Love Cosmetics Awards 2022 - Successful Family Business - OCEANIC
Love Cosmetics Awards 2022 - Successful Family Business - OCEANIC

40 years together. In life and in business.

Dorota and Wojciech Soszyński, the owners of OCEANIC, are an example proving that faithfulness to professed values, consistency, ambition and constant work on the development of the company are what builds a strong, domestic company. And it binds the family together, because the company is, after all, a part of the family history.

This history, however, would not exist without Zenon I. Soszynski - a man whose life was extremely colorful, but also marked by the difficult history of our country (occupation, communist nationalization of property). After many years on emigration, the entrepreneur established a Polish company in Poland, beginning to build a private empire in the bleak reality of communist Poland. When Soszynski senior closed the Polish chapter once and for all, Dorota and Wojciech made a life decision to take over the company. They put all their heart, competence and personal commitment into it.

Sensitive to sensitiveness

From the very beginning Dorota and Wojciech Soszyński created a company that was supposed to be innovative and coherent. There was no randomness in what became the specialty of OCEANIC. The creators observed carefully how western cosmetic brands are run. They knew that a good brand must have its own distinctive feature. On top of that the brand should be in line with a larger trend. They were intrigued by how many people have sensitive or allergic skin. They read more and more about it in the professional medical press, talked to dermatologists about it, listened to what people affected by this problem were saying... They knew there was a potential that could be their strength. This became the idea to create the brand AA (from the word anti-allergic). Of course, cosmetics tailored to the needs of sensitive and allergic skin require extraordinary precision in developing formulas and thorough clinical trials. The Soszynskis were unanimous in their desire to create a new quality. Without compromises.

Question of trust

In 1982, the company launched the famous "orange cream", the first AA Cera Wrażliwa (Sensitive Skin) cream for sensitive skin. The product was a stunning success, its sales ran into hundreds of thousands. Thus, the brand became a pioneer in bringing global trends to women in Poland. Today, AA Sensitive Skin hypoallergenic cream is considered a household brand product which has been trusted by millions of women for four decades as a remedy for sensitive skin problems. This precise profiling of the brand proved to be extremely important when the Polish market became significantly more competitive. OCEANIC was competing not only with other Polish companies, but also with western concerns that entered the market en masse after 1989. However, OCEANIC had a brand that was popular and trusted by consumers. This was priceless.

Investment time

However, the business owners realized that times were changing. The free market meant an increasingly wide range of cosmetics for customers. For the Soszynskis this was not a problem - on the contrary, this was how they perceived business normality. Competition increases creativity, raises the bar. Of course, this required a bold entry into this new reality. The creators of the AA brand always had a long-term approach to business. Short-term goals were part of a broader plan. They realized that the development of the company required expenditures. The Soszyńskis invested considerable funds in building a state-of-the-art production plant in the town of Trąbki Małe (Pomorskie voivodship). Today, it is one of the most modern factories producing cosmetics and pharmaceuticals in this part of Europe. The highest quality of cosmetics produced there is confirmed by numerous certificates, among them GMP Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals and production in accordance with ECOCERT Greenlife S.A.S. standards for natural and organic cosmetics. Poland's accession to the European Union also made it easier for Polish producers to boldly enter foreign markets. It was another super important business move, but also - something for something - export activities required commitment, time to build relationships with partners all over the world and capital to be able to scale up the process. Currently, cosmetics from the OCEANIC portfolio are available on 45 markets around the world!

Domestic companies are the strength of the Polish economy

OCEANIC is a large employer. The company employs over 400 people in its factory near Sopot and offices in Sopot and Warsaw. Many of them stay with the company for a longer period of time, gaining their first professional experience and developing their competences in new skills and areas. The company also attracts the best specialists from the market, and many of them emphasize that it is here that they could truly spread their wings.

The owners have always wanted not only their products to be a strong brand, but for Polish cosmetics to become a brand in their own right. In this, they have succeeded, first of all thanks to the entrepreneurs in the cosmetics sector themselves. The industry is strongly consolidated in branch organizations. This made it possible to speak with a common, strong voice in talks with the regulator. The Soszynski couple has always been strongly involved in the activities undertaken by the Polish Association of the Cosmetics Industry, the largest organization in the cosmetics branch. The issues of competition were left on the drugstore shelves, while in matters important to the entire industry, an agreement across divisions was more important.

It is also worth mentioning that the owners of OCEANIC privately are people who, despite their business success, have not lost their empathy. They are sensitive to human misery and misfortune. They support various foundations and grassroots initiatives, assuming that it is simply the right thing to do.

Always ahead

The division of roles between the owners is clear: Wojciech is responsible for the business part of OCEANIC and Dorota for the creative part. They have a great sense for the market, consumer needs, aesthetics and social changes. That is why, despite the extreme competitiveness of the sector, for years the company has been among the leaders of the biggest Polish cosmetics producers.

The Soszynskis know that business always requires looking ahead. What has happened is history, the legacy of the brand. However, you can't stop here. You have to keep your finger on the pulse of trends, social changes, and constantly follow the consumer.

Jury Comment

Dorota and Wojciech Soszynski cultivate family cosmetic traditions. They have a high work ethic instilled. They love what they do. The world of beauty is their world. They enjoy successes, but also accept failures, which sometimes happen in business, without drama. They treat them as valuable lessons which help them not to make the same mistakes twice. They can also take care of work-life balance, which is important to avoid professional burnout. The company's 40th anniversary gave rise to a new campaign under the slogan #jestemwrażliwliwAA, aimed at both refreshing the brand image and expanding the flagship AA Sensitive Skin range. This will be a new definition of sensitivity, befitting modern times. Despite the beautiful history behind OCEANIC, Dorota and Wojciech always look to the future with hope. They know that the future depends on the here and now. Decisions taken, actions and commitments. We wish them many more beautiful anniversaries!