The Founder and CEO of BELLA | Beauty Empowering You - Grazia’s Beauty Editor, Kaniz Ali had the pleasure of catching up with entrepreneur CEO of BELLA , Sabina Ranger. In this exclusive issue Sabina talks to us about business, life and much more.
CEO Zahraa Saifullah
Managing Editor Nashmia Amir Butt
Creative Director Kaniz Ali
Photography Danny Singh
Hair/MakeUp/Styling Kaniz Ali
Outfits by Front Row
Location Mayfair, London
Grazia: What inspired you to head into the world of beauty after graduating from The London School of Economics and Political Science?
Sabina Ranger: Quality products have always fascinated me. I grew up in a family business that specialised in producing high quality consumer products, that would outperform those available on the market. For example, when a leading air freshener had 0.5% fragrance in it and was not long lasting (but was being sold at a premium price), my father then created one with double the scent and different technology to make his longer lasting so that customers could use less to gain more, and at a price that is right.
I watched the business grow from a £2 operation in a shed in Hayes, to a world class company winning an unprecedented 5 Queen’s Awards for International Trade and exporting to 130+ countries, because of the quality of its products and the reputation that preceded them. Therefore, product quality and innovation has always been in my DNA, so a career centred around this was a natural path for me to follow. After spending 5 years developing products in the business, creating brands, and getting these onto the shelves of retailers; I was inspired to venture into an area of passion; beauty, where I could innovate and make an impact by solving a problem; the issues I faced with wearing false eyelashes.
My research showed me that as many as 97% of women also face similar issues and I wanted to create a beauty product that would give the false lash effect without the pain, discomfort and inconvenience that I experienced, to improve the lives of many; allowing them to look their best but also now also feel their best. Thus, after 3 years of development, WANDERLASH mascara was born, and I officially entered the beauty industry.
Beauty has always been an area of interest for me. During my parent’s journey together, I would watch the transformative effect, aesthetically and emotionally, when my mother would apply her makeup and the confidence it would give her to pull through on the most difficult of days. Ending every regime with a flick of mascara (now, our hero product), she would set off as an empowered woman ready to conquer her day ahead.
Thus, from an early age I realised that beauty is incredibly powerful as once we feel our best, the world is limitless, no matter what our circumstances are. This, coupled with my understanding of how to produce quality products, is what gave birth to BELLA. Vegan, cruelty-free and clean focused products made to empower you, solve beauty problems and outperform what is on the market.
Grazia: Tell us a little bit more about your background before entering the world of beauty.
Sabina Ranger: I graduated from The London School of Economics and Political Science with a First-Class degree in BSc (Hons) Management Sciences. I did internships with both Google and PwC before joining PwC on their graduate scheme in consulting. I loved my time working with content creators at Google via my time spent in YouTube; some of whom I am approaching today to collaborate with for BELLA! Prior to this, I had done numerous work placements at banks and investment banks such as Credit Suisse, UBS and Lloyds. After my time in the corporate world, I then joined my family business as explained above. I absolutely loved creating my own products and their branding. I am a creative person and love adding value. I have a very strong eye for detail- although this coupled with my perfectionist nature can sometimes be a curse as well as a blessing!
Giving back has always remained important to me. At university, I would mentor underprivileged school children and I enjoy working with charitable organisations, helping to raise funds via walks and taking part in events. I’m now proud to say that at BELLA, 5% of all sales support mental health. As many as 1 in 2 people are experiencing a mental health challenge of some kind and I want to create a platform for positive change.
Grazia: Why did you choose to start off with mascara as your first product?
Sabina Ranger: I wanted to solve issues I faced with false eyelashes. I grew up with a round face and chubby cheeks and relied on false eyelashes as I felt they slimmed my face and opened my eyes, giving me the confidence I needed to look and feel my best.
However, I found all false eyelashes irritating, uncomfortable and heavy would pull out my own lashes when trying to remove them! My eyes would be red and inflamed, I looked unfriendly when wearing them and as a contact lens wearer, the glue would stick to my lenses and give me blurred vision. I looked my best but never felt my best.
Given my product background, this was a problem I needed to solve. I embarked on a journey to create a mascara that would give the false lash effect without the pain! 3 years later – WANDERLASH was born! #BellaLashLeader.
I do also believe that mascara is one’s most important beauty product. I feel that a face can never be complete
without mascara, but mascara alone can complete a face.
Grazia: What makes BELLA’s WANDERLASH Mascara different from others?
Sabina Ranger: Firstly, the RESULT- it’s incredible! We call it the 30 second lash lift. Due to special brush technology, lashes are lifted, lengthened, curled and thickened. It builds volume FAST and you can keep layering for a total false lash effect. People say it is the best mascara they have ever used!
Secondly, it has added innovative active ingredients to care for your lashes. Hemp Extract to condition and hydrate, Jojoba to promote lash growth and Blackcurrant to promote lash thickness effect.
Finally, WANDERLASH is clean focused and free from many undesirable ingredients such as fragrance, allergens, parabens, silicones, talc and much more.I must also say that the packaging is beautiful and very unique. It is re-usable too.
Grazia: What other products do you plan on launching in the future?
Sabina Ranger: We have a whole range of amazing products coming out, all centred around innovation and high performance. From eyes to lip to cheek, I can’t wait to share them with you all! However, WANDERLASH is our hero product and we want to really establish this in the marketplace. It is most definitely a revolutionary mascara.
Grazia: Talk to us about a typical week in the world of CEO – Sabina Ranger.
Sabina Ranger: Extremely varied! I’m hands on and take an interest in all aspects of the business, especially as we are in the early stages. No two days are the same. I get involved in many areas such as branding, distribution, logistics, social media and future product launches.
Grazia: Being an entrepreneur, what are some challenges you have had to face?
Sabina Ranger: There have been endless! In the few years preparing BELLA for its launch along with the first few months of the brand, leading us to where we are now, very few aspects have come without a challenge. These have ranged from packaging to working with the right people. I have learnt that the key is to expect the unexpected and remain adaptable and open to change. Challenges help us to grow and enable us to make improvements which benefit the business overall.
Grazia: What have been your favourite moments to date with BELLA?
Sabina Ranger: Officially releasing WANDERLASH mascara to the market and receiving everyone’s reaction and positive feedback. Getting text messages, calls, and emails from people saying it is the best mascara they have ever used and that they truly love the product! This gives me immense happiness and satisfaction that my years of hard work have paid off. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone & new experiences; for example, prior to this, I had never done a personal photoshoot before.
Grazia: What is your best beauty advice?
Sabina Ranger: We can only look as good as we feel inside. So be kind to yourself, surround yourself with positive energy and always strive to be the best version of yourself. Beauty will naturally radiate from the inside out.
Grazia: Which audience is the mascara tailored towards?
Sabina Ranger: All who seek their best lashes.
Grazia: What are your future plans for BELLA?
Sabina Ranger: I would love for BELLA to become an internationally loved beauty brand, one that people truly resonate with. To launch the most amazing beauty products that really work and are different to what people have used before. I am particularly looking forward to BELLA launching in retail and giving customers a full BELLA brand experience.
Grazia: What is the best advice you can give to anyone who is thinking of starting off their own business?
Sabina Ranger: Having a good mindset. Bob Proctor said that success is 5% strategy and 95% mindset, and I truly believe this. In business, there are many challenges through which we must remain positive, have nerves of steel, and believe in a vision of something greater than what we are facing. Don’t get disheartened by any difficulty, instead, channel this to keep going and allow it to empower you to reach further. Also, patience. Nothing happens ‘overnight’ and the ‘overnight success stories’ that we hear of are typically 5-10 years minimum and we aren’t aware of their circumstances.
The truest test of our character is how we manage when things don’t go our way and remember that when things feel difficult, there is always something brighter around the corner.
Grazia: If Sabina Ranger was not an entrepreneur, what would she be?
Sabina Ranger: A personal shopper or a property developer. Both are very different, haha! I absolutely love fashion and I think it’s a brilliant way of expressing yourself and who you want to be for the day. Fashion brings empowerment and confidence – just like beauty. Property development because I find creating something from nothing fulfilling, and I’ve always loved architecture and interior design.