We speak to Calista of AIME BLP Beautecare to hear her inspiring story, what drew her to clean beauty and toxic-free lipcare, and how she balances life as a mother and a small business founder!
What does AIME stand for? What was the key inspiration for you to start the brand?
In French, AIMÉ means “Love”. My message to all women is that we must love ourselves, and love beauty. In Mandarin, “AI” means love, and “ME” means beauty (love beauty); In English, it means to love ‘me’ – myself.
My aspiration is to ensure that all women have access to non-chemical lip wear. It’s essential to keep our lip wear safe or non-harmful, as it can be accidentally consumed. I developed my very first lip balm during my pregnancy when my tendencies were to dispose of my chemical products. Where possible, I wished to stay away from chemicals during my baby’s development. I DIY’d some products and shared them with my family and friends, and to my surprise, they kept asking for more. That’s how I slowly turned my DIY product into the little business it is today.
What’s one product from your brand you absolutely do not leave the house without, and why?
My De’MAGIC Treatment Lipbalm, which is the signature product of AIME! This is our house-exclusive formula, and also serves a lip treatment function. The lip balm is yellow, but upon application turns a natural pink that adjusts to the wearer’s body temperature. It’s unlike other coloured lipsticks that stay on the surface of the lips and can be easily wiped away.
With our formula, the oil is evenly suffused to stay on top of the lips, providing moisture. Meanwhile, the colour and other ingredients are absorbed into the lips to provide treatment and colour. This lip balm can be used day and night and can be reapplied whenever necessary, as every individual’s level of lip dryness and sensitivity is different.
Applying the lip balm In the morning will give you moisture and a pinkish colour for the day. Meanwhile, applying the lip balm thickly as a mask at night will provide lip treatment while you sleep. We encourage new users to check their lips every morning to monitor changes, as our lip balm will provide moisture and a healthy pinkish tint in the long run.
What’s the nicest thing a customer has ever said to you about your brand and products?
“Thank you for developing such a good lip balm! This is probably the best lip balm ever I ever used.”
“I used so many branded lip products, but this is the only lip balm I’ve finished using. I’m glad you offer refill services for the De’Magic Treatment Lipbalm!”
“I have sensitive lips and I hardly used any lip balm before, even with medication. Only your lip balm helps.”
What are your long-term goals for AIME, and how do you foresee the brand evolving?
Our first store opened three months ago in Pavilion Bukit Jalil, and I’m hoping we can proceed with opening another soon! I would like to have more sales channels so that my products can reach the people who need them – especially those with sensitive lips. Many of them have tried numerous products in the market, but still can’t find a solution to help. I’m hoping to help this group of people with my products!
We notice AIME has a lot of products for kids! Why did you incorporate these into your product lineup?
When I first started my business, my customers shared that their daughters very often end up taking the lip balms and lipsticks that they buy. With this in mind, I promised to develop a more affordable range of products for children. I named this extended junior makeup range “Berr Berr” after my girl, Bernice. I want to help mothers to keep their children safe from chemicals, especially when it comes to lip products that children might accidentally consume.
What motivated your desire to bring your customers products in such beautiful and unique packaging?
I love pretty things and it’s human nature to love pretty things! My fundamental belief in product development is that I must love what I share with my customers.
What research and development go into creating and testing AIME’s toxic-free lipcare, and how do you ensure that they are safe and effective?
Our products are laboratory tested to ensure they are not harmful. All our ingredients undergo rigorous background checks, experiments, and testing. As much as we can, we do our due diligence to ensure that the end product is safe and effective when it reaches the customer.
Can you share any challenges or setbacks you have faced in building their business, and how you overcame them?
The journey has never been an easy one. There have been many times when I was tempted to let go of the business, especially during the initial stages. The major challenge I encountered was instability in the product formula. I was frustrated, and with added stress from family and the commitment of mothering a newborn baby, I almost let go of the business. However, I persisted with the encouragement of a customer, who told me, “You have developed such an amazing product! Please keep doing it.”
Looking back, I’m glad I overcome those challenges, and I’m really thankful for what we’ve managed to achieve.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a long day running your business?
Going back to my family and my children. Spending time and having fun with them. Bringing my mother to places she enjoys. Hugs say more than anything, and I love hugging my children!
Can you share any advice or tips for maintaining a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, both personally and for the environment?
The key word is “Balance”, between time, money, and health. When I spend too much time working, I may neglect my health and time with my family. Without money, I may be stressed about maintaining my financial commitments. I believe that there are times when I need to work hard, especially in running a small business like mine. However, I know how to gauge peak and non-peak seasons, so I’m able to pre-empt my family when it’s crunch time. After, we go on a small trip as a reward.
On a day-to-day basis, especially during peak season, I remind myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle with exercise, sleep, and a proper diet. At the end of the day, if I lose my health, all my hard-earned money will go to the doctor. That’s a good reminder to myself!
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