Tania Czemerynski’s bad hair days are behind her — and she wants to tame your mane, too.
Czemerynski is the founder of Cze by Tania, a Winnipeg business that specializes in all-natural hair and beard care products for women and men. Czemerynski launched Cze (pronounced ‘Chay’) in the fall of 2015, but the roots of her hair care business go back a little further.
“I started (making hair care products) because my hair was super dried out — it was broken and brittle. I didn’t do it with the intention of starting a business,” Czemerynski says.
“I started making my own home remedies sometime in 2013. I started to research different oils and things to make my hair grow out, because my hair was broken — it wasn’t growing. My boyfriend was like, ‘Your hair feels like a mop.’ I had spent so much money on store-bought products, so I started to make my own and it was really noticeably different within six weeks.”
A 2012 graduate of Red River College’s Business Administration program, Czemerynski went on to earn a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba two years later.
She had entrepreneurial ambitions, but initially Czemerynski was only sharing her home hair remedy with family and friends. It wasn’t until co-workers (at her former serving job) asked to try her “magic hair oil” that Czemerynski realized she had a potentially profitable product on her hands — and her head.
“I decided to do a Christmas order (in 2015) and I did really well. I think I sold 150 masques and I was able to sign up for two last-minute craft sales,” she recalls.
“That was the start. I had one product, and it was in a mason jar with hand-tied string and a hand-cut label. It was one product that looked like honey or a candle.”
That first product – a hair repair masque – has grown into an entire line, including heat protectants, texturizing sprays, curl defining cream and even eyelash serum for women, plus pomade, moustache wax and beard oils and balms for men.
In all of her products, Czemerynski uses natural ingredients such as rosemary, mint and lavender essential oils. She uses organic ingredients wherever possible and locally sourced items as well, including beeswax from a farmer in St. Norbert.
“That’s the direction I feel people are shifting toward. Everyone is trying to eat organic and natural. They’re so much more conscious of what they’re putting in their bodies,” she says.
“That trend has been for awhile with what they’re [eating], but now a lot of people are trying to be aware of what they’re putting on their skin and on their hair. They’re wanting natural cosmetics.”
In addition to selling Cze products online, Czemerynski has set up shops at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Third + Bird craft sale, and her products can be found at Generation Green in The Forks and A Pinch of Creativity in the Exchange District.
Czemerynski is also a regular vendor at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market and the Downtown Farmers’ Market in Winnipeg. On Fri., Sept. 15 she’ll participate in the second annual Red River College Farmers’ Market.
Czemerynski credits RRC with igniting her passion for business.
“In the second year of the program there is an entrepreneurship course and I feel like that’s when I really started to get my creative entrepreneurial spirit,” she says.
“They have a whole trade show and students have to come up with a whole business plan and roll it out. I really liked that. It really got me flowing. I took one of the lead roles, and I really got a lot out of it.”
— Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2006)