After a busy year of launching a new cruelty free brand, being an international MUA and working on some of the hottest campaigns around. We were lucky enough to catch up with Em-J and find out more about what the inspo behind the brands are, what to do when things don’t go to plan and other Girl Bosses in her life…
Your collections are to die for, what were your inspirations behind them?
Thank you NL crew! As you can see we do have a lot of animal print fabrics. I am a huge animal lover and feel like they are timeless. I also love how it shows we don’t need to have the ‘real deal’ to look this good!
I like to have a mixture of timeless, classy collections as well as some ‘va va voom’ collections! Most new launches we really have no idea how the public will respond but I’d rather try something a little different rather than play too safe! Where’s the fun in that?
Cruelty free beauty is a cause we feel strongly about at NL HQ too, when did you decide your brand would be cruelty free?
Admittedly before we started the business, I wouldn’t have thought twice about buying leather handbags. But when we started, the thought of having a cow hide on our studio table repulsed me.
From day one we never even considered using real leather. This led on to everything we bought to be cruelty free. There is absolutely no need to use leather in fashion nowadays, there is TONS of gorgeous faux fabrics on the market.
What are your favourite cruelty free beauty brands?
Obviously Nouveau Lashes for lash and brow products! I also am a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia Beverly Hills and I recently discovered Models own which have some gorgeous pigmented products!
When you started your company in 2011 it was all hands on deck and your mother helped you set up using her manufacturing company, is your mother a Girl Boss too?
ABSOLUTELY! She started making dolls dresses when she was 12 and making money from that. She then went on to have her own fashion design company though her 20’s with 22 people working for her. She definitely taught me to aim high in life as well as work hard for it.
As well as having your brand Em J, you’re also a successful international MUA, what’s been your favourite campaign you’ve worked on so far?
Honestly- I would say…pretty high up there would be the Nouveau Lashes campaign, which was launched THIS SEPTEMBER! So exciting to be a part of this.
You’ve just launched your new brand, Budhi, what can we expect to see from it?
YAAS. The word ‘Budhi’ means ‘consciousness’ in Fijian. The concept of BUDHI is a drop ship store where cruelty free living can be a way of life for the mass market. An online one stop shop selling fashion, beauty, make-up and fitness products where customers can trust nothing has been tested on animals as well as not containing any animal ingredients.
What’s been your biggest piece of advice you’ve received from a supporter?
“Remember- It’s about the journey just as much as it’s about the destination”…. It’s easy to think “I’ll be happy when I achieve this, or that” But then you will never really be content if you’re always looking for the next surge of success! I believe we should celebrate every small achievement and be grateful for the ups and downs.
Do you have any advice to give to others wanting to start their own business?
Surround yourself with people who lift your energy. Being around others with a passion for success means you inspire each other and feed each other’s creativity! There’s going to be ups and downs. When things don’t go how you hoped- try to see them as assignments for learning. There will be a reason and if you can overcome the blow and learn from it then it isn’t a block but just a hurdle!
To shop our cruelty free range head to our Shop or to book one of our cruelty free treatments, head to our Salon Finder. For more on Em-J follow her on Instagram.