Hi there! That's me, Mila, with my husband and our kiddos. So how did I get started in skincare (and how did Wild Ice happen). I get asked that all the time. The answer really goes back to my childhood.
I grew up under communism, where everyone had basically all the same things. If you wanted a specialty item, you made it yourself or traded with someone who did.
Skincare was one such luxury. So we made ours out of garden fruits and vegetables, based on generations-old folk recipes.
As a result of these experiences, I grew up with an appreciation for what has since become my three guiding principles:
- Natural ingredients
- Efficacy and
When I immigrated to New York, these parameters were how I searched for skincare products for myself—before I had my own line—but I could never seem to find products that satisfied all three.
Gradually (as I ran out of products to try) I grew more and more determined to do something about that, and began to create and test ingredients and products on myself and willing friends and family.
Over the course of several years that effort has gradually evolved into the line you see today, complete with our own production studio where we craft our products from scratch using only the freshest cold-preserved ingredients.
But we didn't always chill. Back in 2018, when we were still a fledgling business, we started keeping our ingredients in big refrigerators basically on a whim.
We reasoned that if we refrigerate the healthy foods we eat then we should do the same for the healthy ingredients in our skincare, as well as the finished products themselves. And the science we studied on cold preservation backed that up.
It seemed like such an obvious move that we didn’t bother to mention it to our customers even as a selling point - that is until positive reviews began to pour in. It was as if someone had flipped a switch and customers suddenly found our products to be that much more efficacious.
But at first we didn't realize what had happened. Why the change?
After a few weeks of head-scratching we had a bit of a eureka moment at a major skincare retailer as we wondered why even the canned coffee near the checkout was chilled for freshness, while not one skincare product (which cost many times more and take up less space per unit) received similar treatment.
As we pondered (and joked about) this irony, we had our aha moment, and suddenly realized why customers had been responding so well in recent weeks.
In hindsight I felt a bit silly for not putting it together sooner, as I've always kept my own natural beauty products chilled, even before I started my own brand. Needless to say, after that revelation we committed to keeping our ingredients and products chilled forevermore.
Soon, we were invited to sell our skincare to a major retailer, but the retailer wouldn’t agree to keeping our products chilled in their stores (using the displays we now call Icebergs). Bureaucracy can make big chains slow to change and rigid in their ways.
So we made the painful decision to withdraw ourselves from consideration, as we would have been sacrificing a core value (efficacy) just to grow our brand. Instead, we defiantly opted to double down on cold, ultimately rebranding into Wild Ice. Since then we've never looked back.
Today, we take great pride in being something truly unique in an industry of otherwise endless options. Instead of big retailers, we work with smaller boutiques who commit to chilling our products until the moment of sale.
And our custom glass and wood bottles show the same passion for both innovation and the planet as do our cold-preserved organic and wild-crafted ingredients.
In an industry where outsourcing production is the norm, we craft small batches ourselves and securely ship our products without unsustainable bubble wrap, shredded paper, or messy styrofoam peanuts.
You’ll also find us selling our skincare in person at open-air markets along the Emerald Coast, because we’re still that small family business.
In the end it’s all about family. And when you choose to make Wild Ice the heart of your own beauty ritual, then that’s exactly how you deserve to be treated - as family.