Many beautiful journeys begin at the hairdressers. When Maeva Heim spent her weekends working at her mother’s African braiding shop in her native Australia, she didn’t know at the time that she was planting the seeds for her future career in beauty. In fact, the experience left an indelible mark on Maeva. Just a few years later, she went on to work as a brand manager for major beauty conglomerates like L’Oreal. She now also runs her own brand after launching the BREAD Beauty Supply hair care collection at one of the largest retail beauty chains in the world.
Maeva created BREAD Beauty Supply out of necessity. After a harrowing experience with a hair straightener, she decided to go natural. However, while learning how to care for her 4C hair texture, she was quickly disappointed in the product options she found in multicultural hair care aisles. “I just wanted to know how to wash my hair and I felt like brands weren’t providing that guidance in a super simple and time-efficient way,” she says.
So she set out to create a brand that would simplify natural hair care and, in particular, the dreaded wash day routine. Armed with years of experience working as a brand manager, Maeva leveraged his helpful knowledge of branding to create BREAD. Then, after securing a highly coveted partnership with Sephora, he was able to introduce the brand to consumers.
The BREAD collection, now available at Sephora, is already causing quite a stir in the industry by changing the conversation about natural hair care. This innovative line features a variety of products that suit everything from hair types 3a to 4c and includes a hair oil that works like a “lip gloss, but for your hair” among other product benefits.
We had the pleasure of connecting with Maeva to chat about this amazing new line, her partnership with Sephora, and much more.
HH: Can you share a bit about how your hair’s natural journey influenced your branding?
MAEVA: It was actually while I was on a trip to the United States. I flew from New York to Colorado with a hair straightener in my suitcase, and when I got to Colorado, I opened my suitcase and found that the hair straightener had exploded on ALL of my clothes. I was supposed to get my recharge, but it was in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t have access to get another one. I decided at that point that I would stop relaxing my hair. At that time, I had been changing my skin and body care to products that were “cleaner” and I became somewhat more aware of the ingredients in the beauty products I was using.
Reflecting on that, I realized that my scalp is skin too, and I was putting this very toxic product on my head every 3-6 months for over 20 years. So, I decided to stop. Straightening my hair with a straightener was something I had done since I was 6 or 7 years old. And although I had a protective hairstyle over the years growing up, my natural hair, when left on, was always straight. Never in my 20+ years of life have I had to deal with my natural texture, not even understand what it was.
The first thing I wanted to do was find products specifically designed for my texture. Ever since I grew up using products designed for straight hair, I knew that those products were no longer going to cut it for my highly textured 4C hair. When I finally got access to the shops and walked into the ‘multicultural’ hair care aisle, I was quite surprised. I felt like I had stepped into a time machine and went back to 1995 when we imported products from the United States to Australia to sell at the salon. I couldn’t find any brand on the market that suited my hair type that I could identify with.
All the brands I found felt dated. They all seemed to speak the same way, they looked exactly the same, and the product selection was incredibly confusing. I was extremely overwhelmed and confused. I just wanted to know how to wash my hair and felt like brands weren’t providing that guide in a super simple and time efficient way. It was at that moment that I realized that the idea of what I wanted from a brand in this space simply did not exist, and that I had to put the know-how, I developed myself working in brand management to create it.
HH: What was your main mission and objective when creating BREAD?
MAEVA: We are creating PAN for the woman who has curly, textured hair and doesn’t want to spend half a day washing and styling her hair. Our goal is to make wash day and textured hair routines as quickly as possible you can spend less time on your hair and more time on other things in life. I also really wanted to create a brand that felt like it reflected a new generation of consumers who were being overlooked in the category. It is centenary and our mission has always been that the aesthetics and positioning of the brand reflect its identity.
HH: What was the basis for starting BREAD Beauty Supply and how did your partnership with Sephora influence?
MAEVA: It was actually quite a long and gradual process. I left my corporate role in beauty, knowing that I wanted to start a company that would bring more diversity to the industry, but I still had no idea what exactly the company would be. That’s when I went on a trip to the United States and discovered the gap in hair care. Then I spent a few more years working full time while working at PAN. So it was all in small stages, to the point of entering the Sephora Accelerate program, which literally picked up the pace of business and was the point where I decided to dedicate myself full time to the brand.
The partnership with Sephora has been incredibly impactful to us. It gave the brand legitimacy, even in its pre-launch stage, and it really gave us a great stepping stone to secure pre-launch funding. Securing a launch deal with Sephora was something I wanted for the brand from the start, so it’s been surreal to see that come to life. I really wanted the woman who was already going to Sephora to buy skincare and makeup products, have PAN as his hair option, and I’m excited to see that materialize.
HH: Tell us about some of the products you offer in the collection?
MAEVA: I wanted to keep our range of products super simple and take the approach of tackling each part of the hair care routine separately, starting with wash day. We have distilled wash day into three simple products within our wash kit that are easy to understand and have simple, safe ingredients that make the life of your hair easier. It is your essential hair care closet for curl care.
hair wash ($ 20): I like to say that this is like a co-shampoo. It has been inspired by milky, gentle skincare formulas to provide nourishing, non-pulling hair and scalp cleansing. It’s almost like a light marshmallow-like liquid, but it transforms into a soft foam, and it smells like Froot-Loop milk!
hair mask ($ 28): It is made in Australia and infused with Australian Kakadu Plum Seed Oil, which is a super hydrating yet lightweight oil that is perfect for healthy hair and scalp.
hair oil ($ 24): This is a non-silicone multipurpose oil that I like to say is like a lip gloss, but for your hair. It is truly your preferred oil to use during the day or week, and it can also be used as a pre-wash treatment.
HH: What do you think makes BREAD unique in the natural hair care landscape?
MAEVA: I want BREAD to feel more like a fad and less like a typical beauty brand because I want her to feel that BREAD aligns with her identity in such a way that she is proud to have us on her bathroom shelf and eventually elsewhere. of your home. and life. There really aren’t many brands that are targeting this younger audience of women who don’t want to buy the brands their mother made. They want something new and fresh, something that reflects their aesthetic and who they are. If you look at the way it is presented online and what it identifies with, it’s a stark contrast to the super-shiny, Photoshopped brand vibe you see more often in hair.
There is also this rhetoric that textured hair is difficult and time consuming to care for, and requires a lot of product and handling. But I want our audience to feel that hair is fun, easy, and casual. Black women have not generally been included in conversations or posts about ‘lazy girl’ or ‘unfinished hair’ hair, and I want her to feel that she too can have a carefree lifestyle and that caring Styling can be fun, easy, and casual – part of that is normalizing all kinds of curly textures and leading the way in what is ‘aspirational’ hair for 2020 and beyond.