Maha Morley-Kirk knows what women want. Long, thick eyelashes that feature quality craftsmanship, yet are lightweight. Finding a niche in the market, she focused on creating a product for the Arab woman that could transcend their daily lives. Launched in 2015, Pinky Goat offered just this, winning various awards along the way. Now expanding into the world of eyebrows, Morley-Kirk’s beauty empire is on the rise.
How did you get into the world of beauty?
I have been involved in fashion since leaving school and there is a definite link between fashion and beauty. About seven years ago, I became the Head Franchisee of Inglot for Lebanon which meant I spent a lot of my time with some of the best Lebanese makeup artists. It was during these meetings that it became apparent that there was a big need for a professional eyelash brand that could meet the needs of both the makeup professionals and eyelash lovers.
Why did you decide to create an eyelash line?
I saw that there was a significant gap in the market for Pinky Goat as we would focus on professional quality lashes designed with the Arab woman in mind. I also wanted to create a brand that could innovate and educate. The innovation has continued into our new brow range, Browme, which we have just launched. Every product has been made with exclusive formulations, in fact, I seem to have spent most of my time between our factory in South Korea, and Dubai to ensure the final product was absolutely perfect.
What was the motto behind Pinky Goat?
We simply wanted to be the best at everything we did, which of course meant creating amazing lashes that professional makeup artists and lash lovers would appreciate.
How did you come up with the name?
Choosing a brand name took a surprisingly long time as I couldn’t think of a name that I Iiked. I had lists of possible names, but one by one I was crossing them off. One evening my daughter came downstairs asking if I had seen Pinky, her toy goat – I had a “eureka moment” – Pinky Goat was born!
What defines the perfect pair of false lashes?
Every woman has their own definition, however, for me, they must be lightweight and deliver the look you want to create. I definitely want a different look if I am at a big evening event compared to Sunday morning in the office!
What is the difference between mink and synthetic?
Mink lashes are more fluttery and seem to give a more natural look even with the most glamorous lash styles. I am pleased to say that our mink lashes are ethically sourced and of course are cruelty-free, and are handmade. On my factory visits, I am always amazed to see the skill and patience it takes to create a single lash.
What has been the most defining moment in your career?
That’s an easy question to answer! It was in London at the Pure Beauty Awards in November 2015. Whilst we always hoped to win the Best New Beauty Brand Award, when they announced we had actually won I was in shock. When I received the award, for once I was lost for words but very proud that a Middle East Company had won. There have been many other highlights over the last few years, including opening our first location in the UK and working with some of the best international makeup artists.
What advice would you give to upcoming beauty entrepreneurs?
Be patient, be consistent, learn quickly from your mistakes and trust your instincts. There will always be opportunities but you really have to be prepared to work hard. Starting a business isn’t a nine to five job. It is 24/7, but if this is your passion then every moment is worth it.
We have grown from a small online business into one with well over 500 locations worldwide, we will pass our 1,000 location before the end of this year. Each step along the way has had to be planned, and my whole team has worked very hard, day in day out, to ensure we remain a leader in the eye world.