It all started with Julia Veer, the then 21-year-old student. She took matters into her own hands after multiple allergic reactions to various skincare products. This is how Clay and Glow was created. Celebrities such as Kim Feenstra, Monica Geuze and Selma Omari are now fans of the products, the Clay And Glow products are in all Ici Paris XL stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Clay And Glow is regularly mentioned in magazines such as LINDA, Grazia and the Glamour and Clay And Glow has already won several awards! That is why we think it is time that you meet and ask the founder of Clay And Glow, Julia, some questions.
How did you know when you had the right idea?
“Well, it was not necessarily a business idea but rather an idea that came from a personal problem that I was struggling with at the time. I had very sensitive and acne-prone skin, and was always looking for a product that was good for the skin but also looked cute. Because usually when you have a product that is good for the skin, it doesn’t look so nice. So I thought, well, if I have this problem there will probably be more people who have the same problem, and I wanted to come with my own solution.”
What were your biggest struggles throughout building your brand?
“Finding the right chemists to work with, because the chemists often didn't understand what I meant or what I had in mind when it came to developing the ingredients for my product. I have been in contact with several chemists abroad in cities like Paris and Barcelona, but the chemists didn’t take me seriously because I was a very young woman and did not have an existing business yet. That was certainly very difficult in the beginning, but I did not give up and eventually found the right chemist here, in the Netherlands. I’m definitely happy with this decision because I am now much more involved in every step of the process of each product that is made.”
How do you come up with new products?
“Well, unlike other companies, we mainly listen to our community and focus on their wants and needs. And so, that is how I started with our first product, the Pink Clay Mask. Who knows better what they want and need, than the person who will eventually use the product? Our Glow babes!”
Where do you see Clay And Glow in 5 years?
“My biggest dream is walking around in Barcelona or Paris, and seeing my own products in every beauty store. If I look at the tempo at which we are growing now, I think that will definitely be possible within 5 years. In addition to this expansion, we want Clay And Glow to become the largest skincare brand in the Netherlands and that every household owns a Clay And Glow product.”
How did you come up with the name “Clay And Glow”?
“We made a word-web with many different words that we thought would fit our brand and what we stand for. My co-founder came up with the idea to link the words together, which is how we eventually came up with the name Clay And Glow.”
To what do you attribute your success?
“Taking small steps towards our end goal every day. It’s the little things that we have done every day that have brought us to where we are now. And most importantly, don’t give up, even when things get hard. The days we didn’t have anything to do in the beginning (because most of the time we were waiting for samples of the product) we were still working on developing our company every single day.”
What is unique about your business?
“I dare to say that we are one of the few, if not the only, brands in The Netherlands with products that are almost completely made of all natural ingredients and at the same time look very cute. It is also often the case that if a product looks very cute and colorful, it usually is seen as a product that is not good for your skin. Another aspect that sets our business apart from others is that we always listen to our community and also try to keep thinking like a customer. Therefore, we make many adjustments to our products when we receive feedback from our followers and immediately apply that feedback to our products.”
What are some of the mistakes you wish you could have avoided?
“I believe that all the mistakes we make, are mistakes worth making. As we have learned so incredibly much from them and try to not make them again in the future. The mistakes we have made, have brought us to where we are today. There is no company out there that doesn’t make any mistakes.”
How do you handle doubt?
"Trust and believe in yourself, then you know it’ll be ok. And always trust your gut feeling.”
What is something you could advise someone who wants to start their own business?
"Just do it. If you believe in your idea completely and if you believe in yourself, then it’ll be ok.”