The answer is investing in real businesses with a structure and science behind it to back up the products.
Loretta De Feo, founder of London-based hair brand Dizziak has revealed that Dua Lipa is now an investor in the business she established in 2018.
“Dua discovered the brand after using it,” said De Feo, adding that she always had the popstar in mind from the moment she launched. “She’s fresh and she’s got strong opinions that she’s not afraid to voice. She says London to me and Dizziak is rooted in London with universal appeal.”
Financial terms were not disclosed, but De Feo will retain full control of the business.
“I never wanted to go down a traditional approach because control of the launch was really important to me, and faceless venture capitalists wasn’t an option,” she said.
De Feo previously worked in the live music industry for 16 years before deciding to venture into beauty after her role was made redundant. The business came out of frustration that turned into a passion project for her after being let down by hair products she was buying from all around the world.
The few angel investors she had were from existing relationships she had from working in music.
“Dizziak truly is in a category all their own, and I’m so thrilled to be an investor in their journey. When I was first introduced to the brand, I was drawn to their ethos of making healthy hair care products accessible to people of all hair types,” said Lipa in a statement, explaining that the products have given her hair a total reset, calling the Body Condition an after-sun staple and her favorite all year round.
De Feo got the ball rolling by making 40 to 50 sample pots of the conditioner that she passed to people with different hair types to trial out.
“It was when I got a 10 out of 10 from everyone that’s when I knew the formulation was complete,” she said.
The brand launched with a direct-to-consumer approach which gradually led to partnering up with stockists including Selfridges, Liberty, Space NK and Cult Beauty.
De Feo has been firm in keeping her marketing expenses low because she admits to starting out on a shoestring budget with the aim of creating a product that’s accessible above all else.
“I’ve made sure that the content is authentic and real to gain trust. I haven’t tried to get ahead with posting content that’s flash-in-the-pan engagement,” she said.
On the brand’s Instagram, she’s started a series titled Aphrodizziak, which asks fans of the brand “Desert Island Discs”-type questions, like what are their favorite songs; books; hair tips they swear by, and the best piece of advice they’ve received.
“It’s about delving deeper than just hair and beauty. It’s what I want to see and consume. Organic peer-to-peer is what’s important and drives my business,” De Feo said.