Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Five Questions For Maleka: The Genius Behind MERUMAYA | British Beauty Week

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands.

Today I'm sharing with you my first interview and it's with no other that Maleka, the genius behind British skincare brand MERUMAYA. Here are the five burning questions I had for Maleka and her unedited responses. I'm sure you'll find Maleka's story as inspiring as I do and I hope that you learn about a product you need in your life!

What was your inspiration for starting MERUMAYA?
I always wanted to have my own business and Skincare & Beauty is where I have about 34 years experience.  That experience (along with my own aging process) gave me an excellent insight into what women (and men) actually want. Not only from their skincare products but also, how they want to be participative and interact with the brand and owner, to feel that what they want is absolutely central to the ​brand, to know that they are getting performing products at a fair price and that the pleasure enhancing, sensorial elements are included.. 

In addition and very important to me, is that we offer products that help you look and feel youthful, without guilt or pressure to look 'young'.  I promote the hashtag #beautyhasnoage not because I am a clever marketer but because I truly believe it. Finally, I decided that my British brand would be Made in Britain so that it contributes to our economy and jobs - I think we have a huge opportunity in Britain to support and champion British brands as the Americans and French support their home market brands. 

As for the name, it is made up (so pronounce it any way you like)​ ​of the first two letters of my Father, Mother, Me, Sisters (and now daughters) names.  It was my way of making my Fathers unfulfilled dream to own his own business come true, at the same time as fulfilling my dream. Had he ever had his business, he would have called it MERUMAYA as it represented his family unit. Thankfully, my parents are still alive to see a bit of his dream come true. Aaaah!​

What makes MERUMAYA special?
​First it is a skincare brand that has been created by someone who has spent 3 decades in the beauty business rather than one that was created by a celebrity or someone who decided they wanted a beauty brand.  I spent a ton of time at point of sale talking directly to women just like you to get a deep understanding of what women really want. Generally it is honesty, products that work and are priced fairly and that they are genuinely valued as a customer.

MERUMAYA is an evidence-based skincare range that primarily addresses all signs of skin ageing and for those that need, it is high performance that wont exacerbate acne-prone of sensitive skins. ​The entire brand including every single product is created with these seven pillars in mind;
  • Prevent & Perfect (undo) Skin Ageing - integrative, concept
  • Performance - use high numbers of robustly clinically tested actives and at the same concentrations as they were tested. We load the formula's with anti-inflammatories so that even acne prone and sensitive skins can enjoy the benefits of high performance skincare without those issues being exacerbated.
  • Pleasure - over decades we got very pious about skincare. I want to delight your senses and the Signature Essence Blend contains nature identical molecules of scents that were used in times gone by to raise confidence and attraction. It is unique, it makes you feel fabulous and definitely a step away from the somewhat boring and safe 'citrus' that is used as a standard because it is inoffensive. Also, the textures of the products are sensual, velvety and silky. Sensorial products that engage and delight your senses
  • Practicality - we all want to look youthful for longer but there is no need to spend more of your precious time doing it. I wanted to save you time and make it super easy for your to take care of your skin. An example is our Melting Cleansing Balm: in a tube, no 'warming' required, melts, milks, easy to remove and saves you at least 45 seconds on each cleanse. The Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make Up Remover has a flip top lid so that you cannot drop it (and then have to chase all over the floor to pick it up!)
  • Price - I was determined to bring to market products that can rival any of those in the luxury sector but at a price that meant customers can afford to use them all the time and not just when times are good. It has been the hardest because I refused to compromise on ingredients and formula. So, I put the money into the product and not packaging or advertising and I am prepared to take a much lower margin for myself, in the hopes that this will grow to be the next big British brand...spread the word please!
  • Patriorism - this is a British brand that is Made in GREAT Britain. I am a London girl and it is important that we all do our bit to support our own economy and jobs. For me it is spending my money on British businesses that make and supply my products and for all of us, we can at least give British brands a try and, if they stand up to the test, continue to buy them.
  • Personal - we genuinely encourage customers to be engaged and participate in the evolution of MERUMAYA.  Every product is road tested by customers (announced via email so, sign up if you have not already) before we ever confirm a formula. We want to know that we are creating products that truly answer what you need and have relevance to your changing lives. We encourage the personal interaction and endeavour to take customer care beyond your expectations.

How do MERUMAYA's British roots show in the brand?
​I am a London girl, born in Whittington Hospital and I wanted to ensure that the vast amount of money I put in, to creating this brand, went to British businesses and in our small way (hopefully a big way in the near future) we help to support the British economy and save/create jobs.  Therefore, we use British contract manufacturers and buy our packaging from UK companies. 

Also, the tone of the brand is very personal and our Britishness is illustrated in the language we use and that we tend towards a mantra of 'under promise and over deliver' rather than making sensational claims.

What are your favourite products from MERUMAYA? Why should people try them?
​Iconic Youth Serum is where it all began and it is the heartbeat of the brand.  I say to everyone, if you only use one product, it should be this. Melting Cleansing Balm because it truly re-defined the cleansing balm category and it does take the chore out of cleansing and puts some pleasure back in.  Intensely Youthful Eye Cream - is truly the best I have ever used, for instant and long-term results. It does not contain our signtaure essence blend so you may smell the earthiness of the Echium Oil but it is worth getting over that.  Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel because I think pretty much every skin benefits from exfoliation, if it is the right product. The combination of acids and enzymes is unique and the thick gel formula ensures you get even exfolation over the entire surface of the skin and, no scratching!​

What does the future hold for MERUMAYA?
​I plan for MERUMAYA to be in the Top 10 skincare brand in the next 10 years.  We need your help and the help of every single person out there to help us spread the word, to give MERUMAYA a try and to participate in the journey to create another British global success that we can export and all be proud of​.

I have to extend my gratitude and thanks, once again to Maleka for taking the time to answer these questions. I really hope that you all enjoyed hearing Maleka's story straight from her and that it has inspired you to add something new to your skincare routine. I for one have my eye on the Iconic Youth Serum, I feel like it's something I need to experience! Make sure you checkout the MERUMAYA website and give Maleka a follow on Twitter here.
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