With over 4M Instagram followers, Amsterdam-based fashion and beauty influencer Negin Mirsalehi has become a global household name in the social media/fashion worlds. From covering international glossies ranging from Marie Claire to Harper’s Bazaar, and starting her own hair line, Mirsalehi is a force to be reckoned with. She tells The Daily her story…
You started your blog in 2012. How has your brand evolved since?
Yes! I initially started out on Instagram and soon after I started my blog. It was a great way for me to share more fashion and beauty related inspiration and to build an online platform which allowed me to increase my reach. But the focus soon shifted back to Instagram—my unique and early focus on fashion and beauty enabled my account to grow in a short period of time. I was able to build an online presence through my social channels in Europe as well as the United States.
How has the business of being a blogger/influencer today changed in the past 5 years?
Five years ago, the blogging business was just getting started. There were a few fashion bloggers, but the market as we know it today didn’t exist then. My first projects came approximately four to five years ago but the proposals and guidelines were completely different than what we are working with now. Today brands really see the added value of working with “bloggers” as influencers and budgets have been allocated accordingly. Brands invest more in collaborations with influencers, but at the same time there are much more influencers active, which means the field became much more competitive compared to five years ago.
You have over 4 million Instagram followers. What do you attribute to that?
Definitely working hard and engaging with my audience. What also played an important role is that I always try to find new ways to elevate the content I produce on my different social media channels. This basically means taking risks and trying new things.
How do you describe your personal style?
Feminine, eclectic and definitely comfortable. I love combining different styles to create a more interesting and unique look. My personal style icon is Jane Birkin, who used to be very involved with nature. Whenever I work in my dad’s bee garden I feel like I can relate to her. I also like to shop in menswear departments as I am obsessed with oversized looks. I usually find the best pieces that no one else is wearing—I just buy the smallest size available.
Why did you decide to launch your own haircare brand?
Our hair care brand, Gisou, was born naturally from my passion for bees, the bee garden, and for beauty. Five years ago, when I started out on Instagram with inspirational fashion posts, I acknowledged that a lot of people were interested in my hair. It all started with my father’s bee garden and with my mother. When my mom came to the Netherlands 30 years ago (from Iran), she was in training to become a hairdresser. Unimpressed with the beauty products available back then, she started experimenting with her own haircare solutions. As a beekeeper’s wife, she had discovered the health benefits of honey and how its moisturizing and softening properties work wonders on hair. So as she set about developing her own natural formula, she knew one thing for sure: my father’s honey was going to be the key ingredient. My mother made the original formula for the Honey infused Hair Oil that has been in the family for years and I have used it ever since I can remember.
Tell us about the products.
Our hair care range currently consists of 4 products: our iconic and family recipe, the Honey Infused Hair Oil, Propolis Infused Heat Protecting Spray, Propolis Infused Texturizing Wave Spray and our newest addition and tool, the Texture Comb. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. Propolis is used and produced by bees to strengthen and protect their hive from bacterial, viral, and fungal invaders, making it a richly fortifying ingredient for the hair.
Hair tip you swear by?
The best tip I can give to anyone is the advice my mother always gave to me: do not experiment too much with your hair. In fashion, you can never experiment enough, but when it comes to your hair, experiment less, especially with hair products. Take care and be gentle with your locks. Stick to the same routine for a longer period of time in order to see results, as it takes time for your hair to adjust to a new product. Also, always use a heat protector when you use hot styling tools to protect your hair from irreparable heat damage.
What else are you working on now?
I think it’s important to stay focused, so my main focus, for now, is definitely Gisou. We will continue to develop more hair care and styling products. We want to create a community of loyal customers and reach an even bigger percentage of our target group with a clear focus on online. The upcoming period will be very exciting for both my team and me as we plan on launching six new products in 2018, aiming to create a broader range of care and styling products as well as tools and hair accessories. As far as my content, the focus will be YouTube.