Made by Sunday is an online beauty platform founded by Chaymae Samir. Originally from Morocco, she moved to England to launch her beauty blender business. She started her company from her living room and regularly gets out 400 orders a day.
Founded in 2018, the first product was the microfibre blender, a makeup sponge that saves you 70% of your foundation, because of its velvety soft microfibre layer. Unlike any other makeup sponge, it takes blending to the next level and it’s perfect for controlled application and coverage. Superwomen Gal Gadot’s make-up artist is a fan.
“A normal beauty company takes two years to come with a product, we can do it in less than 40 days” “I wanted to take a boring product and add something new. This is how the brand was born. I started the website and learned from there.”
The beauty blenders are now available on Feelunqiue and soon to be available on many other online retailers. Made by Sunday was created to provide clean, conscious, and accessible products that empowered young people. They believe there is both a place for quality and humour to exist together. Made by Sunday is all about uncomplicated, up-front, and affordable products.
The brand has now expanded from beauty blenders and now stocks moisturisers Vitamin D, night cream, face oil and face creams all inline with their customers, featuring quality products at an affordable price.
Welcome, Chaymae what does your career overview look like prior to launching Made By Sunday?
My career started earlier than what I had planned and was always embedded in that entrepreneurial spirit. I convinced a professor to take me as an intern for her consultancy business. The internship turned into an associate position and I ended up embarking on my first journey as a location independent professional while studying. Projects involved working with the US Department of Education, Walmart, GSK and others.
I then moved to Asia, where I worked as the liaison between the Ministry of Finance and an organisation helping startups in the region. This allowed me to get involved with organising some really cool events such as Obama’s 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit and be at the forefront of entrepreneurship and startups in South East Asia.
I then moved to New York where I worked at a hedge fund, sourcing deals in emerging markets. I also had a brief stint at the United Nation in Geneva but decided it wasn’t the right path for me. By the time I graduated from my second master’s, I had more experience than most of my peers and it just didn’t make sense to look for a job. So I started freelancing on the side to get the startup capital to launch my first business which was a tutoring centre that ended up being franchised, as well as a juice bar. I learned a lot about building a community and straightened my digital marketing skills thanks to these businesses. Which then led me to Made By Sunday.
What was the incentive to launch Made By Sunday and how did you take it from concept to reality?
After moving to the UK, I noticed how young people were obsessed with cosmetics and skin care as I’ve never seen before. As an outsider of both the country and the industry, I was able to spot a white space.
I saw an opportunity to bring clean, affordable beauty products to the masses, that didn’t stick to the rules of emphasised perfection or what I call ‘aspirational realness’ that you see from a lot of brands trying to bring that ‘authentic’ voice that still feels like the marketing department is behind it. After researching and studying the big retailers, I realised that the typical pharmacy beauty product really hasn’t changed in decades.
Made By Sunday is all about finding what’s relevant, finding the white space at the time or what’s coming and delivering against it. The company relies on a faster supply chain than other competitors, and gained notable success after our fuzzy velvet makeup sponges became a viral hit on social media, absorbing 70% less foundation than regular blenders. From there, we expanded to other beauty tools and finally in February 2020 to skincare. I personally feel more aligned with a burgeoning cultural backlash against the artificial Instagram beautification of everyday life. And Made By Sunday really embodies that.
Now featuring in media outlets such as ELLE, Glamour and BUSTLE, how did you get your big break with Made By Sunday?
Diversifying our model to include retailers definitely gave us that stable regular injection of cash needed to expand the company into new product categories. Feelunique gave us our first shot when we barely had packaging then many more followed in the UK and across the world: Urban Outfitters, the Boohoo Group, Watson’s, Virgin, etc…
What do you think sets you apart from other key industry players?
We’re a clean skincare brand that walks the talk. We’re loved for our no bs, upbeat spirit and spot-on humour. We tend to level with our customers and treat them like our friends. They come above us as a company and individuals. I believe the consumer is a lot smarter than you would think and is able to differentiate between what’s real, and what’s just good marketing.
At the end of the day it all comes down to three things:
- Formulating products to be clean, effective, and affordable with a focus on sustainability. Like really. Not some ‘clean’ label on a product. The quality of our products is accessible through our price point (all under £20), our availability across e-commerce and mass market, and through each one of us at the company is accessible to customers.
- Keeping it real. I do all the writing and have great direct communication with our customers. I focus less on selling and more on how the products can fit into a normal routine. We’re very relatable people and that is really hard to find in the beauty industry. We also don’t do paid influencer marketing. If a blogger or influencer likes our product as a customer and posts about it, then great. But we don’t actively look to skew the feedback on our products.
- Innovating is at the centre of what we do, from supply chain to product development and so much more. We’re able to bring products from ideation to release from 15 days to 45 days, with the help of an agile supply chain and digital marketing (the industry standard is 9mo to 2yrs).
You create clean, conscious and accessible products that empower young people, can you tell us a little bit more about your mission and how it aligns with your brand DNA?
We are led by our entrepreneurial spirit and are dedicated to supporting young people in achieving their dreams. We encourage them to be more independent and goal-driven. That translates to:
1. Supporting them with capital to start their businesses or side hustles. We give back some of our profits to customers or people in our community to start their charities or buy stock for their online business, etc…
2. We also provide advice, mentorship and workshops to our community. With covid, we weren’t able to organise the events we had in mind but have decided to translate this in 2021 into an online platform called ‘The Sunday School’ where young people can find resources, classes, and workshops to help them get over those hurdles holding them back from getting started. Our own version of the accelerator.
How have you been professionally challenged since launching Made By Sunday?
When we decided to take the time to reinvent how we do what we do in March 2020, bringing new alternatives and reframing our vision. Our brand has always been about a special sort of pick me up, kicking those boring generic products to the curb. But I felt through it all, we lost sight of a few things, like our ultimate goal or our social mission.
I had to have real conversations about where we are and what we need to succeed, and ultimately, we were comfortable with this change.
I believe our messaging is helping to change the way people feel about their beauty and the products they purchase, and that’s an urgent to-do for me. I knew our customers are dynamic, free-wheeling, and expressive, I wanted to make the fun choice, the right choice.
I realised the brand wasn’t doing the job I want it to do and thought a simpler, more distinctive and encompassing the evolution of it could do that job better. It was a huge shift when we changed our name, thus changing our identity, vision and perception, as a company and for our customers. This also meant we now make and package most of our products in our facilities in Oxfordshire. We now truly operate the same way we make products: with a person-first perspective.
What has been a seminal moment in your career so far?
Very early on, I realised that my life’s purpose, whether through talks, my company’s business model, or even simply existing as an immigrant woman of colour in the business space, the very reason I’m on this planet, is to let other people know they can do it too, and give them the tools to achieve their goals.
I myself come from a place where people are so quick to assume you can’t make it to the highest grandest levels in life. I want our customers to come for the beauty products and stay for the empowerment, the feminism, and that kick in the butt they need.
Most valuable business lesson learnt?
There’s a huge myth going around that in order to be successful online you have to be this peppy, beautiful and endlessly performing individual. It sets up a horrible feeling of an uphill battle for everyone who doesn’t feel like a million bucks every day of the week. It makes the feeling even worse if you’re trying to build a business while you work a job, raise children, face family challenges, or like me, cope with health conditions.
Lastly, what can expect to see from you in 2021 with Made By Sunday?
We have a few more products in the pipeline for skincare and we’re planning on expanding in exciting new product categories. We also look forward to bringing more of our products to the masses through a few retail partnerships we’re currently working on. Lastly, I think everyone at Made By Sunday is really excited about our Sunday School where we get to bigger our social impact and truly make a difference in our community.