Chances are, you’ve seen a bottle bearing EADEM's name pop up on your Instagram feed or the shelves of your local Sephora.
The brands founders, Marie and Alice, first met while working in marketing at Google and went on to co-found the brand, inspired by their experiences struggling finding products right for melanin-rich skin. We spoke to them about the SIDIAs in their lives, their experiences starting a beauty brand, and what’s next for them.
Tell us about one of the great matriarchs in your life! How have they shaped you into the person you are today, and any special tips or advice they had?
M: I watched my aunties test a lot of skincare products, trying to fight adult acne, scarring and hyperpigmentation. They’d take the subway to Château Rouge (the predominantly Black neighborhood in Paris) and find small, hidden shops where they could buy dodgy, imported products like skin lighteners, which damaged their beautiful complexions. Intuitively I understood that they needed products that only their community could make, and that realization really planted the seed for EADEM.
What inspired you to create EADEM and start Smart Melanin Beauty technology?
A: Before launching EADEM, Marie and I were marketing colleagues at Google, and have been friends for nearly 8 years. Even though our cultural backgrounds may seem very different (Marie is French and born in West Africa and I’m a Taiwanese American), we had so much in common as women of color; finding skincare that suited our skin’s needs was a constant battle we were both fighting! I’ve spent most of my life figuring out my severe acne, eczema, and the resulting hyperpigmentation and it was through this exploration that we realized that there was a real need for safer beauty made specifically for our melanin-rich skin. And so, EADEM was born.
M: Smart Melanin™ Beauty combines science-backed ingredients and heritage botanicals to effectively and gently care for melanin-rich skin. Being French, my approach to skincare has always been simple and effortless. I like to use a few high quality products, and we’ve taken that same approach in building our product line. Instead of buying a generic product from a manufacturer and slapping a new label on the bottle, we worked with highly-qualified professionals who understand skin of color, from our dermatologist down to our product formulator. Our active ingredients are selected based on scientific research and used at the most efficient dosages.
How has being a POC, female business owner shaped your experiences in the beauty industry?
M: My cofounder Alice and I found that there were so many similarities that united us as women of color – from the stories we told about growing up as children of immigrants to the struggles in finding products made for women like us. We met years ago while working at Google and became completely obsessed with skincare. Marie would always share tips that she learned from French pharmacy beauty and we traveled to Korea together to learn about the latest beauty trends in Asia, and through this journey noticed that we were both lacking clean, effective and gentle skincare that actually worked on our melanin-rich skin without altering or lightening it. We decided to follow our intuition and create a brand designed specifically for women like us; one celebrates and centers women of color. Every aspect of EADEM considers us as women of color in all our nuance and multiplicity. Beauty is more than making formulas that scientifically work for us. Skincare is only one side of the equation. How we feel about ourselves and our heritages, that which make us beautiful, matters. And it’s been ignored in the beauty industry for too long.
How do you envision the future of EADEM and the beauty industry?
A: Our active community has been so instrumental in helping us decide where to go next. We’re still working on many things but we look forward to filling out your routine soon :)
What advice would you give to young women new to skincare and beauty?
M: Start slow. It's not a short race but a marathon. start with the basics: cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and then add to it. Alway spick a serum based on your skin concerns and a moisturizer based on your skin type. Note: we removed the "of color" from the question ;)
3 top tips for running your own business?
M: Making sure the people around you are ready for the journey as well, carve out time off, and don't forget to celebrate small wins! 3 top tips for being a co-founder and for a successful partnership?
Best summarized here