Indie Beauty Profile

Evelyn Subramaniam , BIJA Essence

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Indie Beauty Profile Evelyn Subramaniam , BIJA Essence

Related tags Indie beauty profile Essential oils Entrepreneurship Ayurveda aromatherapy wellness

In her Indie Beauty Profile Evelyn Subramaniam, founder of the luxury wellness brand BIJA Essence, talks about the power of passion in entrepreneurship, and about how her deceptively simple essential oils brand is leveraging another power—the power of touch—to inspire and delight consumers.

BIJA Essence elevates essential oil, making the simple ingredient appealing and accessible to today’s luxury wellness consumer. Of course, even before this new indie beauty launched, essential oils had regained popularity—demand for natural and plant-based beauty, for wellness and aromatherapy products, and for scents made without synthetic molecules has been on the rise in recent years. (Read fragrance expert Lisa Wilson’s 2017 item ‘Essential facts on the essential oils boom’ here on Cosmetics Design​ to get a fuller perspective on the essential oils market.)

What BIJA Essence brings to the category is luxury branding, sophisticated eco-chic packaging, and intentional blends. Here beauty entrepreneur Evelyn Subramaniam shares a profile of herself and the BIJA Essence brand. 

Name: ​Evelyn Subramaniam, Founder

Indie Beauty Company: ​BIJA Essence

Launched: ​November 2018

Headquarters: ​New York, NY

Cash flow: ​BIJA Essence is self-funded.

I am most proud of the organic growth across ecommerce, spas, stores, and trunk shows nationwide, but most happy about the lives I have touched in a positive and healthy manner and the relationships I have strengthened and empowered through my vision of “the power of touch”.

Indie how? ​To me, an indie beauty brand is driven by the heart and soul of the founder or founders.  Because the brand has personal roots, it results in dedication, honesty, transparency and a unique relationship with customers that you will not find with commercial brands.  

Team work: ​1 full-time employee and 2 part-time

Distribution: ​We sell through our e-commerce site​ nationwide and at select high-end spas such as Park Hyatt Hotel, high-end fitness spas such as Exhale Spa, boutiques such as Matriark and Havens, and through online retailers nationwide such as Weosh and Faire. 

Years in beauty: ​I’ve been in the fashion and media industry for 2 decades, so it’s close enough.

Years at BIJA Essence: ​Officially since November 2018; and unofficially, 3 years doing research and studying Ayurveda. 

Entrepreneurial experience: ​This is my first company.

The business: ​BIJA Essence is a new line of therapeutic, all-natural essential oil blends that combine the powers of human touch, aromatherapy, and Ayurvedic science. Each formulation has a purpose to support a specific health ailment: 

RISE - Immunity 

REVIVE - Soreness & Inflammation 

REJOICE - Circulation, Firming & Toning the skin

REST- Calming & Soothing 

The wow-factor: ​We are devoted to helping you connect and care for your personal wellbeing as well as for your loved ones by bringing back the tradition of touch.

The consumer: ​Our target consumers are mothers 35-55 with busy lives.  We have evolved to health-conscious teenagers and men. 

Milestone moment: ​To me, this is more than a product. I’m humbled and proud of every milestone really. I know how much dedication and passion I put into BIJA Essence so when people talk about it - post on social media, invite me to podcasts such as MTNesters to talk about BIJA, write on magazines such as Allure and newspapers such as Boston Globe, it makes me humbled and filled with pride. 

Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: ​Make sure you are passionate about what you are doing. Passion will take you far. Then do a lot of research and talk to other entrepreneurs to build your business; but always trust your gut.

Just one: ​Asked about her go-to product, Subramaniam says that besides BIJA Essence RISE to keep my immune system strong, its’ the Burt’s Bees gloss lip Crayon—all natural and so convenient! 



Deanna Utroske, 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.

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