One of the best things about working at Seekology is discovering remarkable brands. One of our favourite brands, which has been on board right from the start, is Freya + Bailey. We sat down with Freya + Bailey’s founder, Abbie Oguntade, to hear more about her inspirational story from corporate businesswoman to beauty entrepreneur:
What inspired you to set up Freya+Bailey?
I had previously launched the skincare category of a global health care brand but had moved on to holding down a leadership role in tech that was incredibly demanding and somewhat stressful. I developed stress acne and needed to re-evaluate my diet and skincare regime and eventually found a plan that worked for me thanks to a clean beauty approach and the clinical team I now partner with at Freya + Bailey Natural Skincare. It reignited my passion for skincare and is now my full-time focus.
What's it been like making the transition from corporate life to being an entrepreneur?
It’s been incredible. Exhilarating and exciting- each day brings something new. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster with some unpredictable ups and downs. It will change what you have been conditioned to believe and challenge you to grow in unexpected ways.
I believe in the quality and efficacy of our product ranges 100% and the response so far to our vegan, natural, and organic skin care collection has been wonderful. Working on what matters, matters.
In terms of the corporate world, I look back with gratitude at the 20 years of Consumer Marketing experience I gained prior to launching Freya + Bailey - especially my years in skincare. I see now that all roads pointed to the one I'm on today. Sometimes, life waits to turn on the GPS.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m a people person through and through and it’s no wonder Freya + Bailey is named after women. I’m inspired by strong ones, those with principles that go out there and give it their best- warts and all. Bringing my cosmetics concept to fruition and onto the market has led me to a world of supportive female entrepreneurship that I’d never known back in my big corporate days. The passion, talent and sheer camaraderie has been amazing and I regularly engage with them still to make sure Freya + Bailey continues to deliver quality, high impact products that women want.
What do you do when you're not working?
I’m a design nut and when I get time, can happily be found wandering in a museum or gallery or two though domesticity calls most of the time as a mum of two! I try to put myself in new, intriguing environments—in my own city or on a trip far from home as it gets me out of my obvious bubble, sparks creativity and activates my brain. We’ve definitely brought that innovation mindset to Freya + Bailey- using plant chemistry to create skin pillar ingredients such as retinol, vegan collagen, hyaluronic acid and AHA’s that are natural, organic vegan and potent. All at a breakthrough price point for the anti-pollution category.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Though each journey is different, i’d say this to anyone thinking of striking out alone: Find your mentors - absorb everything. Listen to what others have to say - friends, family, experts, consumers, but ultimately you need to determine what carries through. Also choose partners and suppliers that reflect your values. You are the company you keep. Lastly, surround yourself with those that give you energy and inspiration. It’s a lonely road out there so make use of meet ups, networks etc to share invaluable insight and that all important glass of Prosecco 😊 Oh and one critical point - when life shuts a door, open it again. It's a door. That's how they work.
Are there any particular ‘hero’ products in the range that you would recommend we try, especially if we are new to the brand?
I would start with a Cleanser as I'm pretty scrupulous about a twice a day cleanse no matter what. We have wonderful, non-foam, sulphate free options for dry, normal/ combination and oily skin. They are super hydrating and we remove every remnant of grime. We're incredibly proud that our HEED! Marula Cleanser has been shortlisted in the 2019 Cleansing Hero category at this month’s Beauty Awards.
What are your personal favourite products from the range, and why?
I love our serums. They're like little droplets of Jupiter because they're just so versatile. We've fortified them with 5 skin loving vitamins including ACE, they hydrate right through the skin layers and not only combat the impact of micro pollution and free radicals, they also help delay the signs of ageing. Total heroes!
What's next for Freya+ Bailey?
We are busy and looking ahead to 2020 where we will see the launch of a number of additions to our range. We anticipate one huge step forward next year but am not yet ready to divulge. I can state, it's super exciting and inspiring. As a home grown, made in the UK brand, it’s been amazing to fly the flag across the pond and next year will see expansion internationally. Growth is important, but it needs to be meaningful and sustainable without compromising our brand values and emphasis on quality and performance.
That’s it for our inspiring conversation with Abbie Oguntade - follow our blog for more remarkable Seekology stories.