Maleka Dattu

Founder and Creator of Merumaya Skincar.

Why is CEW membership important to you?

I became a member when in corporate life over two decades ago. I have retained membership as an entrepreneur, despite it no longer being expensed, because I think it is vital for women to stay connected; help each other; keep learning; and to that end I am keen to contribute. It is also important that we jointly work towards better recognition for our industry, while improving our presence in the British economy.

What are you most excited about for your business in the next twelve months?

I am an optimist and I think that there is a shift towards common sense. That women will move towards fewer effective products, using the shortest possible time and get out there and live, rather than obsession over every pore/line and competing on IG for the most packed shelfie. Post Covid19 I am hopeful that British women (and men) will be more committed to buying proudly-British-made skincare, or at least seriously consider it, because they recognise that it keeps British Jobs and that helps contribute taxes to services like the NHS. I am hopeful that if women can support another woman (entrepreneur) in the process, that they will, and with more than just using the hashtag #womensupportingwomen. I am also hopeful that having all spent time with ourselves, many of us without the excesses we'd gotten used to, that women will be more inclined really consider, whether rotating 32 cleansers, mixing 'n matching 18 different serums and owning 19 eyeshadow palettes that cannot be used in a lifetime, just like their favourite beauty 'expert', is their precious time well spent. I am hopeful that women will seek skincare brands like MERUMAYA, that represent; integrity vs. trend, it works vs. 'miracles', truth not magic, youthful ageing vs. promises of 'flawless'. If all this is the case, and I think this realisation will grow, then we are set for a very bright future.

What do you feel is the most important quality for someone to possess in order you have a successful career?

Build strong relationships, because work is more fun that way and also, so that when you take risks, (which you inevitably must to be successful) and fail (which you will from time to time), you have a softer landing and a tribe of women ready to help you get back up.

What’s the most important piece of advice you have been given during your career?

'Tis better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all - a Ye Olde English Proverbe that was on our toilet roll holder when I was a child. You can't clap with one hand - My Father. You need two hands to make noise, so you need others to achieve anything. The worst thing that will ever happen to you is not getting fired. If you are going to get fired, you may as well be for something you believed in rather than because you were following a rule book you did not believe in.