We were able to chat with Mimi Baissa, the founder of Akhal a vegan skincare products line made using healing superfoods and plants from the South of Morocco. Read more about how she started the brand and her goals below!
How/why did you start your brand?
On a trip to Morocco' South a few years ago, I came across a couple of Argan women workers and was appalled by their living conditions. It was hard to reconcile the popularity of Argan oil at home with their bleak reality.
The Argan oil industry had been growing for over 10 years but their lives were not improving no matter how hard they worked at each Argan harvest. The more questions I asked and the more evident it became that many players in the industry didn't factor in the long-term development of the people to which they owed their success, the Moroccan indigenous women.
I created Akhal Beauty to disrupt the current production model by offering a sustainable & ethical alternative. Our products are made entirely in Morocco by local indigenous women to create the most value for them whilst delivering fresh and certified USDA organic skincare for our customers.
What was your biggest obstacle with launching a brand?
Limited capital! A for-purpose business like ours is not an appealing investment opportunity for banks and the likes, so we were self-funded for the launch. As a manufacturer, there are significant fixed costs that you incur in the early days so taking that leap of faith and committing my life’s savings to this business was scary and stressful.
What motivates you to grow your brand?
Every product that we sell contributes to the livelihood of a Moroccan woman artisan. We also help young Moroccan girls finish high school through our donations. Our growth is synonymous with improved circumstances for hundreds of women and that gets me up every morning with the purpose and passion to grow Akhal Beauty.
Any tips and tricks on using your products?
Spray the Rosewater mist on your face then warm a couple of drops of Argan oil between your palms before delicately patting your face. This will ensure better absorption into your skin.
Does your brand give back? How?
Not only do we buy ALL the products the women manufacture upfront, we also donate $1 on every product sold online to a local NGO that helps 150 young girls from the Atlas Mountains finish high school.