Meet the woman behind FAE Beauty: A homegrown, cruelty-free beauty brand
It is the world of beauty brands, and we are just living in it.
Makeup is a medium of expression. It wears many hats. For some, it can be a confidence booster. For others, it’s an art form.
The booming beauty industry and the 'beauty guru' culture has inspired several independent brands to enter the market. Be it Rihanna's Fenty Beauty or Katrina Kaif's Kay Kay Beauty, everyone wants a piece of the (beauty) cake. The question to ask, then is, are they 'for everyone'?
Meet Karishma Kewalramani. Entrepreneur, makeup connoisseur, and the founder of Free and Equal (FAE) Beauty: a trendy, affordable and inclusive brand that aims to change the way we see 'beauty'.
What does it take to create a brand like FAE Beauty? Good question. Let’s find out. In an interview with team Brandcurry, Karishma shared her story.
The idea that changed everything
Karishma was always involved with the world of makeup- be it personally or professionally. After moving back to India, she decided to explore the Indian beauty market. Unable to find a brand that was on fleek and pocket-friendly at the same time, she decided to take the charge. For Karishma, creating products for people with darker skin tones was extremely important. The desire to build a brand that was free from all stereotypes led to the birth of her brainchild, FAE Beauty.
"Everybody seems to be whitewashing their models. That's not the reality of India. That's not how we look. That's not the skin problems we have. Only 0.5% or 0.2% of women in the world may look like that. Those women also have an army of people behind working on their looks."
A few bumps in the road
The journey was not all sunshine and rainbows. Turns out, finding manufacturers is a lot harder than it may sound. To locate a potential manufacturer is one thing (And no. You can't Google them). But to convince them to work with you is entirely different and (believe it or not) more challenging. There was an apprehension to work with a smaller company when the manufacturers already had older and better-funded (*cough* male) clients. It was only after finding somebody who could provide a reference for them, that they were able to strike a deal.
Lessons for the younger self and young entrepreneurs
Depending on external stakeholders- vendors, suppliers, manufacturers- can be frustrating. Karishma's word of advice for her younger self (and young entrepreneurs reading this) would be to not believe people with their timelines. "If someone says one month, take it for two, every time."
Another aspect to keep in mind is the finances. Outsourcing a Company Secretary and a Chartered Accountant can be a smarter and inexpensive approach to managing your finances.
"A lot of companies mess that up in the beginning. It is important to have your finances organised."
She also promotes the idea of building a balance between work life and personal life.
"As an entrepreneur, it tends to consume you. I’m still learning. Switching off for a day or two is really challenging. I wish someone told me about the importance of taking a break." The balance is especially important for your mental health.
The 90’s called. They want their products back...
It’s 2021. Finding makeup that compliments your skin tone should not be difficult. For years now, the Indian beauty industry has lacked inclusivity and diversity. Perfect, blemish-free, 'even-toned' skin is not a reality for most of us. To see a model who looks like you with products that are made for your skin type can be... liberating.
FAE Beauty offers a choice to us, the neglected ones. From a one-woman show to a team of eight, they have come a long way and are here to stay. A brand that promises vegan, budget-friendly, cruelty-free products that cater to the needs of all shades of skin? Sign us up.