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Our Founders

BORN OUTSIDE THE PERSONAL CARE INDUSTRY

Akamai adjective / aka·mai - \ä-kä-ˈmī\ / smart, intelligent, clever

Origin: Hawaiian | First Known Use: 1841

My wife, Marni, and I founded Akamai in 2016. We didn’t start this company to make a quick buck — we saw a problem in the area of personal care products (loaded with toxic chemicals, high costs, too much complexity/not enough health, and a lot of myths/bad advice), and we were inspired to show a better way. Something better for our health, wallets, and the planet.

 

So who are we? A few quick data points...

      • Age: both 55 (been told by many we appear to be in our 30’s)
      • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Vince: INTP (logician); Marni: INTJ (architect)
      • Where we grew up: Midwest
      • Where we live now: Boulder
      • Favorite hobby / sports / wellness: Vince: running / neuroscience & behavioral psychology; Marni: painting and cooking

Vincent Cobb

As a serial social entrepreneur, I’m used to making a difference and changing the status quo. On the front of the green wave, I started the company reusablebags.com in 2003 (later rebranded reuseit.com) and raised consumer awareness about the problems with use-and-toss items like plastic bags and bottles. My vision was to use simple lifestyle changes to help save the environment, save money and waste less. By 2013, reuseit.com had grown to 300,000 customers, empowering them to eliminate an estimated 1.1 billion use-and-toss items. Reuseit.com was twice voted as Green America’s Green Business of the Year.

 

After a course in organic chemistry weeded me out of majoring in Microbiology, I discovered Philosophy. I was, and continues to be, profoundly influenced by Stoicism, RationalismThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn was a game-changer for me. When not serving Akamai’s mission, you can find me mind-training, thinking, and trail running, as well as spending time with my two children.  


Marni Shymkus

I have spent 15+ years researching, refining, and creating health-focused DIY personal care products that leverage 100% natural ingredients in their whole form. My goal is to craft products that are simply better than anything else available while addressing root causes vs symptom management. I’m obsessed with creating powerful, practical, effective, and affordable products that harness our body’s ability to heal naturally.

 

A tireless researcher and problem solver, my passion for wellbeing blossomed 18 years ago when I became a mother. My sense of purpose aligned and grew after I discovered the Weston A Price Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to traditional, nutrient-dense whole foods and healing arts), the discovery of Rudolph Steiner (founder of Anthroposophy), and the Waldorf education system — I co-founded the Urban Prairie Waldorf School in Chicago. In addition to working on Akamai, I focus on raising our high school children and recharge by painting, making jewelry and hiking with the family dog.