Gisele Azad - SKØN Cosmetics Scandinavia AB
Blog post #1
Describe your idea!
Together with my partner, Antonia, we were fed up with the beauty industry. We didn’t agree with the mass amounts of chemical ingredients within a product, the major plastic pollution the packaging causes but most of all, we didn’t agree with the beauty standard a lot of brands portray. We combined our love for diversity, inclusive beauty and natural ingredients into a company called SKØN! We create natural and vegan cosmetics for everyone.
Who are you?
My name is Gisele and I am originally from Tehran. I moved to Sweden 2 years ago to study the masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Before the studies I worked for a non-profit organization focussed on refugees. I did this for about 11 years. Next to that I have worked for a media company called Vice. My love for media in combination with social awareness made me take the leap and become an entrepreneur!
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
These three months are actually pretty major within the company. We have proven the concept and are selling in multiple stores within Europe. We did all this in 6 months. Now it is time to scale and improve our company for the next phase. In these three months we will be busy creating a lot of new products with our partner manufacturer. We are currently working with a creative studio to take the brand to a higher level. Also, we are optimising our logistics. A lot of things to do!
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
Because I was able to receive Leapfrogs I am able to spend these three months researching and executing as much as possible! I think that after Leapfrogs I will be able to have given the company a new boost that without Leapfrogs I wouldn’t be able to do in a short period of time. For every start-up it’s important to scale at some point and we are there. It will be interesting to see how much we are able to scale in three months.
Blog post #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
During the Leapfrogs period a lot has happened! Currently we are testing the possibilities to take CBD into all our formula’s. CBD is a much more expensive oil because it’ extracted from the leaf instead of the seed and it has a lot of more concentrated benefits that works wonders on the skin. It has been a challenge to find the right oil and the right amount in the overall formula of the creams. In addition to that we are going through a re-branding, trying to bring the brand to a new level.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Not at all. Like always, everything takes way more time and the insecurity can take over at times making it a real personal journey as well. At this stage I’m trying to do a lot of things at the same time by myself. I have learned that it is very necessary to plan what needs to be done but also plan what you can do yourself, or more importantly, what is necessary to be done by yourself.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
The remaining time will definitely be used to finish off the product development we have been doing so far. In august we will plan out the rest of the year regarding content but also regarding sales. We will optimise our website and do our autumn photoshoots to be ready for a new season!
Blog post #3
How did you experience the three months?
It was a very weird summer but it has been a really good and growing experience. I feel like I was in a rollercoaster of life all in one summer. It definitely feels like I got the chance to sort things out during the summer to get back on track in the autumn period.
What has been most difficult and what has been most enjoyable?
To enjoy the summer while figuring out A LOT of entrepreneurial challenges. I felt overwhelmed and tried to not let it get to me. The most enjoyable was that I involved a lot of friends with SKØN and that made me able to see a lot of friends and get closer to them again.
Will you continue working on your project in the future? If so, what is your next step?
Most definetly! No bout I need to keep on going. The next step is the winter months when people tend to spent more on gifts and skincare. I am curious how it will go but I am determined to make it happen!
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Nothing is ever as its seen. Everything can change in a split second and you can be left with nothing or a lot within a day. That is the most exciting part of the process but really though if you don’t have that mindset.
Do you have any tips to other new entrepreneurs?
Dont forget that the excitement will pass and the real work will come. Its not always fun but it will be insecure for a long time. Be ready for this.