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How to Build an Iconic Brand with Eric Malka, Co-founder, and CEO of Ingredients

Eric Malka

Eric Malka is the Co-founder and CEO of Ingredients, a wellness brand that is revolutionizing the way we think about product purity. With a focus on safety, Ingredients takes a radically transparent approach to listing ingredients, all of which are 100% plant-based. Before starting this venture, Eric was the Co-founder and CEO of The Art of Shaving, which was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2009. He has been a passionate leader in the natural health and wellness space for the past 26 years.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Eric Malka’s experience coming to the US at age 17 with only $100 in his pocket
  • How Eric became obsessed with the natural health and wellness space
  • Eric talks about what it’s like working with his wife, Myriam
  • The innovative philosophy behind Eric’s natural health company, Ingredients
  • How Ingredients is raising the bar in its industry
  • What is the difference between building a company and building a brand?
  • How to develop your company into an iconic brand
  • The challenges Eric has faced while building Ingredients and his advice to other direct-to-consumer brand owners
  • What Eric wishes his younger self knew at the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey
  • Eric’s favorite wellness and business books

In this episode…

Are you building a company, or are you building a brand? If you’re unsure about the difference, then you need to hear what the Co-founder and CEO of Ingredients, Eric Malka, has to say about building iconic brands.

According to Eric, powerful branding not only boosts your success as a business, but it also provides life-changing value for your customers by offering a breakthrough innovation in your industry. When Eric created Ingredients, his company raised the bar on purity and transparency in the natural health and wellness space. By innovating the way products are created and sold in his industry, Eric has transformed Ingredients into a powerful direct-to-consumer brand.

Discover how to build an iconic direct-to-consumer brand in this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast with Eric Malka, the Co-founder and CEO of Ingredients. Tune in as Joshua Chin interviews Eric about what makes a brand valuable, how to build a cult following, and why Ingredients is taking the health and wellness space by storm. Eric also shares his advice to fellow brand owners who are just starting their entrepreneurial journeys. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions

Books Mentioned: 

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts have helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the eCommerce industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing eCommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Josh Chin here, I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top experts in the eCommerce industry. And we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. If you’re a direct consumer eCommerce brand that is ready for next level growth and to unlock the optimal customer lifetime value through email marketing, Chronos is your company and we’ve helped hundreds of brands get over $17 million in return from email alone, and our clients get an average of 3500% ROI from efforts. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, Ally Skin, the UDI and many more. Now the next step is email us at Sales@Chronos.Agency. You can go to Chronos.Agency to learn more. Now today’s guests that I have with me today is someone really amazing. I look up to him for all things branding, he has an amazing story that I personally can relate to very, very much. Now Eric, Eric Malka arrived in New York’s New York City at the age of 17. With $100 in his pocket on a Greyhound bus. When he was 28, he co-founded The Art of Shaving in 1996, which he sold to P&G in 2009. He has been a passionate learner in the natural health and wellness space for the past 26 years. And today, he’s back in the brand business with a brand new venture called Ingredients. Ingredients is a wellness brand that is set to revolutionize the way we think about product purity. Now this new brand would redefine what safe products should be. It is 100% plant based and takes a radically transparent approach to ingredients listening. Eric, welcome to the show.

Eric Malka 2:12

Thank you. Nice to be here.

Joshua Chin 2:15

And I can’t wait to dive in. Tell me your background. Now. That’s a That’s an incredible, incredible introduction coming into a new country at the age of 17. With just 100 bucks in your pocket. And the United States isn’t a bit isn’t a isn’t a small country isn’t the small place to be in for someone who, you know, has? You mentioned no background in at No, no education? What was that, like? Tell me your story?

Eric Malka 2:52

Well, if you’re ever going to experience something like that, it has to be forced on to you and it should be at a very young age where where it’s less painful, right? You know, having having 100 bucks in your pocket at 17 is not the same as at 70. Right? So, um, you know, I think it was a blessing for me. For many people, it could be a major, major hurdle, but for me, it was the motivator. And what I what I like to tell people about why it was a motivator is because sometimes your best asset in life is not having a safety net, not having a plan B, you just have to make that happen. You know, if you fall there is no, you’re no no more than no choice. There’s no harness you die. So that’s a very strong motivator in life. Right? It? I think the the enemy of entrepreneur is comfort. So it was a very uncomfortable situation.

Joshua Chin 4:02

Yeah, I’m gonna I’m gonna take a segue here. But I think it’s really interesting to, to speak to entrepreneurs, who are all first generation entrepreneurs and the first generation immigrant and then building their family and their livelihoods in the new country. What what are your worries in raising your own kids? Cuz I know you have two sons. Yeah. How do you What’s your approach to to bring them up and bring up that, that that spirit of resiliency that you had growing up?

Eric Malka 4:40

It’s tough. It’s tough to do. They lived a life of privilege. But I think that my fire from adversity can be potentially substituted for passion right. My kids need To have passion about what they do, because they don’t have the struggle. So it’s always challenging to raise children in any environment. And, you know, I, I take comfort in knowing that, against all odds, I turned out to be a pretty good member of society. So I’m hoping, you know, I put less stock into things that people believe are necessary to be successful in life, you know, I want my kids to be happy, and healthy and safe. So for me, teaching them how to nourish their body is as important as you know, mathematics and science. It’s a life skill they need to learn. So, you know, I’m fortunate that my wife is also has a similar story to mine, having my immigrated to America at the age of 19, and being in and being an illegal alien for almost eight years. And we come from the same back background culturally. So sometimes they don’t recognize my own children, because they are so American in their culture. But because we are, both from both parents are from the same place in the world, we’re able to infuse them with both cultures. And some people even told me that the luckiest kids are first generation born of, you know, of immigrant parents, right? They get to cultures, their children might just have more of the American culture if you’re still in this country, right? But they are. They’re being fed to different cultures, which creates a little bit of richness and,

Joshua Chin 6:58

and people and and that comparison, I think, in their experience really allows them to appreciate what’s important in life. And that’s, that’s really amazing. How did you end up being so obsessed with the natural health and wellness space? And I say, obsessed with nothing but good, because I think that obsession is a key traits of success for a lot of high performance. As I’ve observed, you know,

Eric Malka 7:30

obsession is definitely I like to, I like this, you know, healthy obsessions are good, right? being obsessed with your health is, is good, unless you go way, way off the rails, but we should be more obsessed with good things, you know, be obsessed with kindness, be obsessed with empathy, be obsessed with help. I came to I wasn’t I didn’t grow up in a healthy culture by any means. And I personally suffer from digestive disorders, my whole teenage years, which could not be remedied by traditional doctors. And I just lived with it. It was just the way it was. And it didn’t have it didn’t. It didn’t change my ability to have a normal life. I just, you know, headaches, and digestions and migraines were just normal. At the age of 23, I was living in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean at the time. And I hired a lady that suffered from chronic arthritis was condemned to a wheelchair by doctors for the rest of her life. And she didn’t accept that and became her biologist. And through natural means, she healed herself to walk perfectly again. And I hired her to be one of my employees there. And she was also an iridologist. She could diagnose a person from reading their eyes. And she volunteered to do that for me. And I was intrigued. So I did it. At the time I was overweight, I was not healthy by any means. And she challenged me to a 21 day diet to detoxify. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a vegan strict vegan diet for 21 days. Well, I took the challenge and for 21 days I became I felt really, really better than I had for most of my adult life. And after those 21 days, I decided I didn’t even decide it was like Okay, I’m done. With that. I’m going back to my regular diet. And that just couldn’t work anymore. So my body completely rejected, you know, the McDonald’s, french fries. And slowly but surely, I dived into the natural world and changing my diet first eliminating certain elements and starting to study. until a year or two years later, I became vegan completely and started to really look into treating myself with herbs, which at the time was hard you had to be It was almost like contraband, right, you had to find great health health food store in a dark alley. There was no Whole Foods and things like that. So that was the beginning of my journey. Then I moved to Miami and I met my wife, Myriam. And she was young too, and had similar issues growing up with digestions. And she was vegetarian. And I think that was one of you know, we had similar cultural background, but one of the things that brought us together is, you know, back in the mid 90s, being vegetarian, vegan and focused on natural health was not common, especially for people in my culture. So that became the driving force of our family and our union, both in business, she brings that to all our formulation, that she creates herself. And I bring, and we bring that also to our family and to our personal health as well.

Joshua Chin 11:02

One, can one follow up question, follow up question that I have. I guess one question that stems from that is, you have been working with your wife, since since the early days, since pretty much day one, isn’t it? Most, that most people would say that that’s incredible. That’s amazing. And I know of many entrepreneurs who tried working with not even just family members, and it just doesn’t work out. Well. What do you think, is the difference in your relationship with Myriam that created such harmony and such such a productive, amazing relationship? That?

Eric Malka 12:19

Yeah, we’re, we’re like a rock band. I mean, you know, we have huge conflicts, but we create magic, you know, together, right? She’s also the best in the industry at what she does, I can never find, I can never hire better than, than her talent. She is. She’s the, um, she’s the LeBron James, you know, I have LeBron James on my team, I win championships, you put me on, you know, he put me in Cleveland, Miami, la win championships. Because LeBron James, on my team, you know, unless you’re, your spouse is extremely valuable to the business, it’s not something I would recommend for any relationships. You know, having partners that you’re not married to, it’s hard enough, but having a partner that you’re married to can create all sorts of conflict. I mean, we’ve done it long enough. And we have very differentiated responsibilities that we now know how to work together well. And it’s been a blessing to experience that journey together, right? Because one, without the other would not have generate this kind of success. She needed my skill sets as much as I’ve needed her skills to create that magic. But it’s not easy. It’s not easy at all to work with your spouse

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