So Laura and Alina, tell me a little bit about the ladies behind Lin&Lo Mineral Make-up?
We actually have a lot in common. Both our families have been involved in the beauty industry for over 20 years. My family has been distributing a number of professional beauty brands through their self-built channels: a chain of shops, beauty academies and several salons. Laura’s family has been manufacturing professional make-up products and selling them all around the world. We grew up in this beauty world and decided to realise our dreams and ambitions in that sector.
Was the transition from make-up artists to creating your own products an easy one?
To be honest, there was no real transition. Both of us have been undertaking make-up professionally for years and it took roughly 3 years to build the Lin&Lo brand from scratch. All the ideas, testing and the development of the new project was led in parallel with our professional routine.
You’re both young entrepreneurs and that’s awesome – what have you both learnt so far that you wish you had known when you first launched?
Overall it is an enjoyable journey, and what I have learnt for sure is that you need to react fast – in the beginning you are afraid to make decisions but then you realise that the only way to grow is to try and always be open, proactive, but reasonable.
You’ve both entered a very saturated market, what do you think sets you apart from other brands?
The Lin&Lo brand is a mineral brand enriched with natural ingredients and vitamins that take good care of the skin, even the most sensitive skin. But apart from that, this mineral brand has some strong professional characteristics: unique textures, high-pigmented formulas for instance. Last but not least, behind the brand there are two professional make-up artists that live in vibrant international cities and drive the brand forward.
Loving the name, why Lin&Lo?
Lin&Lo is simply a combination of mine and Laura’s names; Alina (Lin) and Laura (Lo)
How did you fund Lin&Lo in the beginning?
Family and friends were the primary source of funding.
Do you remember the moment you held the first batch fresh from the manufacturers?
I was receiving samples almost every month during the 2 year development process, because they needed extensive testing. But yes, the moment when we received the first delivery of the actual Lin&Lo products in the warehouse, I had a clear feeling of a real achievement.
Where can we buy your products?
On our website and at our Lin&Lo Studio by Alina Milos at Duck&Dry (Oxford Circus) in central London
What would be your number one tip for young entrepreneurs running a business together?
Believe in your idea with all you heart and surround yourself with people who you can really trust.
How would you both define being young entrepreneurs?
It is a chance since we do not have a vast corporate experience that could constrain our creativity and an incredible opportunity to develop a professional skill set and contacts, whilst dealing with so many problematics and responsibilities at once. I feel that London is the perfect place for a young entrepreneur to build a brand.
What would be your number one tip for a small business to make the most out of social media?
Do everything by yourself, find your style and use all the tools to make the most of it. For us it was particularly key to test several ideas and promotions on a regular basis and use precise metrics to measure their performance and improve. After 2/3 months we have started growing much faster thanks to this process.
What plans do you have for Lin&Lo over the coming 12 months?
Develop the brand in the UK and Russia, which are the primary markets of the brand and find new distribution channels to expand.