UAE-Based Singaporean Expat Launches Organic Makeup Brand in Response to Acne Struggles

Nerissa Low, a Singaporean expat, had reached the pinnacle of her field, a career in finance when she had to quit in order to launch her own Liht organic makeup line

UAE-Based Singaporean Expat Launches Organic Makeup Brand in Response to Acne Struggles

Dubai: Nerissa Low, a Singaporean expat, had reached the pinnacle of her field, a career in finance when she had to quit in order to launch her own Liht organic makeup line. During her 17-year career in the corporate world, here is what prompted her to make a career shift.

“When I first started working, I remember struggling with adult acne. I was taking oral medications every day and getting monthly steroid injections directly into my pimples. Low stated, "I gave up on the treatments after a few years of this."

The causes were what I discovered when I decided to conduct in-depth research on my own. Turns out I was oversensitive to a ton of synthetic compounds in our day to day care items, so I detoxed my skincare normal and utilized just natural items, and my skin cleared up in 90 days!"

Low went on to describe how, despite the ease with which organic skincare was available at the time, she was unable to find organic makeup that suited her skin's needs. This is when I made the decision to start my own business because, essentially, I had to use it myself, and I figured that if I had this problem, other women might also need it.

Growing up parsimonious drives Low to acquire more

Experiencing childhood in Singapore, Low was raised to be parsimonious and not squander cash, and watching her folks work for the family made her decided never to be experiencing the same thing herself. " I let myself know when I was 12 years of age that when I grow up, I won't ever believe myself or my family should stress over cash once more."

Low claimed that while she was in school, she only had a small amount of pocket money, so she worked part-time during the holidays to make up for it. This included working as a waitress or at a movie theater while she was in school, earning $4-$6 (Dh15-Dh22) an hour, and working as a secretary or telemarketer while she was in college, earning approximately $6 an hour.

We have been taught to be independent and financially responsible, so I took out loans to pay for school and had to pay them back when I graduated. Since I procured more than the normal for somebody my age and took care of my credit in no less than a year," she added.

Working in a commission-based job with a higher risk "This drive was also the reason I chose a commission-based job with a higher risk, where I could be compensated for how hard I worked without a salary cap. I began to partake in a task in that I had command over the amount I procured and how long I needed to spend on it. I attribute my success in my career to my discipline, as I am quite the workaholic.

Low believed that the financial background she had throughout her career played a significant role in assisting her in making better financial decisions for the company and communicating that to her investors. She continued, "I guess it honed my entrepreneurial mindset because I never had a regular job with fixed working hours."

“However, starting a business from scratch was a whole new, steep learning curve, and my career in finance was primarily a sales position. In addition to selling, I now had to work on product development, business development, team and partnership management, basic accounting, corporate structuring, and fundraising.

What are the expenses for a cosmetics company?

When Low, who was 36 years old at the time, started her company in 2017, she said that the initial focus was on research and development and making sample products. She also said that it took about a year to perfect the formulation and another year to make the right packaging for the products.

She said, "It was important for us to own the tooling for our packaging, which was a significant investment of around $300,000 (Dh1.1 million) in order to prevent counterfeits in the future," noting that she initially invested Dh4 million of her own money in the company.

“We reduced it to two distinct variants in order to manage packaging costs. At first, I self-financed the organization for a couple of years until we were sure that the business was prepared to take off," Low made sense of. " In order to enter the Middle Eastern market, we then launched our first official fundraiser, which cost approximately Dh7.4 million (two million dollars).

The building of a team, setting up warehouses, producing stock, marketing, and building gondolas for stores were all included in this sum. We thought it was necessary to invest in these areas to successfully launch our product and gain a foothold in the market, despite the high costs of entering the market.

Problems encountered and lessons learned?

Low believed that the health crisis taught her the most about how to launch her business in the UAE and other Middle Eastern markets by the end of 2019 like most entrepreneurs do.

"For me, Covid-19 has certainly reduced my 10 years of business experience to 2.5 years. She stated, "While it has clearly been a terrible time for everyone, including myself, in some ways I am grateful for the lessons it taught me." For a start-up, we had a very quick and strong start, but the pandemic literally stopped everything overnight, for lack of a better word.

I learned to not take anything for granted and to be prepared for the worst, especially financially, even when things appear to be going well. The emergency likewise instructed me that there can be no restriction to how terrible things can go when it chooses to go ahead, and there is no timetable regarding when it will end. This is the new prudent mentality I currently have when I go with my business choices."

As an entrepreneur, Low likewise figured out how to settle on hard choices that she wouldn't in any case have needed to make when things are running smooth, especially with regards to reducing expenses and enough designating assets and assets. " Today, I only spend money on things I think are absolutely valuable, and I won't hesitate to cut costs right away if they don't serve a measurable, practical purpose.

Saving plans or techniques you've utilized?

Low actually started building her investment portfolio when she was just 22 years old. Since she was already working in the finance industry, she had access to investment products that she could use to start building her portfolio for retirement.
In her case, these investment products included retirement annuities that will provide her with a monthly payout when she retires as well as blue-chip stocks, which she invested in to expand her portfolio while also diversifying it with other investment-linked products.

"I additionally put resources into properties in Singapore and in Australia for rental pay and capital development. Low continued, "I already had investment plans in place by the time I was 28 for pay-outs for the education of my future children and progressive annuity pay-outs in preparation for early retirement in the event that I chose to do so or had to do so due to unforeseen circumstances."

yearly portfolio review: "I review my portfolio every year to make sure that all of my plans are still relevant and to refine them where necessary." I take a lot of risks, so I invest 70% in growth stocks, real estate, and business investments, 30% in cash, and the rest in safer, diversified portfolios.

Low stated that she will ensure that she provides her children with the same financial education as her parents did for her, despite the fact that she already has investment plans in place to pay for their future education.

"I think it's important to give them the opportunity to learn what it's like to work for their money and experience earning their own money from a young age." It's critical, in my opinion, that they learn early on to value money and not take anything for granted. Even though I will be able to give them an advantage, I will still want them to earn this privilege and be aware that nothing comes free.