how 3 kuwaiti sisters built a regional beauty empire
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Kuwaiti sisters Sarah, Nora and Dana

How 3 Kuwaiti sisters built a regional beauty empire

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice How 3 Kuwaiti sisters built a regional beauty empire

From left, Nora, Sarah and Dana
Kuwait - Arab Today

Kuwaiti sisters Sarah, Nora and Dana Al-Ramadhan love everything that represents beauty — from makeup, cosmetics to hair and skincare. They decided to do something about their passion and came up with an idea to build a regional beauty empire. The result was Apotheca Beauty, which aims to discover new secrets, search for new regimens, and acquire innovative solutions for every beauty need.
Apotheca is a dedicated beauty supply company that bridges the gap between the need for quality consumer products within the Middle East, and the desire for premium brands that wish to expand their customer reach. Apotheca Beauty has been responsible for bringing Anastasia Beverly Hills to Sephora; it represents multiple other brands such as Lime Crime, Sarah Chapman and Philip B. They’re out to build a beauty empire in the region with these luxury brands.
Arab News had an exclusive chat with the three sisters to learn more about the beauty business and their upcoming plans:

What does Apotheca stand for?
The word ‘Apotheca’ is derived from the ancient Latin word ‘apothecary’. An apothecary is a modern day chemist or pharmacist. Although, we don’t work with pharmaceuticals, we do view our business as sourcing effective remedies and quality products to meet our customers’ beauty needs.

Why beauty? What is your approach toward beauty?
We are consumers first and foremost. Before we ever got into the ‘business’ of beauty, we were fans of the products we now distribute and sell. About three years ago, we studied the market in the Middle East and realized there was a real gap for niche, specialty brands, which we then decided to bring out ourselves. Our approach toward beauty is simply, to focus on quality — in the brands we source, the products we work with, and therefore, in the results our customers will see as a result.

What is the story behind this business?
We first stumbled across distribution through a close connection in Los Angeles. A famous dermatologist wanted to distribute his products in Kuwait and asked us to help him do so. We then spent a couple months studying the market, and although the opportunity never materialized, we realized a serious gap in the market for premium, niche beauty brands. That was enough to let us know we had a serious business opportunity on our hands, and we then moved forward. The goal has been to bring niche, specialty brands to consumers in the region and offer more variety than the mainstream brands that have been available for years.

What according to you is in demand among women in the Middle East?
A few years ago, variety was seriously lacking — you could always find major retail brands, but niche and booming beauty brands were hard to come by. Now, it’s almost on the opposite side of the spectrum where there is a flood of anything and everything. I think what’s really in demand is good customer service. Providing the knowledge to the customers regarding good products as well as the best products specifically for them is important. This is something we focus on at our Apotheca retail store, and through our operational sales teams.

How do you source brands and how do you know they will sell well?
Foremost, we are consumers of the beauty market ourselves. Therefore, we naturally want to bring what we use and love! Once that’s been established, we then map out what market dynamic and consumer would the brand appeal to. Finally, we then work closely with the brands themselves to make sure their philosophy and aesthetic is properly rolled out into the region.

Do you always go for brands that are in demand or discover and introduce the region to new, upcoming beauty brands?
We do both. Many brands are looking for small distribution beauty companies that can offer them the attention, dedication and training needed, which large retail companies do not always have the time for. It’s a perfect marriage with Apotheca. We’ve also brought brands that are still ‘up-and-coming’, and fortunately, we’ve been able to meet the regional demand immediately.

Do you experiment with products and derma procedures before bringing them to the region?
Always — our number one requirement before bringing a brand has to be that we use it ourselves foremost. We are than eager to share it with the region.

What is Apotheca Beauty’s strategy?
Our strategy is to continue to diversify our company while remaining selective and working with only quality brands, thereby becoming the most premium, niche distribution beauty company.

What is the most challenging, and the most rewarding part about being in business with your family?
The most challenging part is surely having our boundaries — we literally never stop working! There’s always at least one of us ready to take a call, answer e-mails or research at 1 a.m. on a Friday or during the week. The most rewarding aspect is how close it brings us all and how, because we are family, we are comfortable challenging each other, thereby, helping us grow and evolve faster.

If not beauty, what else would it be?
Who knows — we all were in the financial corporate world before we began working on our own company, so we may all still be there. But we are now exactly where we are meant to be.

Source: Arab News

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