Natura Culina Founder Talks Green Skincare and Entrepreneurship

Attractive woman's body in town dropping Cayenne Aid into bath tub

MP recently met up with Lenka Tinka, founder of Natura Culina (a Latin derivative for nature’s kitchen). After learning how many products produced by commercial beauty brands in the skincare industry contain toxic ingredients, she started creating green, clean, and simple alternatives for herself and to share with friends. This ultimately led to the birth of the Natura Culina skincare system.

Lenka Tinka headshot
Lenka Tinka, founder of Natura Culina (photo courtesy of Lenka Tinka)

MP: When did you first want to follow an entrepreneurial path? 

LT: I have always been guided by the belief that anything you put on your skin will end up in your body, and nature is the best source of clean and simple yet impactful ingredients. There is a significant concern and an increasing number of studies acknowledging that the cumulative exposure of these chemicals can lead to a wide range of health problems, including disrupting hormone function. Natural skincare is part of my heritage. Growing up, I spent summers at my grandma’s ranch house, with many animals and a big garden with many herbs she was growing and using for cooking and various remedies and delicious teas. My passion for the healing power of plants started there. 

What does your typical day look like, and how do you manage your work-life balance? 

My days are always very structured, but at the same time, I always allow for flexibility as I’m usually pulled in many directions and must be able to adjust to things that come up. I’m hands-on with every part of the business operations. Keeping a work-life balance isn’t easy, but the older I get, the more I consciously make time for myself to recharge by getting into nature. I love hiking, biking, motorcycle riding, or walking on the beach. Anything outdoors every week.

Natura Culina product lineup
Photo courtesy of Natura Culina

What is Natura Culina? 

Natura Culina is skincare with intention and extraordinary results with simple, clean, and non-toxic formulations. Santa Barbara is the birthplace of our company and has inspired the green, clean and conscious foundation of Natura Culina. We support sustainably conscious farms and hope to inspire others to embrace the simple and natural ways to heal through plants: our carbon footprint and our impact on the planet matter to us considerably too. 

Why did you start Natura Culina? 

I believe that everyone has a gift and contribution to share with the world. Mine happens to be intentional beauty with the highest integrity formulations. These reflect my heritage and lineage and my calling to share these with the world.

What was the thought process and inspiration that led you to the name Natura Culina? 

Natura Culina is a Latin derivative for nature’s kitchen, and this is precisely where it all started, in my kitchen! I kept thinking I’m going back to my roots and the beginning of time, where the Latin language began. But, then, it just felt like the right name to encapsulate all of my creation.

Botanical Oil texture
Photo courtesy of Natura Culina

What are two obstacles you’ve faced while growing Natura Culina, and how have you overcome them?

Last year has easily been the most significant challenge, not only for me as a business owner but for all of us as living humans! My heart goes out to my fellow small business owners, big business owners, and workers in general, who couldn’t pull through during the challenges they faced due to COVID-19. 

The challenge I face now is finding committed, driven, hardworking employees. Natura Culina is the perfect environment for women who want to work and help make a difference in the green skincare industry. However, to grow my business, I need a team that I can grow within the company. I’m only as strong as my team. I have been blessed with my existing team, and now I am looking for more “hands on deck” to help us grow and become the change and challenge in the industry.  

What are your three greatest fears as an entrepreneur, and how do you manage them?  

I do what I believe in. I don’t allow fear to have space in my mindset as much as I can as I strive to be vital for my team and myself. The only worry I genuinely have is for unknown circumstances out of our control, such as Covid. Although the pandemic affected business with a decrease in sales, I feel blessed that we can stay in full operations mode online. 

Chamomile Matcha Yogurt
Photo courtesy of Natura Culina

What question should would-be entrepreneurs ask themselves before starting a new venture? 

Ask yourself this one important question, would you do this for free? If your answer is yes, then you are good to go. Follow your passion and purpose.

What are three pieces of advice you can share with people looking to become influential leaders in their businesses? 

  1. Lead with your heart while using your mind.
  2. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
  3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you, and who fill your heart, and lift you up.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful leader? 

Cutting out on your personal life can in no way help you be a successful entrepreneur. No matter how hectic your schedule or how busy your day is, spending some quiet moments with yourself is essential, reviewing your day, your decisions and having them sit well with your values, your goals, your purpose 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Life is short, and this isn’t a dress rehearsal, so if you have a burning desire to do something different and create the change you wish to see, do it! It’s never too late.

Cover photo courtesy of Natura Culina.