A success story of a woman: the founder of the cosmetics brand tilk! and a mother of four, Pille Lengi, shares her journey

Today, I am sharing an inspiring story of hearty Pille, who has created a successful Estonian natural cosmetics brand called tilk!, while being a loving wife and a mother to four children. Pille is a great example of how passion and initiative can lead to great achievements! 

The idea to create her own cosmetics brand came to Pille when she was living in China with her partner Martin, who is now her husband. They lived in China for two years, Pille was working on her Master’s degree in Politology and Martin was working in an international company. 

Pille’s skin started becoming problematic while in China, the big city life started creating impurities, pimples, and inflammations. As the local cosmetic products had bleaching ingredients, she was not able to use them. Natural cosmetics were nowhere to be found. When she was trying to find a solution for the issues she was facing with her skin, she got the idea of creating a cosmetics brand that could be purchased globally and which would offer products with quality people could be 100% sure about.

As the mere idea was not enough, she needed to start working on it – she started looking into different ingredients used in cosmetics, including the ones to be avoided. She is especially intrigued about the plants that are growing in her home area, the island of Saaremaa, and the oils that could be derived of those plants. She also finds that including science in product development is very important. She wants to make sure that tilk! would be a brand that leads the way in natural cosmetics in Estonia and at the same time, she feels that she also needs to know what’s the best that the world has to offer.

After longlasting research, various trainings and gathering knowledge, Pille made her first cream in her own kitchen at home. The cream was focused on pure, natural, and sustainable beauty. You can still find this cream in the tilk! offering – it’s Cuddle Me. Soon after, she created the Kiss Me lip balm, one of tilk! brand most popular products til this day! 

Thanks to big interest from her friends and acquaintances, this idea that Pille once had, turned into a sustainable business which offers close to 100 different products today and which main goal today is to offer only pure, very sufficient Estonian natural cosmetics that can be purchased from any corner of the world. 

Pille says that one thing that definitely helped her, was her commitment to her vision and her willingness to do whatever it takes to make that vision true. She could not and would not make concessions and this made her work extra hard.

Pille’s accomplishments do not end with her business. She is also a loving mother to four kids (Harald – 11 months, Richard – 4, Beatrice – 7, Edward – 9) and her husband gives her his full support and assists with tilk! as well. Martin is currently on paternal leave and with that, he is able to give extra time to their family and kids. This enables Pille to make sure that the business keeps on thriving and she can put in her day-to-day work. At the same time, it’s become normal that Pille sometimes brings the kids to the office or generates ideas with Martin. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

Pille encourages other women to follow their passions and dreams. She believes that women can be successful both in entrepreneurship and being mothers. “It’s important to find balance and create limits and set working hours”, says Pille. She adds, while laughing, that often it does not work like that as there may be critical things to take care of too.“If you have your own business to lead, you are really working 24/7 – this is something you just need to pay in mind…”, she adds.

We hope that Pille’s story can be inspiring for women who dream of entrepreneurship, a big family, or both. “Just start somewhere, even if you do not see a full picture right away. Keep at it and everything is possible!”, says Pille to finish.

Text: Mari Jaanus