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Liana Spiegel believes that consumers should not need a science degree to understand what goes into their beauty products.
So when she started Marmalade Hills in 2006, handcrafting cold-process olive-oil soap in her Bloomfield Hills kitchen, she was committed to empowering healthy, natural and green lifestyles and packing all of her artisanal skin-care products with the most decadent ingredients nature has to offer, free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum, silicone and phthalates. And she makes them gorgeous, both to see and smell, to boot.
Spiegel, who earned a law degree in her native Ukraine, came to Michigan with her husband when she was 20. Her father, one of the first post-Soviet era entrepreneurs, inspired her sense of adventure and desire to be her own boss, and when he passed away unexpectedly from skin cancer — four days before the birth of her first child — she began to educate herself about living a healthy lifestyle and the presence of carcinogens and chemicals in our everyday lives.
“My dad is still my biggest role model,” says Spiegel. “When my ‘entrepreneurial going’ gets tough, I always remind myself: ‘If he could do it, there and then, I most definitely can do it here and now.’”
Since its start in her kitchen, Marmalade Hills has expanded to a 1,000-square-foot studio where she carefully hand-blends high-quality, exotic, natural and plant-derived ingredients, a staff of skilled helpers (including her mom who assists with labeling and production) and a collection of luxurious lotions, body scrubs, lip balms, facial masks, makeup removers, baby care, candles and more infused with deliciously power-packed scents like Iced Tea, Strawberry Fig, Goji Berry and Plum and Rose. And last year, the hard work has earned Spiegel’s small business the distinction of being ranked No. 2 out of America’s top-200 Mom-owned businesses by StartupNation.com.
“I’m living the American dream,” says Spiegel — and she’s doing it smelling sweetly of her favorite Marmalade Hills Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash and emulsifying Apple Twist Body Polish.
Find Marmalade Hills products at Mills Pharmacy and Apothecary in Birmingham, Tamara Spa & Wellness in Farmington Hills; online at marmaladehills.com.