Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
This week we chat with beauty entrepreneur Erim Kaur, who launched ByErim, a haircare and beard brand that has grown immensely over the last few years.
Having launched in 2019, the 27-year-old manages her work alongside her role as a content creator. What first launched as a hair oiling product has now expanded into different products. After spending years crafting the perfect balance of ingredients, this 100 percent natural, vegan and cruelty-free brand is selling products around the globe.
Inspired by her grandmother’s recipe, this hair oil is the byproduct of various iterations of the concoction. With traditional remedies for strong and nourished hair, the brand combines all the elements that work well in the kitchen and now is formulated in this product.
To understand more, Emirates Woman sat down with this entrepreneur to find out more about her journey and what led her to launch her own beauty brand.
What was your favourite subject at school?
My favourite subject at school was English, I took it as an A-level and really enjoyed learning about the structure of the language and how you can convey different messages through the power of words.
What was your first job?
My first ever job was when I was 14. I worked as a hostess at a restaurant and initially did this for free. I loved working there as I got to meet lots of people from different walks of life and learn basic but valuable skills including customer service and interaction. It was only when I turned 16, I started getting paid £5 an hour.
What brought you to Dubai?
Initially, I came to Dubai for a holiday but then discovered that there was an abundance of opportunity, especially in relation to ByErim. I really like how the market handles business, particularly that most individuals I have met are willing and ready to connect, helping to fast-track business growth. In Dubai, one opportunity leads to another!
What inspired you to enter the haircare space and launch ByErim?
I lost my mother at 8 and realised soon after that there were many other girls in a similar position to me. Growing up without a mum or motherly figure can be extremely tough but luckily, I had my grandmother to support me and pass on her wisdom – especially in relation to haircare. Every weekend I’d visit her house and we would come up with weird and wacky concoctions to try and grow my hair. I wanted to share the knowledge that she has passed down to me with others who also lacked that important female figure in their lives. I recognised quite early on in my career that I wanted to have my own business alongside being a social media influencer. While these work hand in hand, ByErim gives me the opportunity to share my vision and knowledge making a true difference to my community and those who resonate with my story.
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Talk us through the inspiration behind your products?
Hair oiling has always been a regular part of my routine. I suffered from alopecia when I was younger and found that regular treatments (using the oil I created with my grandmother when I was 14 – the same oil that is now our ByErim formula) really helped to encourage growth and nourish the scalp. I wanted to share this with the world so knew that it would be the first product I launched in the ByErim range! Optimum hair and scalp care require a full regime, so I then wanted to develop a full luxury range with high-quality, vegan ingredients.
What are the key elements of your role?
The key element of my role is adaptability and problem-solving. There are many things that happen unexpectedly when running a business and I pride myself on being able to adjust to any situation that I am faced with. A standard day may see that I go from a brainstorming session with my customer service team, to a warehouse meeting to discuss packaging, to being on an Instagram shoot. My brain is constantly being trained to be very flexible and adjust to any situation. Having a sense of composure is also very important in my career because things can get very challenging and stressful sometimes. As I am always in the spotlight, it is also a valuable skill.
Talk us through your daily routine.
I usually take things slow in the morning as being a night owl, I’m often still working into the early hours of the morning. I wake up around 10am and after taking a shower and having my breakfast I jump straight into work. I tend to go through my emails and messages first thing as the rest of the day is usually filled with back-to-back meetings. Whenever I have some free time, I study for my degree in trichology. Evenings are usually my downtime when I relax and rewind. I also love going out for a nice dinner with friends or family.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Take that first step! All that can follow is the next step and it will never be as hard as the first one. There are 8 billion people in the world with ideas but be the one who did it first and did it best. Listening to and growing your audience is also key, I used social media as a huge platform to grow ByErim. This was where I can communicate with my audience, get feedback on products, and grow my online community.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Rejection is redirection.
And what is the worst?
Someone once said to me perfectionism is key, but I personally don’t agree. Sometimes things just need to get done and if you take too long focusing or overthinking something, you can start to doubt yourself.
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What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
Daily, I am thrown into situations I have never been in before. Adjusting to becoming someone who is okay with risk is a huge challenge for me as this doesn’t come naturally. As a business owner, I must make big decisions every day and I feel a lot of pressure If I make a mistake. What really helped me was trying to look past my own flaws and recognising that everything happens for a reason.
What are the future plans for your brand?
ByErim is growing rapidly, and I don’t think it will stop! We are investing and expanding the product range. The dream would be to expand my retailer list as well as the UAE and Saudi markets.
To purchase the products visit byerim.com
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