First of all, can you tell us about MESSIAH and EVE and how it all began?
It really started with a fragrance obsession when I was a teenager that never left me. I have always carried perfume with me in my handbag rather than makeup – that’s just who I’ve always been. Fast forward a few decades and I still loved fragrance, and I had an unhealthy obsession with one well known luxury handwash. However, I was absolutely not a consumer of fragranced bodycare because no one, not even at luxury level, was making anything that did it well – which to me meant fragrances that lasted beyond the shower, products that actually benefited my skin in a real way and packaging that was shelf-worthy. So that’s how it all began – I wanted to bring together all of the most desirable components of effective vegan ‘facial grade’ skincare, fine fragrances that really lasted on your skin and a smart aesthetic made consciously and above what the other big brands were doing.
What do you think it is that makes MESSIAH and EVE different to other luxury skincare brands?
I started out, as an industry outside, with the very specific intent of disrupting the entire antiquated body care category to create a new benchmark for body care that would convince people of how incredible it could make your body feel and really elevate your daily routines with moments of joy and experience. This is why MESSIAH and EVE is unique – because we meet at the intersection of a performance skincare brand, a fine fragrance house and an eco lifestyle brand. Bringing together all the most desirable aspects of beauty into one luxury range that is vegan, genderless and affordable.
How do you source the ingredients and fragrances for your range?
I work with a brilliant team of cosmetic chemists and perfumers here in the UK and in France who bring to life my vision for MESSIAH and EVE, for every product and fragrance we make and how they need to come together to work in harmony and how I want them to make people feel when they use our range. It’s a long development process for both the product and the scents because to be truly different and to make brilliant experiences for our community it takes time.
Can you tell us a little about the charities MESSIAH and EVE support and how this came about?
I am often asked where the name MESSIAH and EVE comes from – well its meaning defines one of our core values which is to give back. MESSIAH represents a beginning and Eve is my mum’s name and she represents strength. Beginning with strength is what MESSIAH and EVE means, and when I became a mother myself I wanted that purpose to be directed to charities that support women and children who need new beginnings too. We have been honoured and lucky to work with and donate to charities who do just that: The Mulberry Bush who provide education and therapeutic services to children who have suffered childhood trauma, The Felix Project fighting food waste and providing much needed meals and food to children and adults in London, British Exploring Society who are a youth development charity providing the most extraordinary life adventure opportunities for young people, Women’s Aid a frontline domestic violence charity providing life-saving services for women and children and the London Air Ambulance who are saving lives every day with their vital work.
One piece of skincare advice most women need?
Over 90% of your skin is below your neck but we so often don’t give our body-skin the attention that we give our face. I would love all women to think about giving self-care to their body in a meaningful way, with the same love and consideration for skin health and feel that you do with your face. We ask a hell of a lot of our bodies every day and so it and we deserve some affection. We are tactile beings and the body contact that we have with ourselves and with others is special, it connects us and how you feel in your body is equally important – so we need to look after it.
Hardest challenge you’ve had to face as a business woman?
We have just turned two (!) and through the whole journey of launching and growing MESSIAH and EVE we have remained a self-funded business with totally organic growth. Finding your community and tribe of loyal customers and retailers who believe in your purpose in order to grow the brand is really hard work, and doing it without outside investment is even tougher.
All the incredible feedback and reviews we receive from our community. Whether that feedback is a positive change in their skin or whether it’s more focused on the fragrances – that our community love experiencing MESSIAH and EVE is why we exist. We have gained nine beauty awards across our range, all won in our first 18 months – I am also incredibly proud of the recognition.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
There isn’t any one person – I am inspired by every person, woman and parent who steps out to build something – to put their comfort and security on the line in pursuit of their purpose and passion.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Everything is temporary.
I’m passionate about women supporting women in business – what advice would you give to emerging female entrepreneurs?
Share what you know and be honest and open. We need each other’s experiences, network, advice, suppliers – as business people and as women. Be real with other business women.There is enough room for us all, and when you get a helping hand, make sure you pay it forward.
Greece and not just because I am Greek Cypriot, but because of the years of memories I have travelling around it – its beauty, the people, the lifestyle and the food (!) and the frequent and extraordinary juxtaposition of village life and super luxe.
One wardrobe staple you can’t be without?
Jeans, jeans and more jeans – I live in them.
And finally, your favourite quote to live by?
Empathy eats everything for breakfast.