Dr. Liia Ramachandra said her company, EpiLynx, represents a dream started several generations ago.
EpiLynx is a Gluten-Free, Lectin-Minimized, Casein-Free, Nut-Oil Free, Paraben-Free, Phtalates-Free, Cruelty-Free Skincare and Cosmetics Brand.
Ramachandra created the products herself with her pharmaceutical and medical background in her Lincolnshire lab for EpiLynx, which is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
She debuted the company, which has seven employees, in August 2018 and said it’s been an immediate success.
The products, which include numerous face creams and face serums, eye creams, lipsticks, highlighters, lip gloss and eyeshadow, are available online and available in her Northbrook Court Mall in Northbrook, Illinois-based store – Everything Every Girl Needs – which opened in June.
Party dresses, jewelry and EpiLynx products from her store will be featured at Oct. 10’s “Trans, Media and Fashion” show at Chicago’s Water Tower Place, while EpiLynx products also will be highlighted at shows in New York City’s Times Square on Dec. 5, and at Princeton University in New Jersey on Dec. 6, 2019.
She was nominated for the ‘Women in Business Awards’ in the category “Healthcare” on September 12th, 2019.
“It’s wonderful to make people happy with skincare,” Ramachandra said. “And owning a company, I get to be so free and creative.”
Ramachandra, 41, comes from a family of physicists, chemists and pharmacists. As a child growing up near Moscow, Ramachandra would make her own perfumes and creams and always had a vision of opening her own company. She originally followed in her family’s footsteps of earning multiple degrees – Ramachandra has a master’s in pharmacy and separate doctorates in pharmacy and analytical chemistry – and she worked as a corporate executive for companies in Netherlands and United Kingdom and most recently at Deerfield-based Takeda as Vice President.
Three years ago, after delivering her third child, Ramachandra experienced post-partum depression and anxiety, and determined to change her diet. Part of that included going gluten-free, but during that process she realized that very few makeup lines were actually gluten-free. She decided to take her passion for healthcare and create EpiLynx to help improve skin health and complexion.
“I can experiment and invest in my passion,” Ramachandra said. “I get to live my dream.”
Ramachandra has been inspired to succeed by the story of her grandmother and great-grandmother, Gita and Faina, Jews who were forced to flee Ukraine during the Nazi takeover. Faina, a head pharmacist at a Ukrainian hospital, first sent her children, including Gita, almost 1,000 miles away to Russia via train before herself leaving Ukraine three months later.
“Their stories influenced me in two major ways,” Ramachandra said. “First, I was determined to succeed no matter what. I wanted to make them proud that their struggles had given me the courage to seek success whatever the circumstances. Second, I wanted to dedicate myself to helping others, whether they be patients or people who needed the strength to find the path to success.”
Ramachandra herself has faced adversity. Just after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992, Ramachandra, then 14 years old, immigrated with her family to Netherlands. Ramachandra, who only spoke Russian, learned fluent Dutch within a few months and studied pharmacy like her great-grandmother.
Ramachandra and her husband, Sumant – who is also an executive at a major healthcare company – live with their three children – 10, 5 and 3 – in Chicagoland.
The couple help finance the education of numerous children in Sumant’s native India as well as in several universities in the United States. Ramachandra said she wants to be an inspiration to women and girls everywhere.
“I’m so glad that I’ve done this and get to make a difference,” she said. “I’ve come a long way from where Faina, Gita and the others started out, but I know that all of us have always followed our North Star, pursuing success not just for ourselves but for our families and children and the other lives we touch along this journey of life.”
For more information on EpiLynx, visit https://epilynxcosmetics.com/