Q&A with Maleka Dattu owner of Merumaya skincare
Being surrounded by so many beauty products day in day out, one brand that has really impressed me is Merumaya. The products are affordable yet deliver amazing results. I thought it would make a nice change to find out a bit more about this brand and how these amazing products were created?
Owner and creator of Merumaya, Maleka Dattu was part of the team that grew Clinique to the number one position in the UK. After that she established the market positioning and growth of Origins while General Manager UK/ROI; latterly, Senior Vice President/General Manager for North America, based out of New York City. At Lancôme, she provided a retail and consumer focus to revitalise engagement and the top and bottom line performance; she was credited by many for their most successful skincare launch (Genefique), in the UK’s recorded history. So who better to start up her own beauty brand.
After 27 happy and successful years in corporate life, she decided to fulfil her dream and began the creation of Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare® which has been in the works since spring 2010. Merumaya is now available in select John Lewis stores and John Lewis online.
What made you decide to create your own Beauty Brand?
I always wanted to have my own business and Skincare & Beauty is where I have about 34 years experience. That experience (along with my own aging process) gave me an excellent insight into what women (and men) actually want. Not only from their skincare products but also, how they want to be participative and interact with the brand and owner, to feel that what they want is absolutely central to the brand, to know that they are getting performing products at a fair price and that the pleasure enhancing, sensorial elements are included.. In addition and very important to me, is that we offer products that help you look and feel youthful, without guilt or pressure to look ‘young’. I promote the hashtag #beautyhasnoage not because I am a clever marketer but because I truly believe it. Finally, I decided that my British brand would be Made in Britain so that it contributes to our economy and jobs – I think we have a huge opportunity in Britain to support and champion British brands as the Americans and French support their home market brands.
What did you do before you had a Beauty Brand?
I studied Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy. Joined a small beauty company which gives fabulous access to the owners of the business and exposure to areas of the business that are not in your remit. It is a brilliant training ground to be part of a small, fast growing business and your efforts have a tangible and visible effect. I then joined the Estee Lauder Companies and remained for 21 years. I was part of the team that took Clinique to the No1 market position, as General Manager for Origins I was credited for developing the brand and category and voted by Cosmetic Executive Women members as Achiever of the Year 2006. I was then asked by Leonard and William Lauder to take up the post of Senior Vice President/General Manager in North America based out of New York. Upon returning to the UK, I spent a year helping Lancome and was credited for the success of Genefique which was their best selling skincare product in their UK history. While taking 2.5 years to research and create MERUMAYA Integrative Effective Skincare, I was Industry & Business consultant to many brands and retailers including Marks & Spencer. On the personal front and during the creation of MERUMAYA, I had my first baby (naturally) at the age of 48 and after suffering five miscarriages, was truly blessed. Got married and rennovated a house.
Talk to me about your range of products
The unique Integrative Concept is based on Integrative Health which says, prevent and cure disease at the same time. So MERUMAYA Prevents and Perfects aging at the same time. Effective is my promise to you. All products are based on six principles:
- Prevent & Perfect Skin Aging – Integrative concept
- Performance – use high numbers of robustly clinically tested actives and at the same concentrations as they were tested
- Pleasure – over decades we got very pious about skincare. I want to delight your senses and the Signature Essence Blend contains nature identical molecules of scents that were used in times gone by to raise confidence and attraction. It is unique, it makes you feel fabulous and definitely a step away from the somewhat boring and safe ‘citrus’ that is used as a standard because it is inoffensive. Also, the textures of the products are sensual, velvety and silky. Sensorial products that engage and delight your senses
- Practicality – we all want to look youthful for longer but there is no need to spend more of your precious time doing it. I wanted to save you time and make it super easy for your to take care of your skin. An example is our Melting Cleansing Balm: in a tube, no ‘warming’ required, melts, milks, easy to remove and saves you at least 45 seconds on each cleanse. The Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make Up Remover has a flip top lid so that you cannot drop it (and then have to chase all over the floor to pick it up!)
- Price – I was determined to bring to market products that can rival any of those in the luxury sector but at a price that meant customers can afford to use them all the time and not just when times are good. It has been the hardest because I refused to compromise on ingredients and formula. So, I put the money into the product and not packaging or advertising and I am prepared to take a much lower margin for myself, in the hopes that this will grow to be the next big British brand…spread the word please!
- Patriorism – this is a British brand that is Made in GREAT Britain. I am a London girl and it is important that we all do our bit to support our own economy and jobs. For me it is spending my money on British businesses that make and supply my products and for all of us, we can at least give British brands a try and if they stand up to the test, continue to buy them.
What sort of skin types can use your products?
All – because it is about Prevention of skin ageing as well as undoing existing signs of skin aging. The formulas are cleverly created and while the many many active ingredients go to work, they feel amazing on all skins and, we have a lot of men using the products which I did not expect.
How can your products benefit the skin?
Every skin will look more radiant and vibrant which gives a healthy look.
The treatment products that address ageing wil not exacerbate problem skins
The products for problems skins do not accelerate skin aging by being harshly agressive.
Echium oil is a very effective anti-inflammatory and is in Iconic Youth Serum (the heartbeat of MERUMAYA and a must-have for every skin), Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF 15, Intensely Youthful Eye Cream and Melting Cleansing Balm. It is incredibly calming and soothing so even the most sensitive skins, those will psoriasis and even those undergoing cancer treatments have told us it was brilliant. The products help to prevent and treat, lines, elasticity, fatique, spots, moisture, dehydration, dulness and much more.
Where can our readers find your products?
20 John Lewis stores and their website
QVC website and shows
I’d also suggest joining us by subscrbing to our emails because we do offer very special opportunities including, to test new products (before manufacture) http://tinyurl.com/l3y7nye
Which product is your favourite in the entire range?
Iconic Youth Serum makes a difference to every skin and it just keeps getting better but you cannot really hold me to one???
Intensely Youthful Eye Cream – ignore the smell of the Echium it is a genius eye cream and you will find no better
Overnight Recharge Night Cream – OMG!
Melting Cleansing Balm – because it has taken the category of cleansing balms and given it a real shake up. It differentiates and made huge improvements on packaging, ease of use, effectiveness and on price, it is about a third of the previously market leaders.
Just google it and you will see that it is fast gaining cult status – everyone loves it.
Do you have any new products coming out anytime soon?
Oh Yes! Hydrate & Protect Hand Cream on 9th February and about another 5/6 products through the year. Again, join our emails and you will be first to know. http://tinyurl.com/l3y7nye
With thanks to Merumaya Skincare, for more information checkout: www.merumaya.com