We had the good fortune of connecting with Nmita Doak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nmita, what is the most important factor behind your success?
VISION. A great idea doesn’t get out of the box without the clarity of a vision. AMPLIO started life as an idea to produce stunning make-up that wasn’t harmful to the environment and actually good for the skin. I saw how much my five year old daughter enjoyed playing with my make-up but the fun was ruined when she broke out in a rash! On closer examination the make-up was full of nasties, and to top it off had been developed and tested by torturing animals. This helped define my vision of creating spectacular make-up that was paraben-free, gluten-free and never, never tested on animals.
AMPLIO took four years of gestation while I learnt about how make-up is manufactured and what chemicals are used. I tested and tried dozens of different products before finding the right mix that enriched and hydrated skin and did no harm to animals or the environment. In this time, I also sourced a manufacturer that could consistently manufacture the AMPLIO products to the highest standards without compromising on the quality and range of beautiful colours. My inspiration for the colours came from the places that were a part of my life: Jewels of India, Sands of Dubai, Natural New Zealand and Tropical Singapore.
PERSEVERANCE. (Or Learning As You Grow).
Success is not linear! There were many ups and downs and cul-de-sacs on the journey to create AMPLIO but I learnt that providing I keep listening and adapting, I could make it work. This requires an open mind and willingness to accept and learn from criticism. Having a great product ensures that customers keep coming back but first you have to connect with potential buyers by sharing a vision they can relate to. AMPLIO resonates with people who care about the environment but still want the highest quality products at a fair price.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After leaving college I joined the technology industry in sales, and later, consulting roles. This took me from New Zealand to Australia for three years and then Dubai where I eventually focused on Information Technology (IT) for the Oil and Gas industry. It would be fair to say that I was probably a little different to the typical Oil Well Optimization consultant – pretty sure most of them didn’t wear high heels on an oil rig! It was fascinating work in tough environments which really got me thinking about the challenges for working mums; how we juggle between being the best mother, the best wife and the best professional we can be, while looking the best we can. Part of the challenge is getting out the door in the morning on time. without compromises. This led me initially to look for make-up which could be applied quickly (on sensitive and hot skin straight from the gym) and not have to be reapplied regularly throughout the day. It had to meet my personal values of being good for the environment and good for my skin. It started as a hobby but quickly turned into an obsession!
Little did I know that this would evolve into a four year search culminating in me leaving the IT industry and developing my own make-up products for myself and other women with similar objectives. It was surprisingly tougher than I expected. What was so unreasonable to expect make-up to not be tested on animals? (This still makes me angry – it is all about money). Why can’t make-up be designed to actually be healthy by adding natural ingredients that enrich the skin while also looking good? And why can’t we have all this without compromising on the end look?
Today, AMPLIO has been on the market for 16 months. It is a fulltime job (and more) but I feel so privileged to be able to have my own business and work on something that I love and feel passionate about. And my morning make-up routine only takes four minutes now! Now help me to convince governments and companies to ban animal testing!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
While I am loving living in Singapore, my home (and heart) is actually still in Dubai. Let me share some of the things we do with our visitors…
Evening Desert Safari (Emirates are the best). Dune smashing, Quad riding, Sand surfing, Arabic dinner and show.
Burj Khalifa. Got to do the trip to the top (or go to At.Mosphere for drinks instead). We lived in Burj Khalifa for the first four years so I love having friends over to our old home to enjoy the view and fountain show. The Celine Dion and Michael Jackson – Thriller have to be my favorites.
Walks around Dubai Marina are stunning. JBR beach is really nice with lots of activities and beautiful little shops.
Global Village is lovely to do in the evenings. Great with the kids and tasting all the food is always fun.
Luxury Yacht hire. From Dubai Marina. Surprisingly inexpensive and great way to see the sights. I loved taking my mum on this when she visited. We had some gorgeous views of the Atlantis Hotel.
Armani/Amal for the best Indian ever. Located in Burj Khalifa. We would have dinner there, on the balcony, overlooking the incredible Dubai Fountain show which starts at 7pm. I remember hosting our ‘Couples Baby Shower’ there. It was magical.
At.Mosphere (Level 122, Burj Khalifa) to have drinks or nibbles while watching the sun come down. This is just absolutely beautiful.
Brunch at Coya on Fridays. One of the best famous Dubai Friday brunches. Four hours of fun.
Burj Al Arab High Tea in Skyview bar. World’s only 7 star hotel. High Tea is fun.
Zero Gravity for daytime drinks, lounging by the pool and enjoying a little sun.
Souk Madinat for anything Arabic. Great restaurants here too. The little Abra tours are fun and nice way to see the area.
Gold and Diamond Souk is super fun to walk around and maybe buy a little treat.
Spice Market. Amazing smells and selection!
Dubai Mall. Put your walking shoes on because it is huge! They have everything you can possibility think of, even and Ice Skating Rink. My kids love doing this and KidZaina is also a massive hit. Shopping is amazing!
Mall of Emirates is also a lovely mall which is a little more manageable for a day trip.
LegoLand / Dubai Parks and Resorts. It would be also fun to stay at the hotel and explore all the parks over a few days.
Dubai Aquarium in Dubai Mall. Really impressive.
Wild Wadi fun park.
Ski Dubai in Mall of Emirates. Biggest indoor snow skiing center in the world.
Sky Dive Dubai if they are keen. I did this and it was AMAZING!
Abu Dhabi (an hours drive from Dubai)
Formula YAS 3000. F1 driving on Yas Circuit (my personal favorite).
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque tour.
Royal Palace hotel.
All of that would be a very busy week! I can’t wait till be can all travel again freely.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank my family that gave me the space to develop AMPLIO. And all my friends and colleagues that tested many great and not so great products and willingly shared ideas. They enabled me to develop AMPLIO products around different skin types, different lifestyles and different environments. Many of them feature in my Instagram today. You know who you are… I feel very humble that you willingly gave me your time and face(!) and I am extremely grateful.
Instagram: @ampliobeauty & @ampliobeauty_by_nmita
Photographer: Raiyne Kim Models: Simone Christina Lowther, Sabrina Sikora, Mona Gill, Zhanna Doak, Steph Adams, Nmita Doak Make-up: Amplio Beauty