18 March 2021
Allison Stubbings is the Founder of Medeau, a luxury fragrance brand dedicated to producing clean, vegan fragrances, inspired by nature and informed by science.
My vision for Medeau is also my vision for the industry. There will come a time when we won’t need to describe perfumes as ‘clean’ – that will simply be the expectation of all fragrance houses and hopefully an industry standard. I want Medeau to lead the development of what it means to be clean as and set out specific ways to give consumers confidence.
I love the innovation currently taking place – there’s so much experimentation with ingredients and packaging. It also feels like the start of a big shift towards more creative, emerging and disruptive brands. New companies today have never had as much potential to engage with people directly due to the might of social media.
There is so much happening this year at Medeau. By the end of 2021 we will have launched three new fragrances designed by the inimitable perfumer Azzi Glasser, we will have collaborated with artist Susannah Taylor on a redesign of our packaging, and we will have completed our extensive research that will hopefully bring us closer to our vision of creating cleaner home fragrance products- a line extension which we hope to bring to market in 2022.
I’ve always been a big believer in surrounding myself with the right partners and advisors, and then working closely and openly together. We’re not always blessed to have mentors pick us out from a crowd, so finding and picking the right people to trust is important. It’s one of the reasons I like CEW.
I think that the biggest challenge for the beauty industry will be to go through the same transition that the food and beverage industry did in the 1990s and 2000s – there will be so much more consumer focus on ingredient sourcing, selection and use – companies need to be prepared to address these questions and evolve.
Be patient, and be curious. Ask questions. I’m the first to admit when I don’t know something. Most people you ask are more than happy to explain how things work, and the ability to listen is a secret weapon!
I think there are three factors – women need to be able to trust the legal and regulatory protections in the workplace – that means going into a company feeling that there will be equal pay and equal opportunities. This is moving in the right direction, but far too slowly. There needs to be a cultural shift, which I think has already started, that doesn’t overlook women when it comes to new business funding, promotions and training, and I think lastly women need to have the confidence to go out there and compete for roles and funding.
CEW has been fantastic. It can be quite lonely as a female founder, and it has been great to have the support and guidance and to hear about the journeys of others on a similar journey.