Florence Adepoju is a visionary in the cosmetics fields. Having graduated from the London College of Fashion, as a Cosmetics Scientist, and worked in the luxury, beauty and retail industries, she fused her experience and interests together to introduce a pioneering brand, MDMFlow. She found a gap in the market and realized there wasn’t a label that captured her interests in “gold, hip hop, beauty, fashion and science”. Having found her niche, now, her product line includes innovative handmade lipsticks that have caused a storm in the new-tech and cosmetics industries. We catch up with Flow to pick her brain on what it’s like in the beauty business.
What would you advise others on the journey in setting up a business likes yours?
Stay inspired, whether it’s by reading magazines or watching documentaries on the area you are looking on going into, it’s important to be a sponge and soak up as much positive inspiring content, as you can. Connect with people who are where you want to be, mentorship has been key to helping me stay on track, whether it’s been a one time meeting or a continuous relationship.
Who are great motivational figures for you in your journey?
Sharmadean Reid – WAH motivates me because she literally never stops. Also she’s black and British so seeing her win makes me feel like my dreams are achievable. I am also motivated by other badass female bosses – Emily Weiss -Glossier/Into the gloss, Sophia Amoruso – Nasty Gal, Mary Katrantzou. The list could literally go on for days!
Who would you like to collaborate with?
No one has ever asked me this before, but my dream collaboration would be with streetwear brand Supreme, or Criminal Damage. I’d also love to have FKA twigs as the face of MDMflow, hopefully one day soon!
You want people to use your make up / beauty products but if you ran out who would you recommend next? M.A.C/ Nars etc.
NARS for sure, I love everything about Nars, the colours, the texture and the packaging. I also love the originality of Ellis Faas’ product line, if I can’t have my gold bullets then may as well have silver ones.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
One of my mentors Amy who owns a beautiful pink house in Essex called Eaton House, has given me some awesome advice when it comes to branding. The underlying factor being that your brands message needs to be really clear and defined.
Biggest challenge starting your own brand?
My biggest challenge has been financing my business. I think I went in with a romantic notion thinking that making my money back would be easy as pie. It certainly hasn’t been but I’m still standing.
Would you do anything differently?
No not at all! I’ve definitely made loads of mistakes but if I hadn’t made them I wouldn’t have learnt all the awesome lessons I’ve learnt and met so many incredible people to help and support me to this point.
MDMFlow products available here: Harvey Nichols
Interview – Mary Grace Nguyen
Photography – Joe Starbuck
Makeup – Mary-Jane Gotidoc
Model – Tamirys @ Established Models