We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Zeig and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, every day, we hear about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
During research on becoming a mother.
I spent my late teens and early twenties with problematic skin. There was a time when I had eczema, psoriasis, and acne concurrently, and my doctor prescribed several topical creams— none of them seemed to be effective. As a real estate agent in New York City, my lifestyle was centered around work, and I didn’t have the time to research what I was putting on my skin—so I bought the most expensive designer products expecting my skin problems to disappear. Yes, I bought into the glamorous marketing campaigns, but, in my defense, time was limited within the daily grind of the city—if I skipped my lunch, I could find time to run into Bloomingdale’s to once again invest in the latest skincare trend. My typical day began with a venti red-eye, six-mile run, showing clients properties, taking clients out for dinner and drinks, and rushing home to quickly go to bed only to wake up and do it all over again. Those who met me for the first time assumed I was in my early forties when in fact, I was in my mid-twenties. When I became pregnant, I discovered that all the designer products I used contained toxins bad for both baby and me. It wasn’t long before every one of my designer skincare products found a home in the trash bin. I tried many organic products, but the constant layering of products became time-consuming and didn’t seem as effective as the designer products I had discarded. I was unable to find a product to meet my expectations. I realized I needed to invent my own.
Growing up in Miskolctapolca, Hungary, I rarely had skin problems, as I spent my weekends bathing in the region’s thermal waters. Hungary’s thermal waters, a national treasure, are visited each year by millions of people who utilize the water’s healing properties. My summers were spent immersed in botanicals, working in the fields for my grandmother nurturing fine Riesling, Othello, Furmint grapes, and various produce used to make Pálinka in the world-renowned ‘wine country’ of Tokaji, another national treasure of Hungary. Based on my upbringing and understanding of botanicals, I was confident I could accomplish my goal to develop a product that could take my skin back to when it was at its healthiest.
Being an independent learner, I spent thousands of hours researching scientific journals, clinical studies, botanicals, physiology, skincare ailments, ingredients & fillers, preservatives, homeopathic medicine, nutrition, and frankly, I was shocked at what I discovered. The implications formed. Name brand companies had access to the same studies I had found, but either due to the bottom line or inability to scale due to the difficulty of sourcing and carefully maintaining select high-grade ingredients— it became clear that production would be daunting as their infrastructure would need to be transformed from the ground up. I realized we could deliver an incredible product made with organic vegan ingredients that designer brands were too afraid to develop and it would be exclusive and rare. After several months I successfully developed my first serum Unum Solum. This serum took the place of all my products, and after a few weeks, all my skin-related issues disappeared. As an added benefit, I noticed my wrinkles were fading. I gave a bottle to my husband, a seasoned entrepreneur, and he fell in love with the product and insisted we make this product available to the public. Thus, during the summer of 2012 in the heart of New York City, ZeigSkin was born.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
ZeigSkin is a technology-focused beauty prestige skincare company that develops healthy products that work. Period. As CEO, I enforce and encourage challenging the norms. We are highly analytical when designing our products as we test and re-test repeatedly for efficacy and challenge traditional thinking. Integrity, consistency, and quality assurance are critical considerations of our development process. Our interests do not lay in how many SKU’s we can create. Instead, we focus on making the absolute best formulations to maximize the benefits of the ingredients and technology we use. One of my pride & joys is the fact that we are open to sharing our journey. Our approach has always been one of transparency, absorbing and learning each and every day and then educating our customers on our findings! As a small private company, we have very few limitations regarding R&D and the quickness to develop a complimentary product. The cost factor is not intimidating—if our research shows it can be a game-changer and is needed in the marketplace, we will invest our time and capital to achieve the desired results. Our primary goal is to develop products with a professional lifestyle in mind. Most people do not have the luxury to spend several hours daily to pamper their skin or even wish to do so as life is too short! So we created products that require minimal effort and provide advanced results. My goal is always to achieve better than spa results in the comfort of one’s own home. After nearly a decade of development, we have created a product offering that exceeded my expectations, and the achievement feels incredible. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it is still not easy yet thoroughly gratifying. Entrepreneurs’ challenges by taking an idea and turning it into a successful business can be intimidating and downright overwhelming. It takes an extraordinary amount of courage and determination to build your own brand, and at least in my case, I was blessed with a stellar support group. It is easy to get discouraged and second guess yourself when the obstacles arise—and they will, on occasion, arrive on relentless waves intending to tear down one’s resolve. And though doubt may invite itself in for a walkabout in my mind, the recollection of why I began this journey quickly restores my confidence in my path— I needed this product that didn’t exist until I made it so, and it is exceptional and now available.
A small percentage of our profits are donated to the PlanetRest Foundation to create awareness of humankind’s carbon footprint. Be mindful of our impact.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA and LV – here we come!!! Monday
7:00am – Date with the Santa Monica Pier to watch the sunrise, coffee in hand from Espresso Cielo, and watch the surfers take advantage of the beach break.
11:30am – Beat the rush at Shutter’s on the Beach by arriving a bit early to get the first bowls of their amazing White Asparagus Soup.
1:00pm – Boardwalk time – absorbing the scent of popcorn and hints of cinnamon churros wafting through the ocean air and head toward Menotti’s for a post-lunch caffeine boost with my favorite oat milk before taking a rest at Muscle Beach. Close by, we can watch the talented skaters perfecting their best aerial tricks, and if we’re lucky, we might just catch the rollerblading guitar player.
6:30pm – Take a garden seat amongst the olive trees at Plant Food & Wine and sample some of Venice Beach’s highest-rated vegan food.
7:00am – Morning dose of California scenery—Hike the Topanga Lookout Trailhead for coastal and valley views.
1:00pm – Traverse the gardens at the Getty Center and absorb the architecture while overlooking Los Angeles.
5:00pm – Venture to Melrose Place for cocktails and innovative vegan cuisine and watch my friend’s amazement as the fork pierces the vegan egg yolk on top of the spaghetti carbonara, a staple at Crossroads Kitchen.
9:00pm – Time to put aside our political bias and catch a one-night stand at the Laugh Factory.
6:30am – Sunrise Yoga to prepare for our road trip.
8:00am – Drive down the coast to Laguna Beach.
11:00am – Peruse Laguna’s Art Galleries and dream of having bare walls in need of covering.
5:00pm – Tantalize the palate with a Loft dinner of seasonal flavors at the Montage.
9:00pm – Reprogram and induce the right side of the brain with the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters.
Las Vegas, Baby!
1:00pm – Check into a corner suite at the Vdara hotel and request the Bellagio fountain views.
2:00pm – Go for a swim, we deserve it!
5:30pm – Enhance our wine pairing knowledge with a suggestion from Robert, the sommelier at Catch in the Aria Hotel, while trying to control our eagerness for the crispy cauliflower. Indulge in Royal Tokaji with a slice of vegan pistachio cheesecake to prepare for the soon-to-be taste of outrageous saltiness thrown around the show at 9.
9:00pm – Time to test our spine and experience the audacity of Las Vegas’s number one show, Absinthe.
9:00am – Head to brunch for the specials, a brunch Bloody Mary at the Terrace Point Café at the Wynn—fried oyster mushrooms, anyone?
12:00pm – Chance on seeing the Red-tailed hawk while hiking at the Red Rock National Park.
7:00pm – Get in touch with the New York vibe—dinner at Barry’s in downtown Las Vegas.
11:30pm – Lady Luck, here we come!!! Test our luck on the tables and slots at the Aria Casino.
Back to LA!
6:00pm Dinner and drinks at the Soho House.
9:00pm Live Music at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill.
Relax with a ZeigSkin facial and reminisce about the old days.
3:00pm Drop my friend off at LAX to return to New York.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I know it may seem a bit cliché, but ZeigSkin would not have been possible without my husband’s assertiveness, guidance, and belief, Woodrow Zeigangel. Every time there was a need, whether strategic, adding innovation, advisory, administrative, production, emotional support, devil’s advocate, guinea pig, encouragement, being a soundboard or a punching bag—he was there. He discovered a white space opportunity in the beauty prestige industry for technology. He focused on positive development by pairing light frequencies with serums that were complementary by adding benefits not typically associated with other light frequencies in the market. He championed ZeigSkin’s LED therapy. He took the initiative and planted the seed, and nurtured the company’s growth along the way.
Instagram: @zeigskin and @zeigskincare