Meet Tarj: She Turned Frustration Into A Business

Tarj Mavi was sick to death of searching for a skin care product that could agree with her sensitive skin, so she took matters into her own hands, literally.

Founder of organic salon skincare and cosmetics brand, La Mav, Tarj Mavi.
Founder of organic salon skincare and cosmetics brand, La Mav, Tarj Mavi.

Ten years ago, if you’d asked Tarj Mavi what she’d be doing right now, she probably would have told you she’d be continuing her career as a successful vet.

Frustration becomes fodder

But the birth of her second child was to change all of that, causing a serious case of frustration, that became the eventual catalyst for her journey from vet to beauty entrepreneur.

“Following the birth of my second child I developed a severe case of postpartum pigmentation. I searched everywhere to find a product that would diminish it. Finding one that was safe and effective turned out to be impossible,” says Mavi.

Standing ground

Having spent more than 25 years working in research and development in a scientific environment, Mavi had seen first-hand the dangerous effects of chemical absorption through the skin and wasn’t willing to settle for anything else than a chemical-free approach.

“The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and many of the products we use on it contain toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the epidermis directly into the bloodstream,” explains Mavi.

A chance discovery

After a chemical peel recommended to remedy her discolouration left her skin aggravated for weeks, Mavi decided to go to a friend who was a chemist, and ask her to put together a specific combination of natural ingredients she’d spent years researching.

The decision turned out to be revelatory. Mavi quickly realised within a few days of using the concoction that her skin not only felt better, but the damage and discolouration was slowly starting to disappear. She’d struck gold.

Setbacks and hurdles

But the journey that would follow wasn’t to be without challenges, especially since Mavi had never launched a product before and had no business knowledge.

“Creating La Mav was tremendous learning experience. We had two major challenges. Incorporation of pure, natural actives into the organic formulations to achieve desired results and be within the certification guidelines was the biggest challenge”

“The second biggest challenge was the cost. It’s very expensive to work with certified organic ingredients. We spent many years locating the purest ingredients from farms across Australia.”

Reaping the rewards

But with the La Mav brand now a highly requested salon product for its exclusively organic formulations and ability to perform on even the most sensitive of skin types, Mavi says despite all the setbacks and challenges, she has no regrets.

“It’s been a lengthy process and a very expensive journey. I’ve had to overcome countless hurdles but my passion for research backed by science, courage, tenacity and belief in my skill has kept me going”

“Eight years since the beginning, and here is a beautiful range which is the most relevant and beneficial in today’s market.”

 Mavi’s tips for launching your own brand

1. You can’t do everything by yourself Accept and don’t be afraid to ask for, help.

2. Hire a great team You’re not an expert in everything, so find people who are.

3. Mistakes are key to success You learn more from your failures than your success

4. Always remember why you started Be grateful that you’re living your passion.

5. Make time out for yourself Get away from the business, even for 15 minutes a day.


Have your say: Can you relate to Tarj Mavi’s story? What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your own career?

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