Teen Vogue: A 25-Year-Old Created a Line of Best-Selling Lipsticks…From a Shed
Article written by Gillian Sagansky, Originally posted MAR 17, 2016 3:45PM EDT in Teen Vogue
MDMFlow is quickly becoming a beauty game-changer.
"I read somewhere that Henry Ford built his first car in a shed, so I figured if he could build a car in a shed, I could make lipsticks in a shed," declares Florence Adepoju, founder of breakout beauty brand MDMFlow. The idea came to her after a life-changing moment when she was all of 17 years old, working at the Benefit Cosmetics counter in London. “Benefit took us to their headquarters so we could see how their products were made," she recalls. “A light bulb went off when I realized that I could make these cosmetics myself. Chemistry was my favorite subject and at the time I wanted to pursue a career in science. But I also loved fashion and art, so to finally find an industry where my passions blended together was incredible.” With a goal of making her own cosmetics, Florence enrolled at the London College of Fashion to pursue a Cosmetic Science degree working at makeup counters, such as Chanel, after class where she got an invaluable lesson in branding. “There was such a massive disconnect,” she explains. “I'd see these cool looking girls wearing hoodies and trainers walking by, and I’d be sitting in a skirt suit with my hair tied back in a bun while old French music was playing. I just thought, ‘this really isn't me.’ It was then that I knew I had to create a brand that reflected who I actually am.” With help from a university loan to purchase the necessary equipment, MDMFlow was born in the back garden shed of her parents’ house in Essex. All made-to-order by hand, her line consists of her signature black mascara and nine rose-scented shades of lipsticks. Occasionally she releases a limited edition of a chemically complex shade, which she makes in wild colors and in batches of only 30 at a time (her favorite is an emerald green called ‘Three Kings’), and sell out in a day. Her decision to produce only nine hues is based on consumer psychology she observed while working at beauty counters. “I would show a woman 20 different nude shades, she would like five, not be able to decide on one, and then leave with nothing. I want my nude to be the solution,” asserts Florence. The brand’s aesthetic is an ode to '90s hip-hop culture (the gold metal tubing is inspired by chains that rappers wore throughout the decade) and the lipsticks are named after songs Florence listened to growing up, such as “Sweet Escape” (Gwen Stefani) and “Bossy” (Kelis). If there’s one thing to take away from Florence’s story it’s her stick-to-it-iveness proving the age-old adage that if you can dream it, you can do it..."