We bet to live and enterprise in the countryside, resuming the traditions of our grandparents and also helping the growth of the Ribeiro region”
The red wine of the Ribeiro región, besides that is an excellent concoction, it also moisturize the skin transforming it in a free additives cosmetic. Innovation base in tradition and in relation to the raw material is the main function of the cooperative levinRed, that from a year ago in Leiro, Ourense. Patricia Rodríguez, one of the worker associates (at the right of the photography) tell us how does this corporate idea come up in a professional redevelop time and its brand firmly bet to produce richness from the countryside.
We start from the beginning, how does this incredible project come up?
I and my husband Alberto have been taking care for four years of the vineyards of my father and making traditional wine for our own consumption. On 2015 we have a huge pick and it came to my mind to use it for cosmetic. This idea stay shelved when I try to redirect my professional life caused by the missed opportunities, but the next year I was in the same situation, I told Sofia, that she was passing a similar work situation. Without think it too much, we start to work in the development of this amazing project.
After a year of preparations, academic training and a lot of research about the paper work that we have to follow and the economic risk that it suppose to us, in July 2017 levinRed was born.
Why do you decide to stay in the Ribeiro Region and not in another of the four Galicia´s wine – making zones?
We live here. We are three young enterprisers that decide to make a personal bet to develop our activity in a region that saw our parents grow up and even though we don’t born here, we feel this small town, Leiro as our home. We bet to live in the countryside, a difficult work involving our professional careers, but that in an implicit way it means to resume again the tradition of our grandparents and contribute in a small part to the growth of our region. In any moment we think to move to another region. The Ribeiro´s region has the oldest origin certificate of Galicia and it is a way to reclaim the excellent work that they are doing in this region and also to give to it an extra value.
What do the neighbors told you when they found out that you were going to make cosmetics with wine?
We were really cautious on this theme, until we have all set up we didn’t tell anybody about it, the only persons that know about this project were our families, persons that support us of course from the very beginning.
As for people, once they known, we have the support of them because they understand that the only way to help that our countryside grows up and don’t disappear is to enterprise for difficult that it seems to be.
Why did you decide to make a cooperative and not another legal form?
If we have something clear is that we wanted to share our values, the ones that our parents´ teach us, to our company: transparency, honesty, social responsibility and commitment with others. That’s why we think that a cooperative society was the best option. It is about a team work where we have the same values and the same objectives. It is not about money, it is about helping people and also our environment if our company grows up.
How much R&D&i work is behind your facial cream and soap?
There is a lot of development work because they are plenty of studies about the grape and wine properties. We can continue researching, and we are making it, but this base allows us to do high quality cosmetic. The development work is a team job form by us and by the Iuvenor laboratory of Carballiño, which are the professionals that make true our ideas and studies. We have clear the products that we want and how they have to be. We take part actively in the formulation process and also of the actives that they have to had, as the naturalness of the components, which is 98%. Then we need to prove the samples and adequate them to our personal liking to have the last result. This process can take eight or nine months.
Do you also take care personal of your own vineyards?
Yes, we active participate, specially my husband and I. We handle almost all the works of the vineyard, unless the prune, that is made by a professional. It is also the most difficult part, because from it depends the quality of the pick. When we finish the grape harvest we also prepare the wine, the same way as our grandparents do, in a hand-made form and without additives.
Which parts of the fruit do you use for your products?
The Ribeiro´s wine that we make has different kinds of red grapes.
What makes you different from the rest?
Precisely is the answer to the last question the thing that makes us different, that they only use some parts or components of the grape and not the wine. Also we can say that our products are 98% natural and that we take care of the details. We make small and hand-made productions.
To whom are thought?
They are thought for men and women older than 30 years because we focus them to mature skin because of the actives that they have.
Where we can find them?
In our online store www.levinred.com and on another websites, which deliver in the entire world. In some stores that are in Ourense, Santiago de Compostela, Ferrol and A Coruña, and also in some spas. We continue working and negotiating with other stores out of the Galician borders and soon we will we be in some province´s capitals. We hope that these negotiations work to expand our market; although the true is that after 7 months of work we are really happy with our achievements.
How do you value the path that you have already walk and which are your previsions for the future?
The path will continue to be hard. It is a field with a lot of competence that highly value the foreign products. It requires too much work to win the confidence of people in the case of the cosmetic made in Spain, which has the same or even better quality that the foreign one and we need to leave this clear. We are few people in charge of this company to make everything that it needs to be made and although it is really hard to enterprise especially in the countryside because it requires a huge effort, but we are really happy because it is our work and it is giving good results.
The people that trust us not only repeat because they found a unique and high quality cream and soap, but also because we are a serious company and dedicated in 90% to the customer service. With us you don’t have delays or incidents, we always try to solve the problems of our clients thinking in your satisfaction. We tell it and do it, it is our company philosophy.
Photography: Santi M. Amil