Meet Zoe Boikou: The Beauty Boss Behind Zoeva and Her Iconic Beauty Brushes
"I was inspired to capture old Hollywood glamour and mix it with modern-day individuality" ~ Zoe Boikou
Today, thanks to Instagram and the ever so active beauty Guru community, the online beauty industry is more popular than ever. However, in the beginning, there was little to no space for the smaller beauty brands; heritage beauty brands occupied the major market. Taking advantage of the internet age, Zoe Boikou created a brand catering to the mass market with quality products when not many did. The Zoeva brand, famous for their affordable brushes have become the all-time favourite and secret gem in the beauty community with make-up influencers like Tati Westbrook, Desi Perkins and even celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldrige, all attesting to the brand's commitment to quality. Today, Voir Fashion speaks to Zoe Boikou the woman behind the brand.
Zoe Boikou was born in Greece and later moved to Germany with her family at a very young age. Speaking openly, life has not always been smooth sailing for this female entrepreneur as she grew up in a tumultuous environment with a first-hand domestic violence experience. Speaking to us, Zoe tells us how her background has influenced her business
1). Coming from Greece and moving to Germany at the age of ten, has your Greek heritage had any influence in the creation of your products?
My Greek heritage is something I am incredibly proud of. I developed our Heritage Collection as a tribute to Greece's long history of beautiful art. For example, the collection's golden packaging is a homage to the timeless beauty and symmetrical patterns of ancient Greek mosaics.
2). You have stated previously that you have a great passion for supporting women who are suffering from abuse, cancer and homelessness. What advice would you give to women who are going through or are from difficult situations?
I care deeply for women who are facing difficult situations. I know first-hand how that feels because of my family's own experience with domestic abuse when I was growing up. I encourage all women in crisis to not give up and to seek help. I want them to know that they are not alone, that there is always someone there to listen and to help.
3). In this current crisis, how do you plan to continue your brand message of empowerment and inspiration?
With the current, uncertain situation in the world, I am more than ever committed to empowering and inspiring women around the world to believe in their individual beauty and their own strength. We recently pledged to donate all our zoevacosmetics.com sales in a 24-hr period to a local charity that supports women and their children suffering from domestic abuse. The organization is called Frauen helfen Frauen which is German for "women helping women" –this motto also perfectly embodies our brand message and brand approach to business.
The brand Zoeva was founded in 2008. The German-based brand began as a store on eBay offering quality make-up brushes at an affordable price. The brand that first launched with limited resources and a product line of just ten brushes has now expanded into an international online presence, garnering a cult following for its makeup brushes and increased its product line to 300-plus signature make-up formulas. With a mission of quality for the mass market, Zoe speaks on how she translated this into her business.
4). You found your brand on producing quality, affordable, make-up brushes. According to you what are the factors that qualify a make-up brush as good quality?
I think what people really love and admire about our brushes is their uncompromising quality and sleek modern design paired with a reasonable price. Our customers see and feel not only our passion for cosmetics, but also our devotion to details. I approve and supervise each new brush design personally and will only settle for the best – in quality and design. That's what makes our brushes outstanding – especially in regard to their affordable price.
5). What are the top 3 essential brushes you believe everyone should have?
I believe everyone should have a good foundation brush like our 104 Buffer which is perfect for flawlessly applying foundation. Another must-have is a great brush for applying blush, bronzer or highlighter to cheeks like our 126 Luxe Cheek Finish. Then I would highly recommend having the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow like our 227 Luxe Soft Definer – which is my favourite brush for easily applying and blending eyeshadows.
6). As a brand that has started on the internet, how do you maintain a constant presence or relevancy within the current online beauty community and the influencers?
We owe a great deal of our success to social media. We work really hard to maintain our relationships within the only beauty community and beauty influencers. We don't just send them our latest products. We also always take the time to hand-pack and hand-pick every shade we send to them. Adding a personal touch to all the boxes we send is important because we truly believe in celebrating individual beauty.
7). With recent trends like make-up for men. What do you believe the future of the beauty industry looks like?
Of course, it's important for us to always be up-to-date and keep up with the zeitgeist, especially because beauty – like fashion – is such a fast-moving industry. However, it is not our aim to just follow mainstream beauty trends. Even though we adapt certain trends we always have our very own interpretation, which focuses on individual beauty and encouraging our customers to express their authentic style.
Today, Zoe Boikou continues to inspire and empower women. As one of the leading female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry, here is the advice she has received and gives on Entrepreneurship.
8). What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started?
When I first started, I was rejected by many manufacturers because no one in the industry knew who I was. The search for the perfect partners can be harder and take longer than expected. However, in the end the most important thing is not to compromise and to always take the time to find partners who believe in and support your vision.
9). As a female entrepreneur and now a CEO of a leading makeup brand, what has been your biggest challenge? How did you overcome?
I think the most important thing for any entrepreneur or CEO in any industry is to be genuinely passionate about what you are doing and to have a strong vision. When you have real passion and vision, it is much easier to overcome any challenge. For me, not compromising or taking shortcuts on our product quality is something I'm deeply passionate about. This sometimes can mean taking the more challenging route in our product development process. However, consistently delivering an extraordinary experience for our customers is part of my core vision for ZOEVA.
10). What advice would you give to a young female entrepreneur right now in this current situation? How would you turn this set back into come back?
When I was young, my mom gave me the best advice I've ever received. She said, "you can achieve anything if you believe it." I would share that same advice to any young female entrepreneurs, especially given the current unprecedented times. When the world looks so uncertain, it's more important than ever to believe in yourself and in your own dreams.
Speaking with Zoe Boikou was truly an inspirational experience, we see the fruits of hard work and a clear vision. Get to know Zoe Boikou not only as a female entrepreneur but also as a regular person here are some random facts you may not know about this female powerhouse.
Time for some quick-fire questions:
1). Favourite Quote?
Don't compromise by Steve Jobs
2). Who do you admire the most?
My mom is my biggest inspiration in life.
3). If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
A Swan because it is a symbol of purity, beauty, grace and love
4). Make-up Product you can't live without?
Our new Authentik Skin Foundation and 104 Buffer.
5). If you could have one Superpower what would it be?
6). What is one beauty secret you are willing to share?
Our authentic self is always our best self!
Words by Precious Njoki
Graphics by Katie Janes