All quotes by Freay + Bailey Founder Abbie Oguntade
The origins of the brand
I had previously launched the skincare category of a global health care brand but had moved on to holding down a leadership role in Tech that was incredibly demanding and somewhat stressful. I developed stress acne and needed to re-evaluate my diet and skincare regime. I eventually found a plan that worked for me thanks to a clean beauty approach and the clinical team I now partner with at Freya + Bailey Skincare. It reignited my passion for skincare and is now my full-time focus.
What’s behind the name?
I’m a people person through and through and it’s no wonder Freya + Bailey is named after women. I wanted the names to reflect the kinds of friends you could hang out with, laugh with- names that were dynamic, distinctive but personable.
Your mission statement?
We talk more about our beliefs and values, I think it’s easier to live by that way. We’re just normal people, trying to do extraordinary things. We’re passionate about making effective skincare available to everyone. We don’t follow trends. We simply source the best botanical ingredients powered by Science and turn them into fresh modern formulas. We strive to be a mindful, sustainable business with our recycled and recyclable packaging and our vision of Sustainability embraces the social and holistic, which is why we donate a portion of our profits to causes that help reduce sources of stress in our communities. I.e. poverty
A day in the life of Freya + Bailey
The start of my day is a usual but fun one – it starts with a dance with my kids- always to the same crazy track “I like to move it, move it”! It’s sort of my equivalent of the exec morning run and it happens before I’ve checked my emails in the morning. I actually try to prioritise what my day is first before seeing what all my emails are telling me is important though inevitably things don’t always go to plan.
We’re still very much in day one mode eight months in and I hope that mindset will continue as each day brings something new. In my corporate days, mornings often began with a share price review, now it’s very much about customer feedback and reach outs. As CEO I oversee most things but have hired a small but great team of individuals from diverse backgrounds who reflect our brand ethos. So far, our daily video call check-ins are proving hugely valuable at the start of each day. I have stayed super close to the manufacturing side of the business, it’s our promise to the consumer after all and am filtering everything we do via our brand values. Its tiring, exhilarating and work life balance is a struggle at times but there’s purpose, meaning and community.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by strength and courage, people with principles that go out there and give it their best- warts and all. I believe however that courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
Launching my brand has led me to a world of supportive female entrepreneurship that I’d never known back in my big corporate days. The passion, talent and sheer camaraderie has been inspiring and I regularly engage with them still to make sure Freya + Bailey continues to deliver quality, performance led skincare solutions.
Why are you so passionate about skincare?
Skincare is personal. It’s not about vanity, it really is self-care. I feel privileged to work in an industry that affects people’s lives and their self-perception each day. I myself have been on that same journey, I really understand that aspect of looking for “hope in a bottle”. When I developed stress acne, I was sort of on a personal crusade, researching and testing everything for a solution that worked for me.
That’s why I would never play with that trust, I wouldn’t put anything out there I couldn’t stand behind in terms of efficacy. We also offer a more 1 to 1 connection point via the online skin consultations we launched a few months ago in response to the Covid crisis. This was so people could have the direct expertise they were no longer able to get for free and the response has been incredible.
Honesty & integrity are key drivers for you, do you feel that other beauty brands are perhaps less driven by this?
I don’t want to point the finger at others explicitly but yes, the industry can certainly do better and there are some real rays of light out there. I believe that beauty can be a power for good and at Freya + Bailey, we’re trying to be a little more of that change we want to see in the world. We’re not here to preach, we’re just doing. We know we’re small but for us working on what matters, matters.
For other female led businesses, what advice would you give?
Though each journey is different, I’d say this to anyone thinking of striking out alone: Find your mentors – absorb everything. Listen to what others have to say – friends, family, experts, consumers, but ultimately you need to determine what carries through. Also choose partners and suppliers that reflect your values. You are the company you keep. Lastly, surround yourself with those that give you energy and inspiration. It’s a lonely road out there so make use of meet ups, networks etc to share invaluable insight and that all important glass of Prosecco. Oh and one critical point – when life shuts a door, open it again. It’s a door. That’s how they work.
What is your favourite product? And your bestseller?
I love our serums and DOYENNE! Miracle Face Serum £50 is proving to be a fan favourite and is my go-to. They’re just so versatile. We’ve fortified them with five skin loving vitamins including ACE, they hydrate right through the skin layers and not only combat the impact of stress and pollution, they also help delay the signs of ageing and restore glow. Total heroes!
What hero product would you recommend for this middle-aged working mama?
I would pick FORTE! Collagen Face Moisturiser £40 which is enriched with hyaluronic acid and plant retinol. It delivers deep down moisture while reducing the appereance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. We’ve been really careful to ensure it doesn’t strip the skin of essential oils and have fortified it with nutrients to feed your skin.
I’m also pretty scrupulous about a twice a day cleanse no matter what. We have wonderful, non-foam, sulphate free options for dehydrated/ dull/ breakout prone skin tones. They are super hydrating and remove every remnant of grime which is key for working mamas or those with on the go lifestyles.