Andrea Taimana: A New Face of Organic Innovation

Andrea Taimana | Founder & Global R&D Director | Organic Bioactives


About the leader

Andrea Taimana is a founder & Global R&D Director at Organic Bioactives, New Zealand (an innovative natural skincare ingredient maker) An idea of Organic Bioactives came into the existence with 12 years of research and development, an in-depth understanding of New Zealand’s native flora combined with scientific cosmetic research.

“I suffered severe melasma all over my face for more than 22 years.  I got sick of the false promises and poor performance of skin-brightening cosmetic products on the global market. So, I started to research, innovate, and create firstly for myself and noticed an incredible improvement in my long-lasting and embarrassing skin condition. Then, I decided to share my knowledge and experience. During this time, I also studied both Te Reo Māori and Rongoa Māori (Māori language and traditional medicine) and today apply this knowledge to all business practices, providing the perfect mix of cultural tradition and advanced cosmeceutical innovation.”

Andrea Taimana

Apart from her work, she’s a multilingual person with a certain level of proficiency in- French, Italian, German, Te Reo Māori and absolute proficiency in Slovenian and Croatian language.

Organic Bioactives – Paving an Organic Way

Organic Bioactives was established in 2019 after 12 years of comprehensive research and development in Auckland, New Zealand. They specialise in the production and manufacturing of bioactive ingredients for the cosmetic and personal care industry. With a well-established global distribution network, their products are currently supplied to cosmetic manufacturers and brands in more than 24 countries. The tagline Innovation from Tradition™ truly depicts both the motto and mission of the company. Organic Bioactives is a leading innovator of New Zealand marine and land bioactive ingredients for the global cosmetics industry. Their goal is to develop sustainable cosmetic bio-actives that are 100% natural but parallel in efficacy to synthetic alternatives. All ingredients of the company are backed by the highest calibre of green science and are clinically proven to make positive changes to the skin. They’ve recently won the top Prize in the L’Oréal Innovation Runway 2020 competition, chosen by a jury of world leaders in the cosmetic R&D community. Aiming to improve skin health and appearance by identifying and harnessing natural biodiverse and bioactive constituents found within New Zealand’s flora and fauna, Organic Bioactive is indeed contributing sustainably.

Overcoming Bumps in the Road

Despite experiencing failure on multiple occasions, Andrea always managed to bounce back stronger. Initially, she lacked faith and trust in herself, which made decision-making more challenging. She often relied on others assuming they had more business acumen than her. Delegating tasks was also difficult for her which led to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and fatigued. She rarely took the time to unwind and reflect on her actions, which had negative consequences. However, despite these setbacks, her spirit remained unbroken. Her unwavering vision, integrity, and persistence, coupled with courage during tough times, have shaped her in countless ways. She learned valuable lessons from these experiences and has grown into the person she is today.

Work-Life Harmony

Finding the right balance between personal and professional life can be challenging. So to keep up with it, Andrea Taimana tries to establish boundaries between personal and work time by defining work hours, prioritising her workload, and delegating tasks that can be handled by others. She makes sure to be there for her family and friends.

Momentous Moment

Getting Organic Bioactives off the ground and securing capital to bring together a world-class team of directors, industry advisors and R&D scientist’s is one of the significant achievements for Andrea and the company. The biggest accomplishment was setting up in vivo and in vitro testing laboratories for further in-depth research on the science behind New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and to incorporate that knowledge into modern cosmetic science. On a personal level, she also won the L’Oréal Innovation Runaway award for company’s proprietary extraction technology in 2020. This endorsement provided her with a significant confidence boost and a sense of fulfilment and pride. Seeing the company’s ingredients in cosmetic brands fulfils her with joy.

A Word for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs

Financial gain should not be the key motivation.  Most importantly, you do what brings you joy. You must believe in yourself and back yourself 100%.  There will be times when you do not feel supported. Surround yourself with like-minded women that are supportive, encouraging, willing to help and happy to share their wisdom and knowledge. Don’t take rejections personally.  They are most of the time a blessing. I believe that entrepreneurship is a journey and with the right mindset, you can navigate through any storm and come out even stronger on the other side. Keep persevering, stay positive, and never lose sight of your goals.

– Andrea Taimana

Staying ahead in the Game of Life

Over the years, Andrea Taimana has learnt how to stay on track with specific goals, maintain a positive mindset, and take good care of herself – both physically and mentally. She makes sure to get enough rest, eat well, exercise and do activities outside of work that she enjoys. Prioritizing goals and objectives is often challenging yet important step for staying ahead in the game of life.  

Talking about the challenges she says, “For me it is about prioritizing, reviewing our strategic roadmap regularly and making sure we stay aligned with the values and long-term vision. This helps to ensure efforts are focused on what truly matters.”

– Andrea Taimana

Networking and building relationships play a crucial role in the success of any business. These two factors have played a crucial role in the success of Organic Bioactives. Regular and out-of-industry networking has enabled her to foster many beautiful relationships with a variety of leading women in business and that’s how she built her network over the period. Establishing these valuable connections has led to growth and success and has opened doors to new fruitful partnerships. She believes that women need networking for their personal growth and development.

A Social Impact

As a woman in business, Andrea Taimana believes in meaningfully supporting other women through personal and professional mentorship. She’s passionate about empowering other women, especially those from remote local indigenous communities. Her company has created its unique collaborative agreements with local indigenous Māori women that supply New Zealand native botanicals to their business. This business model is designed to empower female Māori entrepreneurship, providing pastoral support as well as economic and educational opportunities. These relationships make it possible for us to rise together because only empowered women can share love, nourish traditional knowledge and further educate younger generations. Together, Organic Bioactives is creating a new generation of ethically sourced, conscious beauty. They are going ahead and growing, by empowering local indigenous communities and that’s applaudable.   



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