The road to convenience is paved with great ideas; just ask Selina Ved, a young entrepreneur who got the idea to launch her own brand while shopping online and hitting a few snags.
“When I was purchasing beauty products online, I realised that I had to go to several different websites to get all the products that I wanted to achieve a look,” she recalled.
“This is what struck me: I was reading reviews on one website; watching a tutorial on another; and purchasing the products on several others – on average, I had over five tabs open on my browser.”
Selina, founder and CEO of Nessa, realised that unlike fashion brands, there was no ‘one-stop shop’ for beauty. She thought about how much more convenient and seamless it would be to have one destination that not only listed all the products that a person wanted, but also offered the knowledge on how to use them. Armed with an idea, she headed to the one place where many entrepreneurs go to turn their ideas into a reality.
“I was operating in my parents’ basement,” she laughed. “I was always told that the success of an idea hinges on how much you believe in it, and I very much believed in Nessa.”
Selina launched Nessa earlier in the year to be a one-stop shop beauty platform that inspires and educates the average beauty enthusiast through offering an all-in-one technological solution to purchasing makeup and skincare products. The platform provides the entire beauty experience, encouraging all the steps, starting from product discovery all the way to final acquisition.
Since the beginning, Selina said that Nessa would stand for the full ‘authentic’ experience. While she acknowledges the role that influencers play in the popularity of a product, she wanted to ensure that all the content being shared on Nessa was created by those that were passionate about beauty and skincare.
“Many influencers, at the end of the day, are paid to promote a certain products. We want people vouching for a product because they actively use it, and this is something that only comes over time.”
Asked about the decision to launch Nessa in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, Selina said that she had observed how much beauty was changing in the region at the time, and decided that it was time to “push the gas pedal.”
The pandemic, she said, was really a time for many people to reflect on their purchasing decisions – a trend that had already been gaining steam for several years, but was accelerated during the pandemic. “The lockdowns saw a lot of DIY skincare routines being shared on social media; people were making facemasks using ingredients that they had at home and using techniques that were shared by beauty experts, and even their mothers and grandmothers. We saw a lot of emphasis being placed on green beauty, clean beauty, and even halal beauty.”
This was the direction that Selina saw Nessa taking. “We want to be the social media for beauty with a platform that is driven by content and education. Pre-Covid-19, we were told that 50 per cent of decisions that are made are made online but executed offline. This is the gap that we want to fill. Our aim is to really disrupt the beauty industry with our AI and other tech solutions. Already, we have seen a lot of curiosity about the brand since our launch, and we are seeing a fair amount of people downloading the Nessa app and visiting the Nessa website.”
Highlighting her plans for Nessa, she said that it is important to monitor what customers are looking for in the market at any given time, but also to see where innovation will take you. “Moving forward, we see clean beauty, Ayurveda products, and halal beauty as having massive potential in this sector. We are also looking to add more brands to our portfolio; currently, we have over 150, but we want to add more, especially luxury brands. These include well known global beauty brands, but also indie brands that are not as well know. There is already a lot of talk around Korean beauty and skincare brands in the industry, but what about Scandinavian and Japanese brands?”
Looking ahead, she says that she has plans to officially launch Nessa before the end of this year. In addition, Nessa will also be playing a key role in expanding its offline presence by organising masterclasses with known beauty gurus, specialists, and makeup artists. “The misconception that beauty revolves around cosmetics is long gone; it is about hygiene, skincare, body health, and so much more. Consumers today are more engaged and looking to learn about the products that they are using. Our vision is always going to be more about inspiring and educating our customers. People who have a passion for beauty and skincare will feel right at home.”
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