So how did it begin?
When I was younger, it was a weekly tradition to have my mum apply coconut oil to my hair. It was my favourite ritual, and I was always so excited to feel my soft silky hair once she'd run it through the strand of my hair. My Mum would massage the oil into my scalp, leave the oil to soak and settle. Hours later, she'd tell me to shower and rinse, I'd emerge from the shower running my fingers through my renewed soft silky hair. It wasn't always perfect, trust me on that! There'd be times that the oil would cling to the strands and maybe I'd struggle to get it out. Thinking about it now all I remember is smiling and the smell of my soft, beautiful hair.
Migrating to the U.K. at the age of three had changed my perspective – it didn't even occur until I'd reached my early adolescence that perhaps my weekly ritual was a unique part of my upbringing. That mine and my mums' little tradition was something special that actually existed only between her and me.
As I got older, the realisation hit me. Why not share this secret? And that’s how Aenika: Haircare was born. Using traditional and naturally sourced ingredients, Aenika: Haircare aims to expose that chemically loaded products weren't necessary to achieve healthy hair. Aenika: Haircare is for the individual who values authenticity, simplicity and quality.
Born in Calcutta , India
Maybe you'd be surprised, but I was actually born in Calcutta, India.
Moved to England
On my 3rd birthday, my family and I moved to London, England.
So, clearing happened, and I wanted to make the most of the opportunity as it was the last year before the fees increased, so it was off to the University of Lincoln I went. Initially, to study law and business. It wasn't long before I realised that Legally Blonde had clouded my judgement and law just wasn't making the cut. Already knowing I wanted a brand someday; I switched my degree in business and marketing.
Internship at L'Oreal Head Office
So, THIS is where it all changed for me. Having landed my dream job at one of the largest cosmetic firms in the world. I started my internship in Category management as a part of the Consumer Products Division. At L'Oréal, it came to my attention that the demand for hair oil on the cosmetic market was rapidly expanding. Accompanied by rising demand for clean, organic beauty, Moroccan Argan oil was flying off the shelves. I learned so much at L'Oréal; I even became the vice president of the Intern Committee. However, my experience there changed my perception of the beauty industry, and it got me thinking:
What about the oil I've been putting on my head since I was young? There is a clear gap. In the market for modern organic hair treatment. Why not fill it?
After researching the U.K. haircare market, it became clear that a pre-wash treatment was virtually unheard of in the U.K. A sophisticated, luxury and organic formula. That was my starting concept, the catalyst that set me into action. However, creating hair oil proved substantially more complicated than it seemed. From production issues to branding issues, we couldn't quite hit the mark.
Everything just didn't quite work! I'm sure you can relate to that feeling.
The original oil formula solidified at any temperature below 8 degrees! England is a cold country- I doubted that they had this problem in the East! What's more? Trying to execute our luxury concept in scarlet and gold plastic, perhaps didn't evoke the chic minimalist appeal we were aiming for. I just really loved the colour combination at the time..
In hindsight, it's easy to understand where we were losing the message in the branding. Take a look, and we'll giggle along with you!
Change of Packaging and Bottles
Life gets in the way sometimes! A busy work life left Aenika: Haircare second on the list of priorities. Until one day, OF COURSE, after a break- up, something changed. I knew I had this idea, this concept that I knew was so unique. Have you ever had that feeling, that inkling of how good something can be?
Suddenly I was determined to get Aenika: Haircare to reach the potential I know it could be. So, I scrapped everything, and I mean everything. I went back to the drawing board, altered the formula, design, branding and range with a specific consumer in mind.
And I can't believe the difference! What do you think ? Everything now speaks to our core ethos of sustainability and natural beauty from the plastic-free bottles to the highly curated formula. A: Natural Revolution was beginning!
Real talk. Now that the product evoked the A: Haircare aesthetic we adore, it was time to get down to business. Having seen brands' success on social media, my first call was to commission a website designer to create my first version of www. Aenika.com. Our first E-commerce channel and currently is still the main form of our product sales. Which if you've been with us before now, is perhaps the version you've become so familiar with.
However – life happens, and I'll be the first to admit that I did what I do best, procrastinate. The girl boss sleeps another day. Although to be fair, I had worked for almost every FMCG going, Unilever, Kraft Heinz, General Mills, to name a few. I even ended up going back to L'Oreal- this time as a model! *Slow Motion Hair Flick *.
Aenika: Haircare remained on a shelf, quite a few shelves, much to my parents' annoyance.
Enter #Dreamteam. The business has taken a turn. Aenika: Haircare is going social, with a complete makeover of our website and social media channel. Alongside our new YouTube channel launch, nothing is standing in our way. Join the #TheAenikaMethod and follow Aenika: Haircare on our Journey. About time right?