What motivated you to start No Cosmetics?
We founded No Cosmetics in 2017, when I started studying at Fontys. I had already created a hair care line together with my father for a famous German hairdresser. My father was the CEO and advisor to several companies in the cosmetics industry. We were never satisfied with the products we encountered in drugstores. I often showed my father products at DM, and he always told me not to use them because they either contained harmful ingredients or were too expensive. There was never anything good enough for my face. Then we decided to try it ourselves. My father had the know-how and the connection with producers.
What is the philosophy of No Cosmetics?
When we started No Cosmetics, it was very fashionable to wear a lot of make-up like Kylie Jenner. At one point I didn’t even feel at ease when I took out the trash without make-up. I wanted to set up a countermovement: it’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin. It’s fine to wear make-up when you enjoy it, but not because society imposes a certain ideal of beauty on you. We also want our products to be highly compatible, effective and affordable. We want to offer cosmetic products for real people. That’s why our advertising photos only show people from our immediate surroundings: family members, friends and co-workers.
Where are your cosmetic products produced?
All our products are produced in Germany at bb med. product GmbH – Kalkar and are packaged by handicapped people in regional workshops. We work completely without animal testing. Now in lockdown, we pack the orders for our customers at home in the family circle in order to protect our employees as well as possible.
How do you combine studying with working for No Cosmetics?
Before Corona, I worked for the company in the morning, took classes in Venlo in the afternoon, then worked for the company again and in the evening I studied. Now I do all the work for the company and for my studies from my home office. But as an entrepreneur, you never really have any free time.
How did you end up studying International Marketing at Fontys Venlo?
I have always heard a lot of good things about Fontys from my parents. My mother used to work in the high-end retail sector and always heard from a lot of customers that they sent their children to study at Fontys Venlo. Since I had been in England for six months, I really wanted to study in English. But that’s not so easy in Germany, unless you want to pay 10,000 per semester. I did not want to go to a private university. After I went to the Fontys Open Day, I immediately applied to study there.
What is your experience of studying at Fontys?
The personal support is really good, the teachers are very helpful. As a student I can be very creative and practical. There is also a lot of emphasis on personal development. That’s why I gladly advise everyone to study at Fontys.
What is the reaction at Fontys Venlo to the fact that you have already founded a company?
In the beginning, nobody at Fontys knew about No Cosmetics because I did not talk about it. I considered it more as my “private pleasure” and was afraid that the teachers would ask me if I still had enough time left to study. I more or less accidentally told a lecturer about my company. The teacher then gave me the idea to apply for the status of entrepreneur in the first place. As an entrepreneur, it is easier to combine my studies and my business. I also have a mentor who still supports me very much.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have always wanted to work in product management or brand management. The fact that such a large business arose from the idea of No Cosmetics was completely unexpected. I’m only 25 years old and I don’t want to cut back on my development yet. I would like to do an MBA so that I have the necessary knowledge to run a company. I would like to continue my education and I would like to work with my MBA in any other company, regardless of No Cosmetics.