We love nothing more than watching a smart, courageous businesswoman on a mission to disrupt the status quo. And even better - watching her succeed and successfully turn a century old FMCG shampoo industry on its head (excuse the pun). This is exactly what beauty entrepreneur and ex-beauty publicist Jaimee Lupton has achieved with MONDAY Haircare.
Thanks to MONDAY, now for the first time ever, women across Australia and New Zealand (where the range first launched in 2020 and sold 6 months of stock in 6 weeks) and now also USA (MONDAY launches in the States this month) can access luxury, salon quality shampoo and conditioner at mass supermarket prices.
It isn’t easy to create a range of salon quality haircare at accessible prices - the MONDAY range was born after roughly two years in the making. The smart, modern woman is switched on to what goes into her products and this is something MONDAY had laser focus on when creating their range. The 4 ranges (Smooth, Repair, Sensitive and Volume—each with a shampoo and conditioner) each have 11 amino acids and are chock full of essential plant extracts. MONDAY combines these natural extracts with high-performance ingredients without the use of parabens and SLS. (They're also cruelty free and vegan.) The formulas went through seven stages of research and development to ensure they were up to the same standard as salon brands and women across the country are rejoicing.
But let’s be honest - creating a luxury product at an accessible price point sometimes seems too good to be true. How can it even be done?
At VESTIRSI, we are able to provide luxury leather accessories without the luxury leather price tag through our supply chain model. (We cut out major retailers and the middle-man to brining Italian Luxury leather directly to you.) At MONDAY, Jaimee and her team achieve this magic balance through scale. Through mass production volumes they gain buying power and are able to greatly negotiate costs and prices. As a result, MONDAY can make prestige-quality haircare at mass prices – the answer to every high-end shampoo lover’s dream. Too good to be true? Not at all. As Jaimee says “At the scale of our production, we can negotiate the cost of materials. That’s why we’re able to create luxury products but keep that price point low.”
In addition to launching in the US this month, MONDAY is being introduced to the UK and Canadian markets this year. So, watch this space ladies. One day soon when someone says “Monday” you won’t think of the day of the week – you’ll think of the chic pink bottle and its liquid gold perfect for your troubled tresses.
Read on below for more of our chat with Jaimee, as we discuss business, beauty and take a peek inside her VESTIRSI Claire bag.
What’s inside your CLAIRE bag right now?
I’m never without Glossier Balm Dotcom. It’s planning time in the MONDAY office so I have all my 2021 documents that I like to have on me to read over.
Jaimee's CLAIRE crossbody bag sitting pretty at the MONDAY office
As a beauty entrepreneur, we’d love to know your 5 must have beauty products, the products you go back for and re-purchase time and time again?
For makeup, my go-tos are NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, MAC Cosmetics Cremesheen Glass in ‘Boy Bait’ and Too Faced Damn Girl! 24 Hour Mascara. In terms of daily beauty habits that help keep everything in good condition, adding Dose & Co. collagen creamer to my coffee or smoothie every morning is a non-negotiable. And MONDAY Haircare, of course! The secret combo is our Smooth Shampoo with the Repair Conditioner – it gives you the best of both worlds.
Top beauty tip?
Living in New Zealand I’m out in nature a lot, and my mother warned me early on to wear sunscreen every day. I do it in the hope that long-term, I won’t need so many other products in my skincare routine. But mostly, you have to do what your mum tells you to. My favourite SPF is La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Tinted SPF 50+.
Always impeccably dressed, what is your style philosophy?
My style philosophy is to keep it pretty laid back most of the time – my uniform is jeans, a white singlet, and sneakers, then I’ll dress things up with trench coats and blazers.
The uber stylish MONDAY Haircare founder, Jaimee Lutpon
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
I have major style envy of Rosie Huntington-Whitley. She has the best personal style and really knows how to put an outfit together. Chic, paired-back and effortless.
If MONDAY could be summarised in one sentence, what would it be?
MONDAY represents a line of luxury haircare products available at supermarket prices created due to the lack of transparency and extortionate pricing in the haircare sector.
When, where and how did the idea for MONDAY come to you?
The need for salon-quality haircare stemmed from my own expensive beauty habit – I’ve always believed that beauty products should work without costing a week’s worth of salary! I was spending an extortionate amount of money on hair products each month, and found it increasingly challenging not just in terms of price but also accessibility: Why couldn’t I buy results-driven shampoo and conditioner at my local supermarket or Four Square? And what was I actually paying for? When it came to shampoo and conditioner specifically, I was walking the aisles of supermarkets and found myself bored from seeing the same thing over and over. From the packaging to the baseless promises on the bottles, everything was screaming – I wanted to create something that whispered.
When reflecting on the “why” for creating this brand, I kept coming back to the idea that it seemed stupid to save your best hair days for “special occasions”; to only put in effort to the way your hair looked on the weekend. In my pursuit of flipping that notion on its head, I wanted a brand name that posed the question: “Why save your best hair days for Saturdays and Sundays?” In other words, “Why can’t we have good hair on a Monday?”
Your products have been called “liquid gold” by the Media. How were you able to create such an innovative product without a science, chemistry or product development background?
It’s not only MONDAY’s formulation that has carefully been thought - MONDAY is a data-driven brand through and through, where everything from the branding to the packaging caters to what millennials and Generation Z customers care about and want. This was forefront of my mind when creating MONDAY, which is why we used recycled plastic for our bottles, opted for screen-printing our labels instead of using adhesive stickers, and are currently working on offering a re-fillable solution for customers who don’t want to have to buy new bottles every time they run out of their shampoo.
Our products are a super premium quality formula, infused with 11 amino acids and a variety of essential plant extracts while also ticking the environmental boxes today’s generation demands. It's also cruelty free, SLS and paraben free and MONDAY bottles are made with recycled plastic to minimise the brand’s carbon footprint and reduce landfill.
What was the biggest challenge in getting MONDAY off the ground?
Launching a new product during a worldwide pandemic was no easy feat – but I love a challenge. and we managed to still achieve never-before-seen results in haircare retail, COVID and all!
You’ve managed to build a compelling brand with an engaged following, that stands out in a crowded market completely from scratch. No easy feat! What did you consider when crafting your Brand, and what had you learnt from your background working in luxury PR and communications that you leant on when building the MONDAY branding?
Social media has played a huge role in allowing MONDAY to connect with our audience and understand what they think about the product. Reviews are so relevant in this digital age and if your product doesn’t work like it should you will be found out very quickly. MONDAY has also successfully managed to create an engaged following on social media, and because the product itself is so adored, customers are going out of their way to post reviews online.
Jaimee with childhood friend and face of MONDAY, supermodel Georgia Fowler
With so many other mass and luxe haircare brands in the market, how have you been able to stand out from the competition, and what do you think has been the key to MONDAYS success to date?
When I first entered the haircare sector, it felt like ‘community’ was only a brand pillar of high-end brands, whereas those in the supermarket seemed disinterested in fostering these relationships with their consumers,or had perhaps become complacent. In my opinion, those brands are doing a disservice to their customer, especially to millennials and Gen X’ers who want to feel like they’re a part of something greater. That’s why fostering a sense of community with the MONDAY customer has been so important to us since day one.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given, that you didn’t follow but wish you did?
You learn more from your ‘losses’ than your ‘wins’. Something that I now understand but failure was not something I was comfortable with and putting too much pressure to be perfect when I first launched MONDAY was a daily habit. Learn to be comfortable on the edge of chaos!
What is next for Monday and where do you hope to see the business in 12months?
In 12 months, I want to see MONDAY Haircare being brilliantly successful in our upcoming markets like the US, Canada and the UK.
What is your favourite and least favourite part of your job?
Without a doubt my favourite part of the job is bringing something to life – be it merchandise, marketing send-outs or digital content - and the incredible people on the team of course. My least favourite part of my job is the numbers side of things – but I’m working on it.
Whether you’re meeting with suppliers, managing press, working on new marketing campaigns, or developing new products, I can imagine there’s a great deal of pressure running your own fast paced retail beauty business. What is your top strategy for switching off, managing stress and maintaining positive mental health?
I’m realistic that life will always have peaks and troughs – I expect to have bad days both personally and professionally, and having that mindset means that I don’t feel as overwhelmed or caught off-guard when they arrive. Mental health is something that has become increasingly important to me as I grow older. I’m much more aware of how looking after my “top two inches” has a trickle-down effect on almost every other part of my life: my relationships, physical health, and even the success of my business. I am working hard on staying off my phone late at night – I’m notorious for having my best ideas at midnight and then always feel the urge to tell someone immediately!
If you could go back to baby Jaimee, at say 18 or 21, and give yourself 1 piece of advice, what would it be?
I would remind myself to not stress the small stuff – and remember that most things are “small stuff”!
Don't sweat the small stuff, Ladies!
You can shop Jaimee's Claire bag here.
Love Monica + Team VESTIRSI