What do you get when you combine beauty experts and yoga? The natural beauty brand, YUNI, founded by husband and wife duo, Emmanuel Rey and Suzanne Dawson. The power couple’s shared passion for active living and mindful products created one of our favorite beauty brands. Read on to learn more!
Can you tell us a little about your brand and the inspiration behind your products?
Emmanuel Rey: My wife Suzanne and I have been in the beauty industry for over 20 years in various corporations (Mostly l’Oreal and Estee Lauder). Suzanne was a the head of Global marketing for Aveda and I was General Manager for Aveda, Bumble & Bumble, Darphin for North America.
In 2012, we decided to leave the corporate environment to travel around the world for a full year. At that stage, we had been practicing Yoga for over 10 years and we took advantage of our trip to pass our teacher certification for Ashtanga Yoga in Greece. While talking to our fellow students, we found out that there was no beauty brand that had been specifically designed for “active people”.
At the same time, we were impressed by the success of all the “athleisure” brands (LuluLemon, Sweaty Betty, Lorna Jane etc). It became clear that there was a white space in the beauty market to serve the needs of “active people”. We worked with a large group of experts in Yoga and Fitness, we came down to 3 key insights: Saving time, Enhancing performance, Relieving stress.
While we developed the range with Yoga and fitness in mind, as it is our background, it became clear that other people could benefit from our products (who does not want to save time, perform better or manage stress).That being said, Yoga is a very personal ritual, a moment you take away from the rest of the world. Beauty is also very much a personal ritual and that is why through the products YUNI helps to reinforce these rituals.
YUNI prepares the body and the mind, delivers treatment benefits while you work out, aids express clean-up and post recovery, and helps to recall the powerful benefits of your practice, at will. We launched our first products in September 2015.
YUNI’s products embody a responsible beauty philosophy. What is it and why is it so important?
ER: Our tagline is actually “Mindful Beauty for an Active Life”. Mindful beauty means products that are non toxic and healthy for you, not tested on animals, that use natural ingredients organic and fair trade as much as possible. YUNI’s goal is to accompany you in your journey to health and fitness to make it more effective and more pleasurable.
We are defining ourselves as “seekers of Good” as we are looking for goodness in ourselves, in all we do, in people around us and the world as a whole. We believe in stepping lightly on our planet and do good in the process. For example, all our products are made in solar powered factories in the USA.
What is your one must-have YUNI item for back-to-school?
ER: Back to school is a busy time for everyone and we all want to have a fresh start, new healthy habits, go to the gym, perform at work, be there for your family etc the Shower Sheets (large biodegradable body wipes) help you to save time by cleansing and refreshing your skin on-the-go in a matter of seconds and without water!
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to break into the natural beauty biz?
ER: We all have different skills and background so it is not easy to give such advice but in general i would say that you have to be passionate and compassionate with a genuine interest to make differentiated products that truly brings something that does not exist yet.
I would add that it is important to challenge the status quo and continuously push to find creative solutions for products that should be at the same time effective, pleasurable, sustainable and with a minimum impact on the environment.
What makes YUNI #AerieREAL?
ER: YUNI is about going beyond the superficial level of (plastic) beauty but go deeper in a self discovery journey in which you are present in every moEment.
I think we share the same philosophy in the sense that YUNI’s goal is to make people comfortable and happy with themselves, to make them feel confident, empowered and naturally beautiful.