If you've been keeping up with the blog, you'll know I promised you an interview a few weeks ago with the gorgeous Joanna from Shanghai Suzy lipsticks (read my review of the lipsticks here)! So, without further ado, let's kick this interview off and get to know the lovely owner/manager behind the sexy lipstick brand!
A former model, Jo came from a marketing background, specialising in cosmetics marketing, brand management and new product development. Often asked why she chose to found a lipstick-only brand, she explains that she really wanted a go-to lipstick brand where customers could find all the 'in' shades each season for an affordable price, a concept she felt was absent in the market. A big fan of communicating one message and focusing on one thing at a time, she structured her company along the same premise.
|Jo from Shanghai Suzy.|
(image taken from Shanghai Suzy)
1) Hi Jo, welcome to The Made Up Maiden blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us for a chat. First of all, the name is completely unique and oh-so-catchy, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the name?
Everyone thinks that my name is Suzy, in fact the lady who I buy coffee from every day still calls me Suzy and I don’t have the heart to correct her! But I actually named Shanghai Suzy after my friend Suzy, who was from Shanghai. All of the colours are named after my friends or people close to the brand and so when it came to choosing the name for Suzy’s colour, Shanghai Suzy came to mind! And I liked it so much, it stuck as the name of the brand!
2) Shanghai Suzy was founded in Melbourne, cruelty-free and is suitable for vegans. Can you tell us a bit about the whole design process and how you decide if a lipstick is ready for the consumer market? Who is involved in the shade selection? Where are the lipsticks made?
Our main packaging and formula is made in HK and China; everything is our unique design and is made from scratch, so it’s a timely process. We finish off the packaging and labeling here in Australia. A lot of people get confused about us manufacturing in Asia due to China’s animal testing regulations around cosmetics, however those regulations only apply to brands that retail in China (pretty much every major cosmetics brand, but not us of course). Obviously, our lippies are sent straight here and only retailed in Australia. I'm strongly against animal testing, and while I'm not vegan myself, I can’t see the benefit or point in using animal derived ingredients and harming animals when you simply don’t need to for a great end result. I've always worked in new product development with cruelty-free brands and I think it’s so important. We also use a chemically synthetic Palm Oil to avoid using the real deal. Choosing colours for the season is the fun part! I love looking to the UK and the US to see what’s happening over there, I also listen a lot to what my friends are constantly asking for!
3) All your lipstick shades are 'Limited edition' (two very dangerous words), what happens if someone falls in love with a lipstick shade? Are there any plans to bring in a 'permanent' range?
There are no plans to bring in a permanent range but I'm open minded and take what comes each day – the brand may end up going that way, who knows! I've had about a million emails about one of our colours from last Summer, Miss Sally Watermelon, and so I've done a special re-run of that for our website! It re-launched at the end of July – I know a lot of people are very excited! The brand is more about what’s hot at the time and if colours we have already produced are back in hot demand, then of course we will re-run them; it definitely makes sense.
4) Shanghai Suzy takes its colour cues from the fashion industry. What sort of trends do you see emerging for spring/summer 2014/15?
I see a lot of natural nude hues (so you can focus more on the eye) but also very deep and dramatic browns, and earthy colours like brick, bronze and copper (often with some shimmer added). Bold pinks are huge which is great news for the Australian market. The head of an Australian cosmetics brand once told me that at least half of your lipsticks should be pink as they’re always the most popular, and I didn't always listen to that advice, but I should have because it’s absolutely true.
5) If you had to personally choose a signature shade for yourself, what would that be? And are you more of a 'matte' or 'nourish' girl?
I’m a matte girl myself, and I love rich, vibrant shades. My signature colour changes each season, last Summer it was Miss Claire Fire Engine Red, now I’m really into Miss Kitty Black Plum (I wear it pretty much every time I go out). I’m already loving the colours for next season and starting to play around with those – my absolute favourites for next season are Miss Leah Baby Cocoa, Miss Nicole Burgundy Brown and Miss Ally Amethyst, so keep an eye out! They’re launching in September so I have a bit of time to decide which one my ‘signature’ shade for the season will be!
6) Can you tell us a bit about your personal style? Does that integrate at all with the Shanghai Suzy brand?
Shanghai Suzy has her own personality and style, she’s quirky and often unexpected on the inside and her packaging is minimalist chic. I definitely don’t think I'm as cool or as edgy as Shanghai Suzy! My personal style – my day-to-day is a bit tomboy actually. I love crew neck tees and skinny jeans, simple round neck jumpers, I wear a lot of black (hey, I’m from Melbourne!) and always a bit of gold bling, I never wear silver or white gold jewelry. In saying that, I very rarely leave the house without heels on and I have a lot of crazy, colourful things in my wardrobe that I would call out as some of my favourite things – I guess they’re more for my weekend wardrobe though! I buy heaps of basics from Cotton On and ASOS, and I have a lot of dresses and blazers from Sass and Bide, you can’t go wrong! My favourite high-end fashion brand is Givenchy – I wish I could wear it everyday!
7) Can you tell us a bit about what might be coming up next for Shanghai Suzy? We'd love a sneak peek!
Our new range drops in September, we’re shooting it with amazing photographer Ed Purnomo and makeup artist Blondie! I mentioned a few of the new colours before, but they’re all pretty bright and bold, very Shanghai Suzy! We have two Nourish formula lippies, and the rest are Matte.
I hope you enjoyed reading that chat with Jo as much as I did, lovelies! I'd like to thank her for sparing the time to sit down with me and answer my questions! Don't forget to drop by her website to check out her gorgeous lipsticks!
Jo has also generously provided four packs, each containing two of her Shanghai Suzy lipsticks, for a giveaway for my readers. To win, all you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter prompts below!
|You could win two of these lipsticks for yourself! Shade selection depending on availability.|
This giveaway is only open to Australian residents! Remember, you must be a GFC or Bloglovin' follower of my blog, and you must leave a comment on what your favourite makeup product is, and why! Please also include your GFC name and email address with your comment. I will be checking, lovelies, and I'd hate to disqualify anyone because they hadn't followed the rules! You can also tweet once a day to increase your chances of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway