a mother and entrepreneur. “While my husband and I are true opposites, the polarity seems to work in our favour. He is a logical engineer, and I am an emotional creative. He is the do-er and I am the thinker. He is the diaper guy, and I am the one planning our meals. He has also been my logical compass, especially when I get lost in my own thoughts.”
Nevertheless, motherhood can be daunting, and changes one’s life in a blink of an eye. Marieta often puts things into perspective and is aware that regardless of her love for her work, it can never be as important as Emma. “Prior to being a mum, I was extremely protective of the brand and would spend every waking hour working,” she recalls. “When I got pregnant, I knew things had to change so in my second trimester, we doubled our team members and have continued to hire ever since. It is the best way to keep building Wunderbath without missing out on spending time with my favourite person: my daughter!”.
Handling mum-guilt, her way
On managing mum-guilt, the bath queen shares her hard-won lessons with our #makchicmumsquad. “Whenever you start to feel mum-guilt, remember you are in control and have the ability to consciously stop thinking likewise.” Marieta handles difficult situations with self-encouragement and a healthy mindset. “I have started to add, ‘for now’ in my mind when I am facing tough situations. Some examples would be, my child wakes up 5 to 6 times a night (for now), and my work seems like it is never ending (for now).” She believes difficult situations are not necessarily dead-ends, but phases one can get over. “This mindset helped me tremendously, especially in the beginning of my motherhood journey.”
Marieta’s brand and her formulations are the legacies she hopes to leave behind for her daughter, should Emma be keen to have them. She also hopes to instil a good foundation for Emma, teaching her that she can be whatever she wants, as long as she works hard at it.
On beauty and business
Having been a model and emcee in the past, Marieta somehow still manages to look stunning and effortlessly chic, in spite of her modest protestations. “To be honest, I don’t look like how I depict myself on social media! Most days, you get a makeup-free and greasy haired Evelyn Marieta.”
Her secrets for staying fit and looking flawless? “Take a bath and relax. You deserve it. Stress is one of the main causes for ageing. I suppose to omit stress from your life is almost impossible, but it pays to de-stress. And, sleep facing up! It’s the best method to defy gravity naturally,” she chuckles.
For aspiring mumpreneurs, Marieta has these words of advice to share:
“Don’t wait for perfection. It’s more important to start, and do gradual improvements as you go. And don’t spend your capital to make your business look good from the outside. Spend your money to refine your own profit-making business blueprint instead.”
By Amanda Sura
Amanda is a freelance writer, aspiring businesswoman, and mother of two. She’s a proud Sarawakian who hails from Kuching. Apart from writing, she loves mixing natural body scrubs and foot soaks with her business partner for their small business, Suravont.