Tell us about your company and what inspired you to start it
My company is MASAMI, clean premium haircare with a Japanese ocean botanical for weightless hydration.. I’ve worked in beauty a lot throughout my advertising career so when I met my Co-founder, James, and tried out the haircare formulations he’d been working on for 10 years, I knew we needed to launch a business together. We have very complementary skill sets so it’s a great partnership. We joined forces in 2018 and it took us about 18 months to get everything ready for launch at NYFW in February 2020.
How specifically does it relate to sustainable design, production and/or consumption?
We source our Mekabu powder from northeastern Japan ethically. We are focused on products that are pro-ocean (reducing plastic) so we launched a large size sustainable, refillable bottle with refill pouches. We are also plastic and carbon neutral through Impact Collective.
What community or customer behaviors are you hoping to create or reinforce?
We are encouraging people to be more conscious about their beauty decisions – to think about what they are putting in and on their body. 90% of haircare products in the US still have toxic ingredients. Additionally, beauty is a big offender in terms of creating waste – the beauty industry creates 120 million units of packaging a year, much of it is not easily recyclable.
What is one of the most helpful or enlightening lessons you’ve learned along the way?
To be flexible and receptive to whatever comes our way. We launched a month before the Covid lockdown in NYC which caused us to rethink our strategy (as salons were closed). I then got breast cancer in 2021 which was another set back. I had to reprioritize and learn to let things go – not easy when you’re a Type A but focusing on the things that really matter is a good exercise for any business.
What’s the biggest problem you’re currently trying to solve?
Hydration is the #1 unmet need in haircare. Most people don’t realize that hydration is the issue when their hair is frizzy, dull or unmanageable. Most hydrating haircare products on the market leave hair limp, flat or dull. MASAMI gives you botanical hydration but does it weightlessly. We tested our products on every hair type and texture we could find so we know it works for virtually everyone.
Check out MASAMI's website here
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