March 6th, 2018
When we interviewed James Molloy two years ago, it was clear that his brand was going places. With a background at M.A.C heading up their Asia-Pacific region, he’s always been ahead of the curve and his MYKITCO range of brushes and accessories win high praise from some of the biggest names in the industry. We caught up with him and co-founder Alex Thompson to see how things have progressed.
WP: You’ve achieved a lot since your launch two years ago. What was your vision for the brand at concept and how closely have you kept to the plan?
JM: Our overall vision for MYKITCO.™️ has always been the same since day one, to be a leading brand for make-up artists and make-up lovers and provide high quality and competitively priced makeup brushes and accessories. We noticed that the accessories market was way under supplied and it was tricky to get all of the bags you needed for your kit in one place. The market is awash with make-up brushes, but I still struggled to find great quality at a decent price and that’s where the concept for MYKITCO.™️ was born. I think we’ve kept very close to our initial vision and will always keep our core values of serving the industry community and listening to feedback at the heart of our brand as we continue to grow.
WP: What’s been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
AT: Our biggest challenge so far has been how to blend art and commerce. James has been a make-up artist for many years and approaches the brand from a very different perspective than I would. It’s a right brain left brain relationship that has taken a little while to figure out. It’s sometimes hard to take your personal feelings out of a business that’s your so involved with and make decisions that speak to our audience and not just ourselves. We love feedback and constantly seek this from our MYKITCO. community, which helps us to deliver products and services that work for everyone.
WP: How do you find working with your life partner? What skills do you both bring to the table?
AT: Luckily, we are both easy going people with a solid work ethic and spur each other on in the challenging times and the good. We have learned that as we are on the go seven days a week, we need to have time away from the brand to recharge and both love to travel. It’s also a good excuse for James to get back to Asia and hit the makeup stores! We also have an incredible team that is super involved in the running of the brand at the HUB, which we couldn’t do without. The team isn’t huge, but we have huge appreciation for them all: Marty, Jess, Kate, Chris and Carol.
WP: Which was the first product you started with?
JM: It all started with one brush, the 1.7 My Ultra Multi™️. It’s a favourite of mine as I was in the hunt for a soft rounded tip brush that could be used for concealer, highlighter or whatever else. I visited our manufacturer with this in mind and by the end of the meeting I had a core set of 12 make-up brushes which swiftly grew to the 38 we launched with.
WP: How often do you add new ranges to the offering?
JM: We understand that the make-up industry moves fast and while we’re not a colour brand, we do like to offer newness at least once per quarter. This could range from new brush additions to a new Buddy launch, which is generally our biggest launch of the year. In 2018 we have some exciting things coming up from limited edition brush duos to fun collaborations that we’ve very proud of.
WP: Where are you stocked?
AT: We’re currently available in the Selfridges Beauty Hall in London, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as online at Beauty Bay. Our latest collaboration is with Indulge Beauty, a new concept store located in Westfield Mall, Stratford. Our international markets are Australia (Artists @ Play), New Zealand (Makeup Collective), Mexico (Nuestro Secreto), Canada (Sara Lindsay The Makeup Store) and Iceland (MStore Iceland).
WP: Education is a large part of your background. How central is this to MYKITCO?
JM: I’ve always enjoyed sharing my tips and am an open book when it comes to education. It’s part of the MYKITCO.™️ DNA. I’ve heard too many times of friends buying expensive brushes just to have them stay in a drawer as they don’t know what to do with them. This is an area we want to expand on our website and deliver even more information on how to get the most out of your MYKITCO. collection.
WP: Who are your competitor brands?
JM: I guess anyone who sells brushes and accessories are competitors. What’s unique to us as a brand is that we are involved in every aspect of the product design from start to finish. I wouldn’t have a product in the range that I wouldn’t use myself. I think this is felt throughout our customers; we have a very strong sense of community.
WP: What’s the next big beauty trend? Where do you get your forecasts from?
JM: It’s the season of the glow. Radiant skin that has evolved from a high shine cheekbone to become something more refined and elegant. There’s also a wave of beautifully muted tones; greys, ochres and mauves that filter through from fashion and the Pantone report which I use as a great colour guide to the season.
WP: What’s your favourite era or sub culture?
JM: My era is the ‘70s in all forms, from a honey-toned healthy Lauren Hutton to a glossy Diana Ross. It felt like an empowering moment for women and make-up.
WP: What’s your opinion on Instagram trends?
JM: There’s no escaping Instagram and I personally enjoy it. I think we’re seeing some incredible talent with unbelievable skills coming through and I like how an artist that previously may have struggled to get noticed can now have a voice. My advice would be to only follow a handful of artists and mix up your feed with illustrators, interiors and things that make you feel good. It’s very easy to lose your sense of style in the sea of impeccably manicured faces and also know that it’s ok to make mistakes and show a more natural side to make-up application.
WP: What are your plans for the brand over the next 5 years?
JM and AT: It feels like a great moment for MYKITCO.™️ right now. We want to expand more in to the film and TV areas of the industry and support the incredible talent there, as this is a field I’ve never worked in as a make-up artist. Our HUB is currently under expansion and we will offer more education in the form of workshops and sessions with myself and the growing team. We would love to expand into the USA, but like to do things properly and find the right partners that share our passion and vision. Watch this space!