Behind The Label - Danika. Founder of Exentrique

Describe your brand/business in 3 words:
Refreshing, mindful & expressive 

What inspires you when you think about the future of your business?  
I feel most inspired thinking about what Exentrique could do for people’s mindsets and their wellbeing if we had the power to change the narrative of the beauty industry. My aspirations for the brand include dismantling socially constructed beauty standards and empowering people to be themselves. It would be incredible to see Exentrique create a safe space for people who don’t currently feel included in today’s unrealistic beauty ideals and I find that prospect beyond inspiring. 

What has been the biggest challenge you faced when building your business? 
I think funding was and still is the biggest hurdle to overcome. I started developing the brand at a young age and finding investment was extremely difficult. I have managed to work through the issues as and when they have arisen but the process can be mentally exhausting. On a personal level, I found it a struggle to carry so much debt at a young age and have had to maintain a full time job, which I am still doing now, to pay off some of the debt I took on at the beginning of the journey but I have to say, it’s all been worth it so far. 

How do you look after your wellbeing when working long hours? 
I try to maintain a strong social life and keep on top of the important relationships in my life. Sometimes I just need a lazy day and a good Netflix binge so I have to find the balance with that and things that stimulate my mind. I like to book a lot of events with my friends and I find having a full diary keeps me motivated working through long hours. 

What would your friends, family or colleagues say is your greatest skill? 
My friends would say my greatest skill is understanding boundaries and respecting people for who they are without judgement. I think that’s a huge part of Exentrique and why I started it. We really don’t have to understand the complexity of someones identity or their relationship with themselves to know that everyone knows who they are better than we do. The beauty industry has a history of setting standards and moulding people to fit it. I could see a clear gap for a skincare brand that wasn’t telling anyone what beauty looked like and instead, encouraged them to explore the journey for themselves. My family have always said my greatest skill is foreseeing gaps in the market and understanding which direction things need to go in to be improved. 

What sustainable swaps have you made over the past few years? 
I have started using sustainable tampon and razor subscriptions. I make a conscious effort to use a water bottle and I have tote bags that I take everywhere instead of getting shopping bags - I am obsessed with my metal straws too!

Can you name something positive to have come out of 2020?  
I signed off all my products and started selling which was a huge milestone for me professionally but personally, the single biggest positive to come out of 2020 has to be my health and the health of my family/friends. We have all kept well in such uncertain times which can easily be taken for granted. 2020 has highlighted the small pleasures in life and has encouraged me to slow down when possible, take more breaks and celebrate the small wins.

What is the best advice you could give to an entrepreneur starting a business?
The highs of starting a business are so incredibly fulfilling and the lows can be mentally challenging, consuming and testing. If you have a vision that you’re passionate about, focus on it and keep drawing your attention back to the bigger picture. Celebrate the small wins, don’t take the step backs personally and love the process.

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