Lilac Kukun is a relationship wellness brand that focuses on enhancing your personal relationships, through creative experiences and gifts. They specialize in relationship wellness social enterprise and strive to help couples nurture healthy relationships through individual artistry and self-expression.
The owner and founder Zainab Miskin shares her journey in creating this brand and what they offer.
Give us an introduction to yourself and how Lilac Kukuns’s journey began?
My name is Zainab Miskin. I graduated from the University of Monash and I hold an MSc in Sustainable Management from the University of Bedfordshire.
What drove me to create Lilac Kukuns was something very personal. As a child and into adulthood I’ve always been attracted to change and pushing for impact. When I finished my studies, I came back to Colombo and joined a social enterprise where I helped people grow their businesses, especially in rural areas. Doing that for people was extremely fulfilling, so when I joined a corporate workplace; although I was treated well and gained a lot from it, the fulfilling aspect was missing from my life.
At the same time, a lot of my co-workers who were getting into relationships and getting married were coming to me with problems – “Why is he acting this way?”, “Why is she doing this?” I started looking into this and realised it’s not just in my circle; this is a part of a wider problem. In a sample group, 550 million people stated that communication is the biggest barrier in their relationships. Following this, we did our research within Sri Lanka and found that out of 100 couples, 70 per cent informed us they want the opportunity and the right guidance to improve their relationship.
I realised that was my goal – how can we make it easier for couples who are struggling with miscommunication? How can we empower them to make that change?
We want to help people grow and nurture conscious and healthy relationships, to create an environment where it’s not taboo to talk about one’s relationship struggles and nurture growth.
How do you improve the intimacy of a relationship?
Through our research, we found that creative expression can be the bridge for unifying a couple and showing affection to one another. Everyone expresses their love in different ways, for us, the question was – “how do we build empathy between two people?”
That’s where our products come into use. Our most popular service is our ‘Date Night Experience’- where we offer to create your own date night personalised for you and your partner exactly to your preferences. Whether it is a movie night, a picnic, or anything suggested, you can customise everything from the scent of the candles to the menu and restaurant for the occasion. Even the colour of petals for decoration is chosen by you.
We have a ton of other options too, items and services that cultivate that playful desire that’s so important in a relationship – things like love coupons and romance kits that can add colour to a relationship.
Could you elaborate a bit about your support for better emotional connection in a relationship?
On the emotional side, we offer services to help you get to the vulnerable places in a relationship. Finding out why you or your partner behaves in a certain way- digging deep and finding the root causes of one’s behaviour. We invented a heart-to-heart card game based on the works of Dr. Arthur Aron. It asks the deep questions that can help two people really empathise with each other’s upbringing and mentality, for example, ‘If you could change anything about the way you were raised what would it be?’ Questions like this can help a couple open up and grow closer.
Walk us through some of your products?
We have a range of body and skincare products. Our newest box, ‘Garden of Bliss’ focuses on helping you relax from head to toe. We have foot soaks, body scrubs, beard oil and more.
All our products are vegan, made from natural ingredients and made by artisans in Sri Lanka. We try to make everything reusable and promote a circular economy. Even our petals are reusable for up to one year.
Although we try to reduce as much as possible, there is some unavoidable waste. With this, we repurpose the material by making jewellery with it. Our customers also have the option to return any plastic containers to receive a discount and we turn them into a high-value jewellery pieces.
What was the most difficult part of starting Lilac Kukuns?
To get someone to believe in me! When I initially came up with this idea with my co-founder, I had no idea how to communicate our aim – we called it a ‘romance brand’ and ended up confusing people about what we do. Once we got our mentors on board it changed how we approached this, it helped us convey our mission and show people we are interested in the emotional wellness of a relationship.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never give up. Things will get tough. No one will be there to support you more than yourself. Things will get better if you persevere. For us, we started operating during covid in 2020 and with persistence, we became successful despite the rough beginnings. There are so many opportunities out there as long as you have the determination.
You can get 15% off your first order on www.lilackukuns.com
(Valid until 31 December 2022)
By Ruelle Sittampalam