This month we caught up with Memi Make Up founders Jack and Millie. After starting the brand in 2016 Jack and Millie have since developed a range across 12 categories and won multiple product awards. We all had a lot to talk about and over a coffee discussed how their brand was born, the importance of being cruelty free and life as successful business owners…
How did the two of you meet and how was Memi Make up born?
J: We actually met at school in year 9 and we’ve been together in a relationship for almost 6 years now, so high school sweethearts! The business started in 2016 when we incorporated the brand and we spent around 18 months researching, developing and sourcing manufacturers. From there the brand developed from Millie’s idea to incorporate cruelty free, vegan with luxury. That was our main focus.
M: I struggled to find a brand that wasn’t very eco looking with brown packaging, I wanted to modernise and make it accessible for everyone which was the benchmark of the whole brand. We didn’t intend to have such a vast product line to begin with but once we got to test formulations and what works we knew what we needed and grew really quickly.
J: There were things which we left out equally because we couldn’t guarantee on the quality. We wanted to make sure everything we launched we were 100% happy with and be consistent throughout all of our products to bring the best that we can bring.
What is the brands philosophy for readers who aren’t familiar with the Memi Make Up?
J: We like to say we’re modernising the cruelty free, vegan make up industry with trend lead colours and modern stylish packaging.
M: We’re a luxury brands trendier younger sister!
When creating your products how important was it to you to remain a fully vegan brand?
M: We always knew we wanted to be vegan. Nowadays you can’t not be inclusive to everyone and brands would be setting themselves back if they weren’t. We thought before we went into the process that it would be more difficult and tiresome but it’s actually very easy to do. I don’t think there’s any excuse to not be a vegan and think it’s confusing as to why the bigger brands who have the money aren’t doing so already.
J: Knowing the raw materials, the product and developing the brand was actually the most fun part of creating the brand.
How do you find working together on the brand, do you each have areas of focus or do you like to dive into all areas of the business?
J: Definitely different areas! We don’t argue a lot and we’ve actually been closer since starting the business.
M: When we designed the products we did everything together. If one of us didn’t like something we would make changes and always do something we both agreed on. I tend to deal with the creative design side like social, marketing and web design while Jack handles PR, accounts and admin.
J: All the boring stuff really!
Growing up what were your dream job’s, and did you ever expect to be doing what you do now?
M: No I would never have expected it! I think that’s why we started the company; we didn’t have a clear idea as to what careers we really wanted. I worked in a bank and Jack worked in PR, I’ve always been interested in make-up and fashion and Jack was more excited by the business side of things so it happened naturally.
J: I actually wanted to be a Pilot when I was younger. My Dad was a pilot so the idea was to follow his footsteps but that didn’t quite work out. We both knew that university wasn’t the right direction for us and that’s why we started brain storming ideas which lead to Memi Make Up
What has been your favourite product to develop so far and why?
M: Definitely the Creative Control Eyeshadow palette. I loved choosing the colours because even small changes changed the whole dimension of the palette. We put a lot of thought into the names as well which was great. The names are really fun and it’s always a talking point when people try the products.
J: Coming up with the names was really fun and I think it shows a bit of our humour and personality come through the products and the brand.
If you could only take 3 Memi Make Up products on holiday which would they be?
M: The creative control palette, the cream contour because who needs foundation on holiday? And the eyeliner. They are my three go to’s!
What is on the horizon for Memi Make Up for 2020, do you have any launches we should be looking out for?
J: We can’t say too much yet but definitely new products arriving in 2020 and hopefully a few new retailers. We’re aiming to keep on growing!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
M: Don’t be naïve to the amount of work and effort it actually takes. You might think all is takes is a great product but there’s so so much more that goes into it than that. There will be highs and lows. Be persistent and prepared to put the effort in but most of all enjoy it!
J: Yeah, definitely prepare yourself for a lot of hard work and a rollercoaster journey. Performance could be great one week and terrible the next so as a business owner prepare for many ups and downs but make sure you persevere.
If you could travel back 5 years what advice would you give to your younger self?
J: That’s a tough one… I’d say to make sure you enjoy yourself while your young.
And finally, what three words best sum up your brand?
Luxury Timeless and Affordable
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