As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nina Evangeli.
Nina Evangeli, a 26-year-old impact-driven entrepreneur based in London, UK, serves as the Founder and CEO of Desyr.co.uk, a prominent fashion reviews platform. In addition to her leadership role at Desyr, she engages in freelance copywriting and social media management, crafting content for business websites and social pages.
Nina’s expertise lies predominantly in marketing, where her passion for creating diverse content shines. From blogs and articles to engaging videos, she enjoys leveraging these mediums to promote her business. Notably, Nina has achieved viral success with videos discussing topics like how often women wash their bras, and laughing at the latest model poses to come out of the retailer Zara, to an article about the 5p bag charge.
Her academic background includes a BA in English Literature, a discipline that she believes enhances her problem-solving abilities by encouraging a multifaceted analysis of challenges. Building on this foundation, Nina pursued an MSc in Enterprise and Business Creation, a decision that bestowed upon her the confidence to venture into her first business.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Nina is an avid plant enthusiast, tending to a growing collection of around 50 plants in her home. To unwind from her dual business responsibilities, she finds solace in cooking and indulging in a good series.
Looking forward, Nina is excited about the growth potential for Desyr, aspiring to create a business with a meaningful impact on the world by reducing return rates and minimizing fashion waste. As she navigates this entrepreneurial journey, she dreams of adding “author” to her list of accomplishments, expressing a desire to write a book in the future.
Connect with Nina on Instagram and TikTok @ninaevangeli for insights into her daily life and the evolving world of Desyr.co.uk.
What inspired you to start your own beauty-related business, and what is the mission or purpose behind it?
Sadly, many of our online returns go straight to landfill or incineration. According to the Institute of Positive Fashion, last year around 23 million garments went to landfill, generating 700,000 CO2 emissions. I founded Desyr (pronounced desire) to reduce returns by addressing some of the key issues within online shopping. Most clothes don’t look the same in real life as they did online. So, Desyr showcases diverse, real women of all shapes and sizes wearing clothes, providing authentic reviews and ratings on how they look and feel.
How do you differentiate your beauty brand or services from competitors in the market?
Desyr is the first independent clothing reviews platform. Most review tools are made for businesses themselves, but Desyr is designed for the consumer. By improving their online shopping experience, it’s actually better for brands in the long run too, who see significantly reduced returns, costs, and product waste. We also reward people for reviewing clothes with exclusive discount codes and prizes!
Could you share some of the unique challenges you’ve faced as a woman entrepreneur in the beauty industry and how you’ve overcome them?
I have found it difficult to build a network and raise investment as a solo, young, woman founder. When I first set out, I found it difficult to find many women in the industry to speak to at all, let alone investors that invest from a very early stage within fashiontech. However, over the last couple of years, I have managed to build up a stronger network of women in tech by building up my confidence and networking.
What strategies have you used to stay updated on the latest beauty trends, technologies, and product innovations in your field?
Again, networking is key. If you want to hear about things in your industry before anyone else does, you need to get yourself into the places where all the top people are talking about them. Other than that, make sure you’re following the right pages on social media to keep up with the latest trends — which are changing all the time.
How do you balance the demands of running a beauty business with maintaining a strong online and social media presence?
As a founder with a background in marketing, I see having a strong online and social media presence as one of the key priorities of running a business, rather than an afterthought. I set aside time to create content. I’ve learned that sometimes, less is more. It’s better to sit down and plan a few pieces of good (or preferably great) content, than to put out lots of pieces without any intention or strategy behind them.
What advice do you have for other women looking to break into the beauty industry and start their own ventures?
Don’t be scared of failing. If you are scared, ask yourself, why? What’s the worst that can happen? A lot of us are paralysed and stop us from going after what we want because we worry too much about what other people are going to think about us. Acknowledge why you’re feeling that way, then push forward anyway. Just take that first step. Before you know it, you’ll be making progress and building confidence.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
In terms of skills, I don’t necessarily think you need any particular ones to become an entrepreneur. In fact, if you have a unique set of skills, it might just be the strength that sets you apart from the rest. Nobody is born an entrepreneur, it’s something that you learn as you go. However, I do believe that there are certain traits that can benefit aspiring entrepreneurs: resilience, perseverance, and curiosity.
How do you ensure that your products or services cater to a diverse range of customers and address their unique beauty needs?
Desyr is all about inclusivity. Fashion is a historically exclusive industry that upholds a very narrow set of beauty standards. It’s why most of us can’t relate to the models wearing the clothes online and end up returning them when they don’t look the same on us. Our community is a safe and inclusive space where you can see diverse women of all shapes, sizes, heights, ethnicities, disabilities, and more showing us how clothes look on every body!
Can you share some of your most successful marketing and branding strategies that have helped your beauty business grow?
I think it’s important to build a personality for your brand. In today’s world of social media, brands are no longer a faceless business that are separated from the consumer. Instead, they’re becoming more of a part of their communities, or even forming their own. Regularly engage with your followers, users, and customers to really build that strong relationship.
What is your vision for the future of your beauty business, and how do you plan to adapt to evolving industry trends and consumer preferences?
One day, I want to see Desyr everywhere in online fashion. I want our logo to become the trust stamp of fashion, so that when you’re buying clothes online and you see a Desyr review, you know exactly what you’re getting. As we grow, I want to help consumers shop even more intentionally and responsibly. It would be amazing to share the impact rating of each product you’re looking at on Desyr, as well as pay around with cool digital tools to virtually try on clothes!
How do you give back to your community or support other women in the beauty industry, and why is this important to you?
One of my main goals is to genuinely empower women with confidence in themselves and how they look. We share a lot of content around body positivity and body acceptance, encouraging them to be authentically themselves, always. I want Desyr to remain a safe space where it’s always positive, uplifting, and fun!