October 23, 2023

Maya Crothers, CEO and Founder of luxury, clean skincare company Circcell®, brought her “first career” engineering and business background to solve a problem: the need for environmentally-sensitive, performance skincare that works at the cellular level. In this week’s Her Story, Maya shares her successes and real-world advice for what it takes to build a brand, including the importance of basic business tools and understanding where and when to invest in channels and partnerships. 

Diana Oyaga, founder of Wico Lab

I created skin care for today’s woman. The woman who knows efficacy is essential; to whom clean means not harming the user or the environment; and for whom luxury is a given.


Why did you start your business? What motivated or inspired you?


When I – a Wharton School MBA and Engineer – found myself living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I also found that my skin was not a fan of my new location. Being a bit of a skincare junkie, I had plenty of luxurious options in my arsenal–but nothing worked in the harsh Jackson Hole weather. And nothing offered me the clean options that I was so passionate about. So, I put my frustration, and my engineering mind, to work. My goal was to produce skin care with a real dedication to performance and clean, loaded with dermatologist grade performance ingredients and combined with elements of nature–clays, essential oils, herbal extracts and marine-based elements. Oh, and it had to work wherever I traveled. The result was Circcell®–a hybrid of Circle, meaning whole and balanced, and Cellular indicating real change. A performance-based, environmentally-sensitive, unparalleled experience that performs elegantly in any climate, adjusting to your needs.


I created skin care for today’s woman. The woman who knows efficacy is essential; to whom clean means not harming the user or the environment; and for whom luxury is a given.

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Wico Lab Banner that says "Re branding Re energizing"

What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your business?

Invest in really good prototypes and secure accounts before manufacturing your product

Why did you decide to join The WMarketplace?

I loved the camaraderie of WMarketplace. It is truly a community of women sharing their experiences and supporting each other.

What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?

Effectively promoting a brand has become so expensive. Having a winning strategy of where to place resources with the right partners is a constant challenge.

What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?

There is always more to learn and new challenges. Keeps me sharp and on my toes.

Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success? Have you had an “AHA!” moment(s)?

The first time we experienced the perfect marriage between our brand and the right influencer. Everything falls into place and feels easy

How long have you been in business and has your business changed since you started it?

Yes, we have moved from primarily to a professional brand into retail and then we discovered direct to consumer which has grown to be our largest channel.

A business is like a child. It cannot survive without you. Do you have the time, access to capital and emotional energy for a longer than you expect relentless commitment. If the answer is yes, then go for it! Don't let anything get in the way of your dreams.

What communities have been important for you as you grew/developed your business?

The community of female entrepreneurs in the beauty business is remarkable. It is so open and warm and collaborative, truly gets me through the rough patches.

Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day? What are they?

Being on the road constantly my desk is mobile and ever changing. My greatest inspiration comes from what is in my heart. The work ethic my parents instilled in me and the desire to be a good example for my children motivates me daily.

Do you have any advice for other women who are getting started in business?

Think long and hard. A business is like a child. It cannot survive without you. Do you have the time, access to capital and emotional energy for a longer than you expect relentless commitment. If the answer is yes, then go for it! Don't let anything get in the way of your dreams.

If a journalist were to write a headline about you/your business, what would it be?

The Accidental Entrepreneur - Act Two in Mid Life

Are there any apps or business services that you just can’t live without that you would like to give a shout-out to?

My answer is boring - Quickbooks!! Access to real time, accurate financials is so important in making day to day decisions. Also, all the platforms that help us manage our digital ad and influencer performance. Can't live without them.

Is there a non-profit or other social/mission-oriented business that your business supports? Can you tell us about this?

We have worked with a variety of charities over the years. Everything from the arts to children's organizations to education to social justice. One charity we worked with in a big way is The Nest Foundation. This organization works to combat human trafficking in the United States. For two years $5 from every facial oil sold went to this organization.

Thank you, Maya, for sharing your advice and journey with the WMarketplace!

SHOP Circcell® skincare



Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit ThWMarketplace provides to sellers.

Her Story: Maya Crothers of Circcell® Skincare