Today on thedailypretty.com, I am chatting to Ashlee, co-founder of beautiful skin care brand Ipēk Co, built on the belief of natural, simple products that empower all forms of self. We are chatting all about how a holiday to Turkey inspired the brand, how COVID19 presented a unique opportunity, why exfoliating is one of the most beneficial self care rituals, Ashlee's skin care tips plus highlights and lessons learned when creating a side hustle to start up. A truly interesting and inspiring interview, with something for everyone!
Hi Ashlee, welcome to thedailypretty.com! Thank you for sitting down with me to chat all about your brand Ipēk Co. Let's start with an introduction to your background and professional experience...
I started the skincare business with no background in this area. I’m originally from the dental background which does correlate to health and taking care of yourself. I think finding a product that I truly believed in and seeing that there was a gap in the market gave me the motivation to put myself out there into the unknown and go for it was have truly paid off.
What was the inspiration or 'light bulb' moment behind creating Ipēk Co?
My business partner Cansin has a Turkish background and has been around the tradition of silk exfoliation mitts since he was a young boy, often seeing his mother and aunties using them in the traditional Turkish Hammas. During a holiday to Turkey in 2019, we visited the Turkish Hammam and I was able to experience the benefits of silk exfoliation for the first time myself. In many ways, COVID19 presented us with an opportunity as it afforded us the time to explore our business concept and finally transform our idea into reality. Having been an avid fake tan user for many years, I was excited by the prospect of having access to my own silk exfoliation mitt. My experience in Turkey had shown me that no other product could match the mitt in removing fake tan. One of the most unique things about the mitt is that when dry, the texture is soft and smooth, but once water is added, it becomes coarse and grips to your skin, visibly removing dead skin and fake tan while remaining gentle on the skin. We had many of our friends and family try out the silk mitt who then fell in love with their results and this made the decision even easier to put our idea into play!
We work closely with our manufacturer in Turkey, fostering a close working relationship to ensure exceptional quality on all of our products. Our brand is based on affordable yet effective beauty products that are accessible to everyone, therefore providing our customers with the opportunity to create a traditional Hamman experience without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. At the moment, our business is a side hustle while we continue to juggle study and work (I’m in the final year of a Bachelor of Oral Health and Cansin works as a plumber). We were fortunate to sell out of the mitt on our launch day and since then we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and support that we have received from our loyal customer base. We are also passionate about bringing this silk mitt to even more people and we have multiple wholesale deals in the pipeline, meaning that our mitts will be appearing more and more in stores around the country. We hope to turn our small business into full-time jobs soon!
What has been a highlight and a lesson so far that you would like to share?
One of the biggest highlights has been working with some big-name influencers who are now converted to our silk exfoliators and have actually asked for replacement mitts as they have also fallen in love with them. This has been a huge achievement for us to really get out brand and our product out there.
A lesson so far that we have learned is to ensure all of your stock is quality assessed as this is something we do really pride ourselves on and to make sure the best product you have is put out there.
Ipēk Co's philosophy is 'natural, simple products that empower all forms of self'. How does this philosophy work with your products?
We aim to have a pure product that gives our customers instant results but with little time or products. Our mitt is 100% Pure Turkish silk and only requires water to activate these benefits.
Let's chat exfoliating. Why is exfoliating important for our skin?
Exfoliating is a simple but powerful routine that brings some amazing benefits to your skin that many people are not aware of. By exfoliating, it helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface layer leaving you with fresh layers of skin. Regular exfoliation can also help prevent clogged pores, resulting in fewer breakouts. Long-term exfoliating can increase collagen production. Collagen is key to glowing, vibrant skin. The protein also promotes skin elasticity, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and related sagging.
How often should we exfoliate?
We recommend exfoliating your skin twice a week as part of your weekly skincare routine. Exfoliation is definitely all about balance – whilst it’s important to buff away dead skin cells you also want to take care not to strip away too many of your skin’s natural oils
When it comes to removing self-tan, how does the mitts help here and what is the special point of difference?
One of the most unique things about the mitt is that when dry, its texture is soft and smooth, but once water is added, it becomes coarse and grips to your skin, visibly removing dead skin and fake tan while remaining gentle on the skin this is attributed to our high-quality weave that catches dead skin and products.
What are your top skincare routine tips?
My skincare tip is to exfoliate regularly to improve your skin texture and appearance. Also, make sure you invest in a good, nourishing moisturiser as this will complement your skin after exfoliating.
What advice do you have Ashlee for anyone starting out in the self-care product industry?
If you have a product that you truly believe in, customer satisfaction and success will follow.
Thank you for sharing your business journey and your advice about exfoliating and taking care of our skin. Be sure to check out Ipēk Co and enjoy the benefits of the beautiful mitt in you self care routine!