We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriela Navejas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriela, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
The amount of research that goes behind a product/formulation. When we decided to create a collection of lipsticks, we wanted to have Manuka Honey as a key ingredient, we found a fabulous chemist in LA – we thought the work was done!!
We had no idea! The process was just starting.
Formulating clean products is no easy task as new research comes in all the time regarding good and not so good ingredients. Using ingredients that we find in nature and finding the right synergy among them required many many many tests, a lot of disappointing results but a lot of wins too. It was like mixing math, chemistry, biology and fashion all in once.
There are so many details that go into packaging, tubes, inks and more. So interesting!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I come from the corporate world, working as a marketing executive for over 16 years. 3 years ago I decided to turn the page and start my own business. Like every other woman out there, I love beauty, I love fashion! I grew up in Mexico City in a family were my grandmother always would say “never leave the house without lipstick and a nice necklace’. So growing up lipstick became a big staple of mine. After trying to change my lifestyle to a more clean, healthier way of living years ago, I truly could not find a safe formula lipstick that I loved!!
I tend to “eat” a lot my lipstick after each application, perhaps because I talk to much or just how I move my mouth. I tried to find a product that would make me happy and – I couldn’t! So Madame Gabriela was born.
We brought the cleanest Manuka Honey from Geoffrey’s (my business partner) bee farms in NZ and 2 years later – we launched our brand Madame Gabriela Beauty – the first luxury clean lipstick powered by Manuka Honey – an amazing ingredient!!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I currently live in Dallas, TX but if by best friend was visiting, I would tell her to meet in in my home city Mexico City. We would start by staying at the Four Seasons – it has the most beautiful courtyard of the city. It is a small gem and refuge amid the chaos of a 22million people place!!
I would take her to Cafe Nin but the most delicious breakfast – and of course, we would stay there for hours!!
I would then head to visit Frida Kahlo’s house – an inspiration in all senses: the colors, the architecture, the story and the history! We would then head for lunch at my fav spot La Unica. You think you have tried mexican food? Think again – this is the real thing!!
The afternoon will be dedicated to stroll among galleries and small shops in the Mazaryk, Polanco area before heading for drinks at the bar of the new St Regis hotel.
Dinner – around 10pm perhaps. This is the time when we normally start going out on a Friday so take your pick – I have a selection of fabulous places and one or two speakeasy hidden gems for a night cap. Join me?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partner and I do not come from the business industry so there was a bit of a fear factor of going into a community that is the expert in beauty, formulation and lipstick!
We were so wrong – we have been surprised with the most wonderful, supportive and welcoming industry/community.
From chemist to packaging experts and ultimately our amazing brand fans. They are who make us keep going – incredible support of women and men that just want to see us succeed.