NZ Apparel The Business of Fashion | November 2017

Mellow Cosmetics has gone from a modest one to ten sales per month in 2014 to now selling her products online in New Zealand, Australia, America, and Canada across a number well-known retailers and boutiques. To think that it all started with a simple YouTube video that sparked Ima Asali’s ambition to establish a beauty brand. Despite not knowing where to start or what to do, Asali threw herself into starting Mellow Cosmetics. Her first product was lipstick, she made a creamy matte formula with a range of colours to suit different skin tones. Her determination to work for herself and see her son growing up gave her the ambition and motivation to succeed.

When she was a child, she moved from Iran to Auckland and went on to study Management and Human Resource Management at AUT while managing retail stores in Auckland’s CBD. The inspiration for Mellow came when she was watching a makeup tutorial on YouTube during her maternity leave after a number of years of working at an insurance company. The name Mellow is reflects the values of the brand. “Mellow in the dictionary means colourful, soft and free from harshness which represents my brand perfectly,” she said. All Mellow products are cruelty-free, paraben free and vegan. “When I first started I thought I care about people and animals so I decided to make this brand as ethical as possible,” she explained. “I wanted to reduce the nasty chemicals from my ingredients and did not want my manufacturers to test my products on animals.”

Working with a small team, Asali explained that demand is increasing. “My husband always helps and inspires me with new names and ideas too.” Asali designs new products and works closely with the manufacturers to turn the idea into a reality. “Creating a great formula and beautiful eye catching packaging are my top priority.”

Gaining more stockists is high on Asali’s priority list. In July, Mellow gained local retail giant Farmers. Mellow is also stocked at Tryano, a newly established department store in United Arab Emirates. “I want Mellow to be the top selling makeup brand in the major department stores in the western world, working with David Jones, Myers and Sephora is definitely a huge goal,” she added. Despite her lofty ambitions, she doesn’t want to lose sight of what is important. “Creating and designing makeup is my passion but I have a bigger goal and that is to help and support women and children in need.”

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