By Chadamas Chinmaneevong Bangkok Post, Thailand.
Popular actress Sririta "Rita" Jensen has turned herself into a spa and aromatherapy entrepreneur.
Yesterday she introduced Organika, her luxury aromatherapy product brand, to entice both local and international markets.
Ms. Sririta set up Organika House Co with her own 10 million baht of seed capital after three years of market research.
"I wholly own the business and supervise all operation aspects. Many people may think an actress cannot be serious about doing business, but this is something more than just putting my name on the products," she said.
The chief executive of Organika House said Thai spa and aromatherapy products had been widely accepted internationally for their scents, ingredients and high-quality production process.
Thai spa and aromatherapy products are ranked as the 17th most popular products in the world, according to the International Trade Promotion Department. Thailand is the spa and beauty hub of Southeast Asia.
The country's spa and beauty product market was valued at US$8 billion last year and is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2017, the department said.
Ms Sririta said this meant the market was still growing significantly, with room for new entrepreneurs to thrive.
Organika aromatherapy products use pure organic ingredients to entice high-end and environmentally conscious customers.
Ms Sririta believes her personal connection will benefit the marketing of Organika products. Apart from retail clients, the brand also targets high-end spas, luxury hotels and tea boutiques.
The company has invested 10 million baht to develop products and open its first shop in Siam Paragon shopping centre two weeks ago.
Another 10 million baht will be used to open its flagship store, Organika Glasshouse, on Sukhumvit Soi 49 in the third quarter.
In the next three years, Organika House plans to export its products to countries that prefer Thai spa products such as Japan, Italy, France and the US.
Ms. Sririta said Organika products had received a good response, particularly from foreign customers.
"A customer from Brunei asked me to bring Organika products to sell at her shop in her country," she said.
The company expects to generate 15 million baht in sales revenue this year and 16.5 million next year. Its marketing budget is set at 15% of revenue.