Passion is the secret sauce behind our success: Mouna Abbassy, Founder, izil Beauty


April 7, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Passion is the secret sauce behind our success: Mouna Abbassy, Founder, izil Beauty

Mouna Abbassy is the founder of a beauty brand steeped in Moroccan beauty heritage. The brand is almost an ode to her birthland where beauty rituals formed an essential part of social affairs. In her growing up years Abbassy witnessed how her mother and other women in the community prepared their own beauty recipes with raw, natural and local ingredients. This ultimately inspired her to start izil Beauty in 2013. It’s been a decade of running izil – a journey full of learning, tweaking and innovating the brand which today has a strong omnichannel presence. Asked what’s the secret sauce behind the brand’s growth, Abbassy said, “Passion is the secret sauce behind our success – passion for the brand, products and customers.

In an exclusive interview with IMAGES RetailME Abbassy talked about the brand’s major milestones over the past year and future growth plans.

What are some major business milestones achieved by izil over the past 12 months?

The opening of our spa in Dubai mall was a major milestone where we are offering many services including traditional Moroccan hammam. It has had an important impact on our business. This offering gives a first-hand experience of the heritage that we highlight in all our products. It is a way to give a full experience of the Moroccan beauty rituals. Another milestone is the development of an omnichannel infrastructure to have a holistic approach towards business and to better cater to our online and offline customers by better understanding their behaviour.

Retail is an ever-evolving industry. Every year brings new learnings. Could you share your three key learnings from 2022?

We learnt the power of influencer marketing. By strategically pushing our bestsellers with our key opinion leaders throughout the year we strongly established our online presence and reiterated brand credibility within the consumer’s mind. We ramped up our brick-and-mortar presence by adding the spa experience in Dubai Mall and with that our UAE audience has increased drastically. Importantly, we have also noticed a big shift in the consumer mindset to tackle environmental issues. These consumers are more aware of the harmful effects of chemicals and thus, keener than ever before to buy and experience natural offerings and solutions from beauty brands.

What is that one prominent innovation you’ve implemented in your business in recent years?

Our most prominent innovation is the way we create our products. That has always been the case. We go on a deep dive exploration of the Moroccan heritage, dig out the amazing hidden treasures there are, bring them to our laboratory to enhance them with science without compromising on the quality, authenticity and the purity of the end product.

Looking ahead, what is your growth strategy for 2023?

We are set to further expand our offline presence by opening new stores and spas in key GCC markets. Additionally, we have numerous new product launches lined up investing more in different categories to cater to specific beauty concerns such as hair fall and acne. This growth will be steeped into our mission with a promise to bring more natural and effective offerings to regional consumers. Additionally, our brand is under the process of receiving the “Ecocert Natural & Organic” certification. We are also streamlining our processes through an omnichannel infrastructure to enable the brand’s accelerated growth in the GCC and beyond.

Finally, being a leader yourself is there a leader (from retail or beyond) who you seek inspiration from?

Any leader who has defied odds and inspired people to join them to disrupt their field of activity is an inspiration for me. Some leaders who inspire me include His Highness the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Moroccan businessman Miloud Chaabi; and Richard Branson; among many others. The latest addition to this list is Walid Regragui, the football coach who led the Moroccan team to become the first Arab African team to reach the semi-finals in the 2022 World Cup.

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