How and when did you start your beauty brand?
I started Belle Luxe during the first lockdown, back in April 2020. I finally had a chance to start brainstorming ideas and new concepts, and really tried to make the most of the extra time I had. When I went back to work in a west-end salon, I was building my business before work, after work, and on weekends as I was still working 50+ hours a week. Suddenly, after not long being back at work, I lost my job and I was devastated. However, I decided to turn it into a positive and this gave me the chance to go full steam ahead on my business. This was a huge risk as I didn't look for another job, so I didn't really have much to fall back on, but I just took my savings and invested it into my business and moved into my first office.
Which of your designs is your favourite? Can you tell us the story behind it?
My personal favourite would have to be our Curl Control Crème. I've always struggled to find the perfect curl cream for years - and now we have perfected a formula that is gentle to the hair, lightweight, makes your curls look fabulous and defined, and it smells divine!
What's the proudest moment in your beauty brand owner career? What makes you a happy creator?
So, in June of 2021, a really really unfortunate event took place at Belle Luxe HQ. It got burgled, and all of my stock, possessions and all of my products were stolen - I was devastated. When I started Belle Luxe I had no previous business experience or guidance, so unfortunately I purchased the wrong type of insurance when starting off, which didn't cover anything. I lost it all, all of my savings, my dream and I was heartbroken. I had customer orders to fulfil, office rent to pay, and my flat rent to pay, and I had to find a way to support myself and my dog - all with nothing and no one to help. No more savings (as they were invested in the biz), no stock, no money and no support. It was hell. A few weeks later I was really contemplating giving up on this and leaving the beauty industry, after losing my job not long before, and now a burglary I was at breaking point. But, I decided to not give it up, to get myself through this and to start again. After a long, stressful few months I managed to find the funds and strength to relaunch my business, with new stock, and new products and finally was able to start fresh. This was on 28/02/2022, and this is my proudest moment.
Why do you do what you do? What do you like about your job?
I love what I do because I love knowing that I get to help other women feel beautiful, confident and empowered through the products that I have created. Everyone knows that there is no better feeling than leaving a salon with fresh hair, you feel more confident and there's a spring in your step, it is the best mood booster - and the fact that I can play a part in that feels amazing.
What skills are necessary to be a successful creator? Do you have any tips for aspiring artists who want to start their own beauty brand?
I think before you start any type of project, you need to make sure that you choose something that you are passionate about and something that you enjoy. Do not be afraid to be authentic and true to yourself, and if you really believe in something you need to go after it. I've even had people close to me try to discourage my ideas and throw some shade about my business, at every single stage of my journey - and of course, I didn't listen and it got me to where I am today. People love to put in their 2 pence to throw you off, but if you truly believe in your ideas, drown out the noise and go after it!
How do you feel about showcasing your design at London Accessory Week?
I am so excited to be a part of it! This is our first-ever showcase so I really can't wait.