Indie Beauty Profile
Ikram Elharti, Sahara Rose
Most new brands in and beyond beauty today have a social mission; founders and executives are working to improve people’s lives not just with products and services but with their business practices as well. It’s a strategy that has become so prevalent, many entrepreneurs do this as a matter of course and single out other features of their companies or products to differentiate themselves in the market place.
This seems to be the case with Ikram Elharti, and her skin care brand Sahara Rose; while sustainability and empowerment initiatives are built into the company, she’s focused on a distinctive ingredient stories and a product portfolio that will help women remain resilient.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Ikram Elharti, Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Sahara Rose
Launched: August 2017
Headquarters: Melbourne, Florida
Cash flow: In terms of sales, we’re more than doubling in size every quarter already. We are rebranding. We gave sneak peaks to our followers and retailers. We can feel already the excitement and the huge interest from the market.
Teamwork: 2 full-time employees, and an additional 1 or 2 part-time; we also work with consultants and industry advisors for different aspects of the business.
Distribution: Sahara Rose is sold across the US through independent pharmacies and retailers. We are also available in spas, since we offer our products in bulk and professional sizes for treatments. We are also launching at a national retailer, in their prestige beauty category. We are also sold on our own ecommerce site sahararose.com and other high-end curated sites.
Years in beauty: 1+
Years at Sahara Rose: 1+
Entrepreneurial experience: Entrepreneurship has always been in my heart. I went to a business school and I hold an MBA in Finance. Prior to Sahara Rose, I accumulated more than ten years of corporate experience internationally in marketing, communications, and public relations in different industries related to investment, logistics, and transportation. It was a diverse international experience, which is helping me tremendously today.
The business: Sahara Rose is a refined natural brand, inspired by ancient beauty, wellness wisdom, and a universe of luxurious Ingredients. Sahara Rose formulations use precious powerhouse ingredients, like taliouine saffron, prickly pear seed oil, exotic clays, and other rare authentic essences like wild rose, neroli, etc. These age-defying ingredients are proven by science to be a great source of essential antioxidants, nutrients and powerful moisturizers to deliver healthier, firmer, and radiant skin.
Sahara Rose is also about beauty with a purpose, since we believe in sustainable empowering beauty.
The wow-factor: I created this brand to celebrate the Sahara Rose in each of us. The resilient rose that grows at the gates of the Sahara Desert, inspired me to name the brand Sahara Rose. Just as the Rose emerges and blossoms from the desert, despite the rough climate, millions of women around the world are finding the courage to have their voice heard, be and love themselves, achieve their ambitions and blossom.
The customer: Our target customer is the clean, green, beauty-conscious woman, who wants to take care of herself, achieve and maintain a youthful skin, and who looks for great ingredients to experience that will make her feel more beautiful and confident. Our brand is an invitation to pause and experience a new kind of graceful, happy, and joyful beauty, based on 3 principles: self-care, self-love and self-respect.
Since our first launch, the response from the consumers and the media have been phenomenal. We were picked as a finalist for best facial moisturizer at our first indie beauty show. It was really an honor for us. Also, every time we get into a new retailer partnership, it’s another happy milestone.
I hope to make my grandmother proud with this brand that celebrates her true art of graceful beauty.
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: There is no magic formula…it’s a lot of trials until you figure out what works for you. Keep learning from your customer, adjusting and adapting. There is no overnight success.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Elharti says, it’s definitely Sumptuous Regenerating Cream made with taliouine saffron, prickly oil, and neroli. A delight for the skin and the senses, it’s my secret weapon for a healthy, plumped, glowing complexion.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.