Meet Emolyne, a London-based Ugandan entrepreneur taking on the global beauty industry

Emolyne Ramlov is a businesswoman, philanthropist and founder of Emolyne Cosmetics, a British beauty brand.

Born in Ibanda, Uganda, Emolyne grew up on a farm in the beautiful countryside. Emolyne loved the freedom of her childhood in Africa and had a lot of fun helping on the farm after school.

Emolyne Ramlov was nicknamed “Kadogo”, which in Kiswahili means “little” or “small”. She is the child of a Munyankore father and a Mutooro mother and she is the sixth child, the eldest daughter in the family. At thirteen, she moved to Denmark with her family.

“When I arrived in Denmark, it was a big culture shock. Everything was different; the weather, the food and the language. I had to integrate and learn Danish for two years before I could go to a regular school “said Emolyne.

In high school, Emolyne’s ideas about makeup and beauty were challenged. In Uganda, wearing makeup can be seen as an invitation to men. She was not allowed to wear makeup or even grow her hair. But in Denmark, the rules of society were different.

“I remember sitting in class and looking at my classmate who was wearing a face full of makeup and nail polish and I said to her, ‘You’re going to be in serious trouble showing up to school. school like that.

She replied: “Relax, this is Europe!”

“At that point I realized that the rules for women in Denmark were different and my interest in makeup started to grow,” Emolyne said.

Emolyne showing how her products work.

Beginning

When she started looking for makeup, she struggled to find anything that matched her skin tone.

“Life in Denmark was amazing. However, it wasn’t very diverse in the early 90s. As a black person and a minority, there weren’t many black hairdressers or black skin products. As for make-up, I couldn’t find the colors that suited me,” explains Emolyne.

When she moved to London in 2008, she found once again that the British beauty industry was not inclusive.

“I realized the makeup industry didn’t offer color choice for different skin tones. I went from store to store, brand to brand, and saw the same gap in the market. J ‘ve done some research and I still get the same answers. Then I thought to myself, I have to change that.

As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention”, she saw an opportunity to create a cosmetics brand that appealed to all ethnicities and genders.

Launch of the brand

After hard work and sleepless nights, in May 2020 Emolyne Cosmetics was launched.

“Everything was perfectly planned. I had invited the press to our pop-up store in Covent Garden when the pandemic hit. We had to cancel everything and adapt to the new changes by taking a risk and going online,” she told Chimp Corps.

Emolyne’s products are vegan and paraben-free and contain no harmful chemicals.

“We launched with 15 reds and 15 nudes corresponding to three products; lipstick, nail polish and lip liner. We just launched our first-ever lip gloss, so you’re ready for summer!” she explained.

Soon, Emolyne will expand into the global markets of the United States, Middle East and Africa. New product lines are also in preparation.

“We recently launched our summer lip gloss shades and come Christmas we are going to bring out some festive colors and next year 30 lip gloss shades,” she revealed.

Emolyne explained that the reason Emolyne Cosmetics offers such a wide range of reds and nudes comes down to “differences in our skin tones.”

“We all have different skin tones and our skin changes throughout the year. What I wear in the summer is not what I wear in the winter. I created 5 colors for fair skin, 5 colors for medium skin like me and 5 colors for dark skin, so if I’m lighter in the winter and darker in the summer, I have a variety of colors that work for me,” she said.

Emolyne is proud of her African and Ugandan roots and has honored her heritage by naming her products after African countries and cities such as Uganda, Marrakech and Cape Town among many others.

Watch Emolyne’s story here.

Achievements

Just three years after the brand’s launch, Emolyne Cosmetics is already a multi-award-winning brand recognized for its inclusiveness.

So far, the company has won awards from The Sunday Times, Get the Gloss, Cosmopolitan, Global Makeup and Global Green Beauty to name a few.

This year, to celebrate the launch of its summer lip glosses, Emolyne has partnered with Nataal Magazine (a new global media brand celebrating contemporary African fashion, music, arts and society that has also been dubbed the “Vogue Africain”) and the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of an exhibition celebrating African fashion, music, arts and culture.

All this success is all the more impressive since Emolyne does not come from the science of cosmetics or beauty.

The UK-based entrepreneur holding up his products and a copy of Nataal magazine.

Emolyne explained how she didn’t let that hold her back when she launched her brand.

“Rihanna has proven that you don’t have to be a makeup artist to create a brand like Fenty Beauty. Victoria Beckham is not a designer. You don’t have to be a designer to make great clothes. All you need is vision and determination,” she explained.

“The success of Emolyne Cosmetics is due to the fact that we have an inclusive brand and high quality products. We have a strong philosophy and we are on a mission to transform the beauty industry.

“If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to follow your dream. Believe that you too have what it takes to succeed and learn from the success of others. Failure teaches us to do better next time,” Emolyne said.

And, as for a mother of four, she had a lot of practice managing her time.

When asked how she juggled her career and motherhood, she replied, “Just like I had to find my parenting style, I had to find what works for me in business. I mainly work from home but I also have a studio where we produce images and videos.

“I use the time my children are in school to finish my work. When the kids are home, the workday ends and I focus on my kids. It is therefore important to plan your day and be organized,” added Emolyne.

Venture into philanthropy

For four years, the London-based businesswoman has supported Whisper Children’s Hospital in Jinja.

The facility, which is run by Veronika Cejpkova, a Czech national, provides low-cost treatment to more than 1,000 children per month.

Thanks to the support of donors like Emolyne, Whisper’s has been able to employ more highly trained healthcare professionals, streamline management systems and employ nutritionists to treat malnourished children.

Whispers Children’s Hospital founder Cejpkova (left) and Emolyne pose for a photo.

Emolyne says she is driven by her childhood memories of access to medical care and that supporting Whisper’s is a way of giving back to the motherland, Uganda.

“I grew up in Uganda, I was going back and forth to the hospital all the time. Sometimes; after accidents like falling off my bike, or when I got malaria. hospital and saw children with burns and other illnesses. It was really bad. Whisper’s Children’s Hospital does amazing work with vulnerable children and families. I wanted to give back to my community and because I am a mother of four children, I contacted Whisper’s Children’s Hospital,” added Emolyne.