I attended my first product launch this weekend for a new cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand called ‘Danai’s Beauty Box‘. I had no idea what to expect so I was a little nervous, but the event was fab. I’m going to tell you all about what happened at the launch, the products, meeting the founders of the brand, Mary & Bola and I also interviewed them!
The Product Launch
The event was held at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant near London Bridge. I walked into the restaurant and spotted a little room at the back where it looked like something exciting was happening. I headed over and was greeted by Danai’s Beauty Box’s PR team. For once I was the first one there, so I admired the food whilst waiting for more people to arrive.
It can be a little nerve-racking attending events where you don’t know anyone, but it’s also part of the fun. Another young lady arrived at the event and I approached her asking if she was a blogger. She was actually a friend of the founders of Danai’s Beauty Box, so we got talking about the brand, our own skin problems (the bane of my life) and just general chit chat.
More and more people started to arrive and we got chatting to each other, waiting for the grand doors to open to reveal the new vegan skincare products.
Meeting Mary & Bola
Before the doors were about to be opened, Mary & Bola approached me. After a quick and friendly introduction to each other, they invited me for a sneak peak of the products before anyone else. I actually felt like a VIP!
I followed them to a back room where I was welcomed with a beautiful and relaxing spa smell.
The Danai’s Beauty Box Products
I knew that I was going to like these products as soon as I smelt their aroma’s. The products were beautifully presented on a long table surrounded by roses. The brands’ products range from skin butters, lip butters, massage oils, body soaks, face masks, face creams and a soap bar which can be used on the body and hair.
I headed over to the products and the packaging was the first thing that caught my attention. The packaging complimented the products well, with an earthy, natural and ethical sort of look. It was clear that they had put a lot of thought into how they wanted their products to be presented and the market they wanted to be associated with.
Mary & Bola got talking about their relationship with each other, their journey of creating this product over the past 2 years, how they priced the products (they’re very reasonably priced) and what inspired them to create their brand. Mary actually has eczema, and she couldn’t find a decent product to help her skin. That’s when she decided to create her own product and help those with similar problems. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that Mary has eczema, her skin was flawless and she told me that the products that her & Bola created have seriously helped her skin.
So for those of your who have eczema, I can only imagne how frustrating it can be, but there’s hope!
Mary also explained how her mum, who sadly passed away, was a huge inspiration behind the brand. Although their mum/aunt wasn’t there on the launch day, I know she definitely would’ve been proud!
The girls tried a sample of the Lavender Skin Butter on my hand and oh.my.god, my hand felt so soft and moisturised! I have very dry skin, but even 2 hours after this small sample my skin felt fab! And not to mention it smelt great.
After taking a few pictures and admiring the products, Mary & Bola went to join the rest of the party where they gave a speech about the brand, their inspiration behind it and how hard they’ve been working on it for 2 years.
The doors finally opened and everyone was in awe of the products and their heavenly smells.
Would I recommend the products?
Hell yes! And I’m not just saying that because I attended the product launch or because I really enjoyed meeting the founders.
To be honest, I found it quite hard to believe that such natural products could be so amazing! I want to get my hands on the lavender skin butter !
Interviewing Mary & Bola
1) What was the inspiration behind this brand and the products?
The inspiration behind the brand is that we believe that Nature can heal the skin. And by using key ingredients you can treat most issues without having to result to harsh chemicals, without also harming animals in the process. This concept was passed down to me (Mary) from my beloved mother who passed away recently. She would always look for the herbal alternative to any illness or issues and was very much a believer that plants have super natural powers that over the years we have forgotten these ancient remedies.
2) What’s the story behind the name ‘Danai’s Beauty Box?’
The name Danai originates from Zimbabwe and means “Love”. We think that once you start to love your skin you would only want to use the best. We looked for names which best describes what our products aims are. The beauty Box part of the name recognises that as a woman we use a few things to get our best skin routines. We fell in love with Zimbabwe whilst on holiday. The culture is just so rich and the people so beautiful.
3) Mary, you mentioned that you have eczema and that this product really helped your skin. How did you treat your eczema before using your products and what’s been the most effective product?
I was born with Eczema and suffered from allergies. I come from two world I like to say. My father is a doctor and my mother was very much the herbalist. Growing up and when having breakouts my mother would rub raw unprocessed shea better to soothe my skin. She learnt these practices from her mother who used to make and sell herbal soaps to the locals and surrounding villages in Egbajo – Southern Nigeria. I cannot go a day without shea butter, I know for most the smell can be unpleasant, but I often add lavender which is my favourite essential oil.
4) We’ve all heard of natural and organic skincare product, how come’s you decided to go vegan with your products?
I was a vegetarian most of my life and then a vegan for the past 4 years. The rise in natural and organic skincare is phenomenal and great but for me it is part of my DNA because it a way of life and all I have really known. My grandmother once said to me “ if you cannot eat it do not put it on your skin”. I live by that. Of course like most I enjoy my treats however fundamentality using natural products derived from plants is a way of life.
5) What’s your favourite product from Danai’s Beauty Box?
One of my favourite is the True Lavender body butter which I use daily and my favourite soap is the Lavender, Shea butter & oatmeal. Bola loves the Orange and Spearmint butter including the Teatree and Rosemary Mud
6) You’ve both been very persistent over the past 2 years in creating this brand, were there any challenges that you faced?
The first part was really knowing where to start, we had an idea to market what we use, but no one tells you that you have to think bigger than yourselves. As a result we started to test samples to gage what people wanted. Deciding on the brand colours was something we went back and forth with. We also had to learn labelling standards.
7) Do you have any advice for startup businesses?
Take baby steps and research your market. Keep costs to a minimum by planning ahead. Goal setting is very important for us and we set milestones and action plans for everything. One thing I always tell my friends who are starting out their own ventures is that never be afraid to ask for help. You don’t always have to do it all alone. And lastly stay motivated by surrounding yourself with people who believe in you.
Congratulations Mary & Bola, you’ve done an incredible job! I admire your persistence and drive to get the products just right. Your mum/aunt would definitely be proud of you and you should be proud of yourselves! Thank you for having me and for the goodie bag.
I’m excited to see where this brand goes and I can’t wait to try the products out myself.