The story of the Ryor founder

Success needs a strong story
Ing. Eva Štěpánková

The Ryor cosmetic brand was founded in 1991 in a family house in Prague Strahov. The whole story began a few decades earlier, however. Its founder, Eva Štěpánková, belongs today to Czech business legends.
She is energetic, she can work up to 10 hours a day, she is responsible, she likes to cook and is great in it, she is incredibly hospitable, she listens to gospels, loves theatre and books - her favourite book is Jirotka’s Saturnin, she likes to travel, she is entertaining and can advise in every situation. She devoted her life to chemistry and to the production of cosmetics.

The Ryor Company founder is a native of Poděbrady

Ing. Eva Štěpánková is the founder and the 100% owner of the Czech cosmetic firm, Ryor. She was born in 1945 and she spent her childhood in Poděbrady. She was supposed to become a teacher, or somehow focus on humanities, just like her parents, but fate wanted it differently.

At the grammar school, she fell in love with a boy who was a chemistry enthusiast, and this also influenced her choice of college. Her mother used to says that if she fell in love with a shoemaker, she would be a shoemaker today. Although love did not last, Eva Štěpánková became a chemical engineer thanks to the graduation from the Institute of Chemical Technology.

Since 1971, Eva Štěpánková work as the Head of Production at the Institute of Medical Cosmetics. After 17 years, at the age of 43, she went for maternity leave. When her daughter was born, Eva did not have parents anymore, and Janička's father was not too active a parent. At that time she realised that she needed to make living and also she did not want to sell her ideas to anyone else anymore.

Already during maternity leave, she was to make a fateful decision. In 1991 she founded the Ryor Company in her family house, which focused on the production of cosmetics for professional beauty salons. In the meantime, customers began to approach her who demanded Ryor products not only in beauty salons but also for home care. And so the Ryor retail product line was born, which now comprises over 120 products for all ages and skin types. In total, the company currently produces over 200 products.

Growth, Success and the Journey to her own Production Complex

The company grew and prospered, but because the space of a family house in Prague Strahov was no longer enough to produce such a volume, the Ryor company gradually changed its premises. However, since it was impossible to find ideal conditions anywhere, a new production facility in Kyšice near Kladno was opened in 1997, where not only all production but also development and testing are taking place. Since its establishment, both the Ryor Company and its founder Eva Štěpánková received many awards for an approach to business, product quality and packaging design. At present, the Ryor Company has more than 80 employees and exports to more than 20 countries worldwide.

Given that Poděbrady is the matter of the heart for Eva Štěpánková, a store in Poděbrady was established in 2016, not only as a gift for Eva Štěpánková on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the company, but also as a thank you to a woman who never fails to fight and motivates an encourages everybody around her by her own example.

Complicated Spinal Surgery, First Steps and Return

In 2017, however, a major event happened that deepened the story of the company’s founder. This exceptionally and tirelessly working woman who knew no free time and was the driving force of the company, woke up one morning with bad pain in her back. Numerous medical examinations followed that clearly determined the verdict - it is necessary to operate the spine. The surgery was completed with 12 screws in the spine and it seemed to be resolved. At that time nobody expected that there are not better times ahead. Quite contrary. In the course of post-operative care, the condition deteriorated rapidly and over the next two months, it seemed that the end would definitely not be good. Her daughter Jana decided to take her mother to her own care. She organised the physiotherapist, masseur and nursing care and with their help looked after her mother at home. This team was working on Eva Štěpánková’s well-being. Literally a step by step. In the meantime, daughter Jana took over the management of the company. More about what was going on during this both personally and professionally complicated period was described in interview with Forbes magazine where Eva Štěpánková was included into issue about Czech successful business women.

Currently, both Eva and Jana Štěpánková work in the company. They deal with the company, all its processes, its strategy and especially the further development. Eva’s focus is more on product development. It is her "heart affair". Jana acts as a sales director and, at the same time, she deals with marketing, which is a matter of the heart for her.

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