AS an actress, Diana Danielle can usually be found under the bright lights of a film or TV set and on the red carpet draped in gorgeous finery.
But don’t be surprised if you spot Diana at your neighbourhood pop-up event one of these days, as the Hanyut star ventures into this latest retail trend.
“We just did our third pop-up and it gets better every time,” the actress-turned-entrepreneur enthuses in an interview with StarLifestyle. The venues range from a food fair in Shah Alam to a halal food expo all the way in Singapore.
“I am very much there at pop-up events because there’s always something that needs to be presented better, changed or redone, and you’ll only know how to tweak these little things if you’re physically there.”
Diana’s beauty line Organika Beauty was initially marketed on online platforms. But she believes bringing her business to pop-up markets gives her an advantage as she gets to deal with her target customers directly.
“I enjoy knowing my customers so that I can understand their skin and even insecurities better, and that’s most important.”
Indeed, addressing people’s needs is a key business strategy she employs to tackle the pop-up market crowd, rather than tirelessly persuading and coaxing customers in vain.
“Our customers come to us with a problem and we try to address them with honesty and enough information for them to understand how our ingredients will benefit them.”
And the reception has been encouraging. “So far, I’ve received so many invitations for pop-up stores, I’m actually feeling a little nervous!”
Diana’s hands-on approach doesn’t stop at manning the pop-up stores.
Fitted with a pair of gloves, she is often seen standing over the kitchen counter, mixing a variety of natural ingredients in a bowl to bring to life Organika Beauty.
The passion project, launched more than two months ago, sees Diana churning out homemade, organic skincare and makeup products such as face scrubs and lip balms.
“I want to have a business that has a strong relationship with the environment and I truly believe in the miracles of whatever that is already provided by Mother Earth,” she talks about her vision for the beauty line.
The 27-year-old shares she has always made her own skincare and makeup for personal use but producing them on a large scale was a totally different thing.
“I literally started from scratch. I bought books, studied videos, experimented and made some failed and successful samples,” Diana describes going through the steep learning curve.
“I’m now currently enrolled in some courses to better educate myself in organic beauty care. I haven’t stopped learning.”
During the formative stages of Organika Beauty, Diana reveals she handled every aspect of the business from start to finish.
“Initially, it was a one-man show, from taking orders manually to outsourcing raw materials, packaging and sending out items. It was really hard.
“I also kept expanding my products even though I knew I had nobody else.”
Fortunately, Diana has a team now. “Every little bit of the whole process will have to go through me, so I’ll need to green light them before my team gets on ahead with the plans we made.”
Naturally, being a public figure helps lend publicity and awareness to her beauty business, especially among her fans.
However, Diana maintains she ultimately wants her products to speak for themselves.
“I try not to lean in too much on my name as an actress. I’d like to see this business grow with people experiencing real changes from using our products. I think that will sustain us longer in the long run.”
Speaking of being an actress, how does Diana juggle between her acting commitments and her beauty business?
“We’ve had some crazy past few weeks!” she confesses. “My team knows the recipes and will help out when I’m focused on my current (acting) project but it doesn’t mean I really ever let go.
“I’ll normally come back from my shoot and dip my hands straight into making our batches and sorting orders out.”
Some may wonder why a celebrity of her stature would want to get her hands dirty, putting aside the glitz and glam that’s often associated with celebrity life and be so involved in every part of the beauty business.
“I want to build trust. I want them to know that I do this with enough knowledge and due diligence. I honestly couldn’t care about glitz or glam,” she offers.
“I’ve always been very laid back and will continue to do the things that are in line with my life values and also things that work for the environment and for the future generation.”