For El-Hakkaoui and her co-founders, building an indie beauty brand is as much about team work as it is about independence. Here she shares a profile of that team and the new brand Six Gldn.
Name: Karima El-Hakkaoui, CEO and Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Six Gldn
Launched: November 2020
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California and London, UK
Cash flow: The three partners, myself, Diana Quarry and Linda Hampshire own the majority of the company and to now we’ve been self-funded, with the help of friends and family.
We’re proud to have had a successful launch mid pandemic. We kept working away on it and now are in talks with retail partners so the wins keep coming.
Indie how? Independently owned, with its founders’ values and passions – for example, for us that’s things like social responsibility initiatives – at the heart of the brand. An indie brand usually starts with just its founders at the helm, so has an amazing opportunity to make deliberate choices about everything and has control over everything from its packaging, ingredients, and manufacturing to certifications without the constraints that big heritage brands face. With indie brands you know what they stand for, and that’s what makes them so appealing to consumers.
Teamwork: Myself and my two partners, Diana Quarry (Founder + President) and Linda Hampshire (Co-Founder + Content & Sustainability)
Distribution: We sell DTC from our website in the US and Canada. We are in talks with several retail partners in the US and the UK for our next steps.
Years in beauty: We’ve all spent our careers (collectively over 55 years) successfully launching global beauty brands and on the other side of the fence working on lifestyle magazines.
Years at Six Gldn: We spent about a year and a half prior to launch working with Dr Jenelle Kim DACM – a renowned master herbologist – on our 5 products, that we formulated to be luxury, high performance, everyday essentials that deliver immediate and long-term benefits. At every step we asked ourselves how can we make this the most enjoyable experience for our customer – from the texture, scent and efficacy of the products, golden hour images on cartons, and numbers on secondary packaging that guide consumers through the steps, to the first-to-market eco pod and refill packaging.
Entrepreneurial experience: For all of us, this is our first time launching our own company! We’ve honed our skills for the past 20 years at big corporations noting what worked well, and what possibly could be done differently. We don’t have hands-on entrepreneurial experience, so we’ve immersed ourselves in everything we can get our hands on – articles, CEW events, Mintel reports, podcasts, books, really any and all industry news. We’re so grateful too for all the incredible beauty industry people who’ve taken the time to offer us their help and connections from the start. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned and made Six Gldn.
The business: Six Gldn is high-performance, clean, natural skincare, Dr.-formulated from nine generations of family botanical formulas, and sustainably made in California. Each product is a multi-tasking, time-saving daily essential with proven results.
The wow-factor: When the sun is six degrees above the horizon, the fleeting golden hour touches everything with beauty. The world is filtered with a soft glow, skin looks radiant.
The consumer: She might be 18 or 80 but she has a zest for life, joie de vivre. Hours in the bathroom doing multi-layer skincare routines are not for her. She wants to be out there living, exploring, discovering, connecting. Wanting healthy, glowing skin is a given, but she’s not stressed about it. She knows great skin starts on the inside – she eats clean, exercises, works at her mental and physical wellbeing. Conscious of consumption and very aware of environmental impact, she’s pared her beauty routine to a carefully curated minimum and wants to use less in every area of her life. She only uses cruelty-free, non-toxic, natural high-performance products that are good for her skin, and the planet.
Milestone moment: Our PR firm Beach House managed mid-pandemic to arrange desksides virtually and we’re so happy to see articles coming in. The latest articles were in Fab fit fun, Byrdie, and Well and Good.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Remember that whatever challenge is thrown your way, you can find a way round it. And if you and your immediate team aren’t sure how to solve it, you can find an expert in that field to help you – just be open-minded about what form the solution might take.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, El-Hakkaoui says, Our Nourishing Face Oil is my year-round must have. I use it in the morning—it works beautifully as a base for makeup, or dabbed on for a bit of glow—and last thing at night.