Unless you’ve been living off the grid with no access to internet, you’ve probably heard of Negin Mirsalehi.
The Persian-Dutch influencer-turned-business-mogul is the creative force behind Gisou, a bee-based beauty brand. With honey-centric formulas and perfect petal-pink packaging, the brand has quickly gone from indie darling to household name. But its not just mere honey behind Gisou’s meteoric success. What truly sets the brand apart is its heritage. With family roots in both beekeeping and hairdressing, great hair and entrepreneurial spirit are practically in Negin’s DNA. And when she isn’t out changing the haircare game, she’s serving all of the voluminous wave inspo we need on Instagram. Can you say icon?
We caught up with Negin to discuss bee-based beauty, Gisou’s future and, of course, those signature Mirsalehi waves. Read on for our interview with the Mane Muse.
MA: How did you get started in the hair and beauty space? What inspired you to start Gisou?
NM: I launched Gisou in 2015. It wasn’t planned out at all, but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. My father is a beekeeper and my mother is a hairdresser. We grew up using my father’s honey for a wide variety of purposes and my mom used it in her homemade hair products, which she also used on me. I once shared a photo of my dad and me in my family’s bee garden and was surprised by how many positive reactions I got – not just questions about my hair, but also those showing a genuine interest in my father’s bee garden. This motivated me to start the project I am most proud of – Gisou – it hits very close to my heart as it’s inspired by my family and heritage.
MA: What was the process of starting your own brand like?
NM: Maurits and I started Gisou in our living room. It took some time to develop our first product: the Honey Infused Hair Oil. We had to create the packaging, branding, website and more from scratch. Building this was a first for us, but we learned so much and had a lot of fun during the process. When we launched, we invested a lot of time and energy building the Gisou community, mainly through our pop-ups that we hosted in Paris and New York. Our community is at the heart of what we do every day.
MA: Gisou just launched an amazing limited edition curling iron. Are you planning to expand Gisou’s tool shop anytime soon?
NM: Gisou is really about the bees and creating haircare products with the best, sustainably sourced, bee-derived ingredients from my father’s Mirsalehi Bee Garden. With our tool line, we like to create limited edition exclusives from time to time, such as out Texture Comb, Hairdryer, and our new Curling Tool. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our community and are always thinking of new ways to surprise them with our limited edition items.
MA: We really love Gisou’s chic, classic aesthetic. Can you tell us more about the design?
NM: We really wanted to create something timeless and classic that reflected the bees and our Mirsalehi Bee Garden. Our signature ingredient is honey, so we wanted to work with warm and rich colors like gold and pink to bring this to life. The flowers you see on our packaging are inspired by the flowers from our own bee garden where we harvest the honey used in all our products. Everything has meaning and links back to our heritage.
MA: What’s next for Gisou? Do you have any personal projects in the works that you can share with us?
MA: Hands down, you have the best hair on Instagram! We have to ask: how do you get your signature waves?
NM: Thank you! With Gisou’s Curling Tool of course! We just launched it this summer and it is truly the best curling tool I have ever used. First, I prime my hair with our Polishing Primer for hold and then I finish my curls with a few drops of our Honey Infused Hair Oil for the extra shine. Oh, and never forget to protect your hair from heat with the Gisou Propolis Infused Heat Protecting Spray.