An Interview with Freya + Bailey Founder, Abbie Oguntade
Last month we caught up with Abbie Oguntade, founder of the gorgeous chic and clean beauty brand – Freya & Bailey. For us, Freya & Bailey ticks all the boxes. Not only is the brand green and sustainable, it holds customer experience at the heart of everything they do, from their stylish, quality products to their online skin analysis test, which is super fun and helps you to find the right products for your specific skin type.
“We consider ourselves to be a CLEANICAL brand- using naturally derived, rawphytonutrient ingredients that help to destress skin and build its resilience. Despite this, Science is our foundation and our guide. We invest heavily in clinical research; our products are formulated by an experienced scientific team and we innovate in terms of product fusions. We live the Nature Vs Science? We don’t take sides mantra. Over and above this, we believe in the sacred trinity of Clean/ Clinical and Wellness with our aromatherapeutic blends to illicit a dose of calm as you go about your day. The skin responds really well to our ranges and our customers are really happy when they find us. We also offer free skin consultations, which helps to make informed and personalised choices!”
What made you start Freya and Bailey?
I had previously launched the skincare category of a global health care brand but had moved on to holding down a leadership role in tech that was incredibly demanding and somewhat stressful. I developed stress acne and needed to re-evaluate my diet and skincare regime and eventually found a plan that worked for me thanks to a clean beauty approach and the clinical team I now partner with at Freya + Bailey Skincare. It reignited my passion for skincare and is now my full-time focus.
Your brand has strong ethical values. How important was it for you to incorporate these ethics into your business?
I wanted to create wellness for the skin and have something that makes my customers happier and healthier. Transparent, effective, environmentally friendly, allergy friendly, sensitive skin friendly.Green Technology, which is balancing science-based active ingredients with botanicals, has been at the core of the brand since we launched in 2019. If you want to really transform your skin you have to use active ingredients which can be irritating, so we use soothing botanicals to counterbalance that and it’s all about formulas that deliver efficacy, quality, and purity without compromising your health.
We are also passionate about sustainability, being cruelty-free and community love. These were non moveable pillars for me from the start as I believe in the power of beauty as a source for good.
What struggles have you faced along the way?
I am a ‘yes’ person, always, it’s one of my favourite words! Whether it’s sourcing a very specific form of Vitamin C from or reformulating a best-seller like Forte Retinol Lustre for the international market, I have and always will be a yes person, which means you tend to take on a lot at once and sometimes it can get overwhelming.
I must admit it is tough breaking into a market dominated by high-spending conventional brands and into a consumer world that sometimes still questions what nature could do for skin. I wanted to develop products that I was proud to offer to my friends and family, things that truly delivered in terms of results.
When creating new products, what’s the process like and where do you seek inspiration?
I still remember the day when my lead formulator and I wrote on a piece of paper what we wanted the Freya + Bailey brand to stand for. Nature, apothecary, science, aesthetics, ethos.
This is our heart and has been our springboard for pioneering our Freya + Bailey Reboot. Revive. Reset process.
We do our own research and development within a small closed loop for maximum ownership and responsibility. From the vetted suppliers that cultivate our ingredients, to our product formulation, production and design of sustainable packaging solutions. For us, sustainability isn’t about marketing, it’s just the way we’ve always done business. You can’t be a green company without a green product, and that means everything from ingredients to manufacturing to packaging needs to take the planet into account. This is the Freya + Bailey way of creating a product.
What advice would you give to somebody who is interesting in starting their own skincare brand?
Though each journey is different, I’d say this to anyone thinking of striking out alone: Find your mentors – absorb everything. Listen to what others have to say – friends, family, experts, consumers, but ultimately you need to determine what carries through. Also choose partners and suppliers that reflect your values. You are the company you keep. Lastly, surround yourself with those that give you energy and inspiration. It’s a lonely road out there so make use of meet ups, networks etc. to share invaluable insight and that all important glass of Prosecco!
Don’t forget to head over to www.freyaandbailey.com to shop their skincare collection and take their skin type test!