we wanted clean, conscious and accessible products that empowered young people
we provide our customers with products that wow them, are good for them and improve their lives for the better, leaving them with that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you hit Nando's for some peri-peri chips.
#nocarblife? how about getting into a freshly made bed or realising you're in love for the first time.
got it? that's us!
we think there’s a place for both quality and humour to exist together. madebySUNDAY is all about uncomplicated, up-front, and affordable products that perform.
in a world of double-tap instant validation, our feeds are filled with looks that take perfection to a whole new level. we are literally drowning in lengthy beauty routines and unrealistic hauls, which ultimately are just paid product placement by brands. we wanted to create a company that was above all of that. we're building madebySUNDAY around the vision that beauty & wellness need to be more approachable, inclusive, and fun (but, like for real!)
but we’re not just selling you a funny label wrapped around something mass-produced in someone else's lab. we research, formulate and make all of our skincare products locally in our own facilities in Oxfordshire and carefully vet every supplier we work with.
we're like the perfect girlfriend, we know exactly what we want to eat and how we're going to get there
read how madebySUNDAY came to be, from the cradle to now, as best we recall it.
our story began in 2018 in a small apartment in the middle of nowhere. with only one desk and next to no free time, what will become madebySUNDAY was born. I had just moved to the UK with £900 to my name. I was young, energetic, burning with the desire to start my own business, the third time... and still naive enough to actually go for it.
our first original creation was the microfibre blender, a makeup sponge that saves you 70% of your foundation. nice. a fitting start to set the tone for the future MADEBYSUNDAY.COM - unusual, performing stuff, with a twist.
left is the state of my flat between the laundry drying, packing orders and stock. right is the website in 2018. go ahead. laugh.
I received my first sale the day after launching and was left reeling by the Christmas rush. I started the business from my living room, my neighbour was constantly asking what I was up to. all the packing, supply deliveries, printing was happening on top of his flat. little did he know he had a fully fledged ecommerce operation in the making just above him (although all the banging must’ve tipped him…)
I clearly didn’t have enough stock and my supplier told me it would take 20 days to get to me. I had to email more than 2000 people telling them about the delay. only two people asked for a refund but I can still remember the feeling I had in my stomach. it was that awkward combination of extreme happiness, excitement, stress, anxiety and an imminent nervous breakdown. it hasn’t left me since.
daily runs to the post office became my new normal but I needed to separate my home from my packing space. I needed more space. badly. I had boxes of products in every corner of the flat, and was literally living with my stock.
still passionate about building something that empowers young people, I decided to rent a proper 500sqf commercial property. we all start somewhere but I was pretty pleased with it. we were becoming more legit. I also hired Belma, a full-time "I’m going to do it all because I’m the second employee of a startup", and a part-time packer.
was this the right decision? we would now have to provide salaries and pay for warehousing. but who knew what would happen and whether the company would still be profitable in 6 months?! but that’s the fun of it, innit.
our first warehouse
well that escalated quickly. in entrepreneurship, the highest the highs, the lowest the lows. fast forward june, we came very close to losing everything on a few occasions, like when £80,000 worth of stock arrived completely damaged! but we also felt on top of the world, on others, like when we had coverage from Forbes, Glamour, The Sun and so many others, without spending a penny.
ultimately this is what madebySUNDAY is about, we do more with less, but raise our hands when the company or our wellbeing is at risk. we have real conversations about where we are and what we need to succeed, and are comfortable with change.
so after we originally refused to be stocked anywhere else other than our website, we decided to partner with retailers, and make our products available to you through them.
our blenders looking bangin’ with the help of Feelunique.
I have always, always wanted to start my own consumer business, and build a brand with integrity. starting madebySUNDAY was seriously one of the easiest decisions I've ever made.
I realised that there was nothing out there to serve my own needs as a consumer (clean, high-quality, fun and affordable), and eventually, solving that problem became more compelling than anything else in my life.
we were now selling through other retailers, online and in stores. we were also approached to be stocked in more than 800 stores across the world and would start the process. it’s no easy feat. but what’s fun about easy? we were also busy sending out online orders, and everyone had to pitch in, to help pack and ship them your way.
some people find it weird that I work so much but it’s not a chore. I love what I do and the devil makes work for idle hands. nuh worry yuself bout meh!
top is the stand we’re developing for retail in the Middle East and Europe. second, you have our products stocked in airports in London (yay!). then me, helping out to send orders and adding a little treat for everyone ;)
we had our very first in-house brand photoshoot. yo, no joke, I don’t know how we managed to pull it off. and please do not even remind me of the heart attack I almost had when we showed up to the photo studio and found it smelling of weed, 10 minutes before underaged models and their parents were meant to arrive. yea, CEO life for you lot!
oh and we were also listed on Forbes lists of the Top 100 Business Women and Middle Eastern women behind iconic brands (only next to Huda Beauty and so many other legacy brands). always humbling to step out of the everyday grind of startup life and bask in some of these moments.
told ya, the highest the highs, the lowest the lows.
it’s safe to say that growth is an uncomfortable process. and pain is a necessary investment for progress. the past couple of months have been quite a ride. we were selected for NatWest’s Power Up scheme for scale ups and we’ve been doing just that!
we moved to our first office and welcomed new team members: Morgan, Janice, Oxy, Kaitlyn, and Cindy. together, we work tirelessly to help you navigate the challenges of your toughest job yet: adulting. our young brand also won various awards that month, including "Best E-commerce of the Year".
couldn’t be more proud of how far we’ve come but we’re nowhere near the finish line.
one of the things I’m often asked is "how on earth did you get started in all this?". I was always passionate about a multitude of seemingly unconnected things: writing, entrepreneurship, creativity, finance, wellness and philanthropy, just to name a few. I realised that my unusual combination of interests and skills was a strength, not a liability.
I’m undeniable proof that traditional rules were made to be broken and I want madebySUNDAY to embody that spirit.
people always say that as founders, you should reserve your time for only the highest value tasks and outsource the rest. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good mentality in the beginning stages. do it yourself at first. when I just started, I spent as much time planning and selling new products as I did physically boxing products. this not only allowed me to save resources, but it also allowed me to know my business well and learn how to solve all types of problems myself – something I always need to do more and more of as we grow.
I was pushing my orders from my home to the post office using the supermarket’s trolley. then this happened, a full operation (still!) in the making 👆🏽
covid-19 spreads, and shit hits the fan. entrepreneurship is glamorised and romanticised. but at the end of the day, it’s really, and I mean really, hard work, and it requires a lot of sacrifices. one day you’re launching a new innovative product (slime queen that month!), the other, you’re trying to figure out how to survive the storm. we still tried to do business as (un)usual. workin’ on a weekend like usual. way off the deep end like usual 🎵
we had to pack our bags from the office and work from home but dw, we’ve got you covered from whatever life throws your way. we’re more inspired, relatable, powerful, fun, *insert all the cool stuff here* than ever.
left to right: second photoshoot, getting to the shop before lockdown to see our brand featured in two papers that week, and hopefully making our squad laugh in these strange times.
are we really waiting for a return to normal or are we ready to build something different. we decided to take this time to reinvent how we do what we do, bringing you new alternatives and reinventing our brand. our brand has always been about a special sort of pick me up, kicking those boring generic products to the curb. but we felt through it all, we lost sight of a few things, like our vision or our social mission.
I believe our messaging is helping to change the way people feel about their beauty and the products they purchase, and that’s an urgent to-do for me, but I’ve been thinking on how we can bigger and better our impact and reach loads more of you.
our brand is all about uplifting and no BS approach to all that we put out there, products included. so in April, we announced our new home for Sunday Ivy, madebySUNDAY.
still keeping it real though!
these changes are coming because when we put our heads together, we realised we had evolved past our original goal of being the best blender around. we want anyone who comes in contact with us, whether employees or customers, to believe they can be and do anything.
but through madebySUNDAY, we were now a vision of what we wanted our customers to achieve, to provide clean, conscious and accessible products that empower young people. because we know our customers are dynamic, free-wheeling, and expressive, we’re making the fun choice the right choice.
stepping back and affirming our brand’s DNA was a big part of our self-isolation. they say Dickens wrote his novel during lockdown. we came up with our own best-selling legacy ;)
firstly, it’s not change for the sake of change. that said, change is inevitable, and something to be embraced, etc. etc., but that’s not a good enough reason to change an entire brand. a good reason to change a brand is that it’s not doing the job you want it to do, and because a simpler, more distinctive and encompassing evolution of it could do that job better.
this is a huge shift, changing our identity, vision and perception, as a company and for our customers. this also means we now make and package most of our products in our facilities in Oxfordshire. but this is a change we relish and look forward to expanding. we now truly operate the same way we make products: with a person-first perspective.
lockdown relaxed but try moving into a new warehouse and new office in the midst of a pandemic... tricky. we all put sweat, time and tears into renovating our brand new unit in Banbury. we have to say, the past year has been a challenging one for everyone and our customers and this company have certainly been our unpaid therapists.
what you don't always see on social media are the behind-the-scenes challenges that we experience as a team and business. we're all extremely proud to be where we are right now and that is due to not only our relentless hard work, but also your support for what we're building.
the place was a dump but we managed to give it a new life
products as you know them were long due a makeover. we chose a simpler more unified look. we also updated packaging for our spot and babe guns to make them easier to dispense.
I also spoke about about running a business with chronic illness, while navigating the challenges that come with a worldwide pandemic. don’t feel bad for me though, I'm back and kicking everyone's butt... trust me, they were getting too comfortable.
looking pretty good if you ask me
we continue to make waves in the UK and abroad. we made it into the daily mail, metro and other publications. we also welcomed new retailers in the Middle East and the US, which was a life saver considering stores were shut down in the UK.
more than ever, we're committed to building a strong business, driven by our social mission of empowering our community to take charge of their life, and just like us, go after their dreams.
delivering a strong experience to you will continue to be a priority for us so every month, we get better and better in this regard, and we expect 12 months of 2021 to be no exception.
I wrote a letter to you detailing all that we’re up to this year. we really have grown a lot since I started madebySUNDAY in my living room. so we thought it was about time for us to strip it all and freshen up a bit. go ahead and take our new website for a spin!
do more. be more.
well, there you have it up to now. like all good stories... there’s more to come, and we’re excited to see what it is.
thanks for being a part of madebySUNDAY. now it’s time for you to get back to your story. make it great!
oh you want more, I’m flattered
I don’t really know what to say…
I guess I could shoot the breeze with you for a while
we’re very personable
seriously, we could go all day...
it’s good for the fingers this
can you scroll with your little finger?
go on try it.
ok got no time for this, gotta go x