Date Posted: Friday 6th September 2019
DIARY directory recently caught up with Make-up Artist and Founder of The emJ Company, Emily-Jane Williams. As a make-up artist, Em-J's work has been featured on the front cover of Women’s Health and in The Body Shop's, and Ann Summers' global campaigns. Her strong morals and zero tolerance for animal cruelty reflect in her cosmetics brand The emJ Company, which is cruelty-free and vegan. DIARY decided to get Em-J's thoughts on the importance of raising awareness of vegan products and lifestyles.
Why is cruelty-free and using vegan products important to the future of the beauty industry?
The world is waking up to the truth about animal suffering in the cosmetics industry due to social media and the quick spread of news! The more aware we are about the dark secrets of the industry, the more we can demand clarity and ingredients from ethical sources from the brands we use.
What is your favourite product to use and why?
Wow, that’s a hard question, I may have to say my trusty Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm. It’s one of those magic potions that does everything!! I mostly use it as a moisturiser, night cream, make-up primer, lip balm, AND an eye gloss.
Why did you decide to create your own brand?
The creation of my brand was not planned at all. It was born from the desire to have certain things in my kit - such as a nifty lip-gloss and pencil holder, which quickly turned into making funky make-up artist brush belts. Luckily my mum was a fashion designer and had her own studio making fabric-based products, so we had a lot of fun conjuring things up and seeing if they sold.
What is the best thing about running your own vegan brand?
I love the fact that we are part of the movement that is moving away from using animals as a resource. I also love having the power to help towards change. We joined a scheme in December pledging to plant a tree for every order that we made across the world which feels wonderful. We have planted about 300 trees now.
How do you source suppliers and materials?
We try to source most of our fabrics from the UK and Ireland. There are a few from Asia, however, we are moving away from that now. All of our fabric-based products are made in my Mum’s studio along with Sheila and Val who together conjure up the magic and post packages out around the world. Our fantastic Brush manufacturer is a family-based company located in Shropshire. It’s very important to me to use British businesses and manufacturers, both for the high-quality control and the transparency around fair wages.
What has the biggest challenge been when building your brand?
The biggest challenge by far is working out prices. As everything is made in the UK - our costs truly reflect a British wage. The trouble is that the public is so used to high street prices, where things are made in Asia and are a 10th of the price. It has been an ongoing struggle to keep customers happy at the same time as making a profit.
Do you rely heavily on social media?
I would say that 60% of our sales have come from social media and the rest from Google, word of mouth and our newsletter.
How do you utilise social media? What platforms do you use the most and for what?
We always relied heavily on Instagram, however, due to the algorithms being all over the shop, over the past year we have taken a big hit to our Instagram sales. We are now doing more on google shopping, Facebook, Pinterest and also considering Amazon which seems to be the new google for shopping.
What advice would you give someone who wants to live a plant-based lifestyle?
Pre-order my fiancés next book HOW TO LIVE VEGAN, by BOSH. It is the most incredibly informative book I have ever seen. Even Russell brand has a quote on the cover saying, “This book will change your life." I have a section in there on how to shop vegan and cruelty-free with cosmetics too.
What advice would you give a make-up artist wanting to branch out and create their own products?
I would say look for the gaps in the market. There are thousands of companies now making face oils and many other products which are hard to compete with. Tune into yourself and realise when you wish you had something. Whether it be a certain shape of a make-up brush or a lash mascara, to give you ombre lashes. Whatever that thing is, ask yourself how many other people need this. If the answer is A LOT, then get cracking!
Members can find more cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands on DIARY directory through the brand category searches. We are adding categories to brands every day - so to check what we have for your brand, ask for your brand listing link.
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Emily-Jane Williams in 'Freelancers'
The emJ Company in 'Brands'
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