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Launching a cosmetic brand in Luxembourg

Ahoua Eve Bakayoko, founder of MissBak since 2019

Why make natural cosmetics?

I have a little boy who used to have a lot of allergies. So I started to do some research, to change my beauty routine, his first and that’s how I started to be interested in natural cosmetics, which led to the creation of my project.

What about cosmetic tests?

In Europe, it is important to know that cosmetics are highly regulated. There is a European regulation in place that must be carefully followed. It is also beneficial because as it is a European regulation, if it works in a country, it also works in another country of the European Union.

As I said earlier, I came across this contact who helped me a lot. As for testing, there are several laboratories that exist. It all depends on the complexity of the product. I always keep it simple. If the product is simple, fewer tests are required so it will be less expensive. It is very easy to access, but there are pitfalls to avoid. There are a lot of entrepreneurs today who are getting into the cosmetics business. So there are a lot of companies that offer support services in this sector, there’s a bit of everything. I came across someone who guided me and was very benevolent, they told me: ‘You can do this yourself and this as well, you don’t have to pay or anything.’ It took a lot of time and a lot of patience. A lot of research too!

Stock management

I have some flagship products at MissBak but I also have some accessories to diversify. As I am still very young as a company in terms of stock, I am very cautious. So I’m taking it slowly. I order my stock according to the funds I have. For now, everything is reinvested, so I don’t have any particular stock problems.

Other ways of selling than the website?

I also do pop-up stores very often. That’s where I get the most sales. So the pop-up stores, and recently, I also started selling in local markets. It allows me to be in touch with people. And I also have physical resale outlets in Esch-sur-Alzette. I am listed on a lot of marketplaces with whom I share more or less the same values.

Best-selling method?

Definitely physical events: pop-up stores, markets. This is where I get the most income. I sell cosmetic products. People need to see and touch the products. They need to see me as well! The physical events are definitely the moments when I make the most sales.

How many products to get started?

When I launched the brand, I had three products. Of course, at first I wanted to do more. That’s for sure! With hindsight and the feedback I had, I realised that I had to start somewhere. This is a piece of advice I often give to entrepreneurs: ‘At some point, you have to go for it!’

Lessons learnt

You have to be very patient when you start. You have many ideas, you want to do many things. And then, sometimes, you can get slapped in the face. So you have to be very patient. Take a good look at what’s going on around you, competitiveness, etc. Another lesson I learnt is about managing my finances. I learnt how to manage it more simply, more carefully. It is necessary to surround yourself with the right people! This is crucial! Surround yourself well, both in the private and professional sphere. Always surround yourself with people who can help you, who have positive vibes and give constructive criticism.