It’s not every day that a new beauty concept comes by our desk that really gets us excited… BUT, Project bYouty is quite the exception. Launched in October 2021, this e-commerce focussing on curating the most elusive and covetable conscious beauty products in an aesthetic, shop-able space is something that we love … and we feel the love and passion that’s been put into every decision regarding this ‘grass-roots on the move’ business. Meredith Damouni interviews Project bYouty founder, Amy Wilkinson-Lough, in this exclusive interview for D-journal.
- What is the message of your platform?
- The message of the platform is to shop for what you need not for what the advertising industry told you you should have. Once you’ve done that make sure you absolutely know what’s in your product, what it does, when to use it and how it will work for you.
- Why is it so important to you to promote clean beauty?
- It isn’t – what’s important for Project bYouty is to promote the idea of ‘conscious’ beauty. If you have a value, a belief, a preference you should be able to shop knowing that’s been respected. Sure ‘clean’ is a preference for many, but so too is organic, halal, vegan and sustainable – subsequently we’re the largest entirely dedicated platform to those beliefs and more within the GCC and that’s what we’re keen to promote.
- How did you get the spark of inspiration for this brand?
- It was a meeting between a really sad family cancer diagnosis and a determination to ‘keep it together’ courtesy of long baths, face masks, hair masks and a lot, a lot of candles!
- What has kept you focussed and on track throughout the launch?
- Deliveroo, loud music and copious Starbucks delivery!! Add to that a team of brilliant people who are as determined as me to change the game and we just about made it. However, let it be known – there were tears, there were meltdowns, there were lost products, wrong products, melted products. There were moments where I thought “what on earth are we trying to do here – this is madness” and it’s just as important to talk about those moments.
“What’s important is to promote the idea of ‘conscious’ beauty. If you have a value, a belief, a preference you should be able to shop knowing that’s been respected.” Amy Wilkinson-Lough
- How do you vet and select the brands on the site?
- It’s probably a longer process than people realise. We have an initial zoom with a brand, ideally, they’ve sent us products beforehand and if so, various people in our networks will have been asked to test them so we’ve got genuine feedback to work with. Following an initial chat, we then schedule to speak to the Founder as his/her ‘why’ is just as important in helping us make decisions to stock the brand or not. Assuming we’re all agreed the brand are asked to provide all the necessary ingredient lists and certification. We then register all of that with municipality and once approved we’ll onboard a brand. The registration is a really important factor for us; as it means when we list a brand as vegan for example we can do so unwaveringly as we’ve had it certified.
- How have you set your brand vision to compete globally?
- It’s definitely in the plan, but we’re not even 6 months old yet we’ve got a lot to do and make happen regionally before we go out to the rest of the world. We’re very much about the people of the Middle East and when we do finally go overseas we want to do so as a homegrown business the UAE is proud of.
- What makes this site different from other beauty sites?
- There is no denying that there are some incredible beauty sites out there. Where we differ, I’d like to think is in both our approach to beauty in general but so too our desire to educate over sell. If you don’t really need something, we don’t want you to buy it and if you do buy it – we want you to leave the site knowing exactly how to use it, with what and when.
- What can we look forward to in the next 12 months from Project bYouty?
- I can’t give you all our secrets but let’s just say we’ll be bringing Project bYouty to life and I’m extremely excited about that.
- What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
- Unquestionably our first sale – I won’t ever forget it.