Gallinée create innovative skincare products that take care of your skin’s bacterial ecosystem. We recently sat down with the business’s founder, Marie Drago to discuss life as a young entrepreneur.
At Minute & Azimut we are inspired by individuals who push themselves, take risks, and ultimately bring something new and exciting to the world. In this first in a series of interviews with young London-based entrepreneurs, we speak with Marie Drago, the founder of Gallinée skincare.
Marie launched Gallinée, the first skincare company to take care of your microbiomes, in April 2016. A pharmacist who studied in Paris before moving to the UK, Marie worked with large beauty brands before deciding to begin her adventure with Gallinée.
“I maybe have some problem with authority. Someone told me ‘if you think you know better than them, maybe you should try to do it yourself!’”
The germ of the idea that became Gallinée began when Marie was in Myanmar, Burma. “I was trekking in the jungle, and after three days of trekking where you cannot do anything, I suddenly saw the light and got the idea.”
Microbiomes are the microorganisms that exist inside and outside the human body. As humans, we depend on microbiomes to carry out essential tasks such as breaking down food and producing vitamins.
Marie’s inspiration for utilising microbiomes in skincare products started with her own experience. “I have a lot of food intolerances, and I was taking a lot of probiotics. Probiotics inside really help, and I realised that everyone was doing it inside but no-one had done anything for the skin.”
When it comes to personal inspirations, Marie is motivated by the achievements of women in science and business. “I’m always really impressed by women in science. I am Marie Curie’s biggest fan. And since I started to become an entrepreneur, I’ve met a lot of inspiring girls too. We need more of them; more girls who leave everything behind and try to make their dream happen. I really admire that.”
Life as an Entrepreneur
Gallinée has already built a legion of devotees who swear by their skincare products. “More and more we get customer letters; people who have got skin problems. They say that my product really helped them, and they are quite emotional about it. That makes me super happy, so we tend to read the best letter of the week at our weekly meeting.”
Feedback like this is very affirming, as life as an entrepreneur can take its toll. “I try to take at least one day off a week. It’s usually 8:00am to 8:00pm, but I’m quite lucky that I have a nice social life so I don’t feel like it’s always working. It’s a long day, but when it’s your own business it doesn’t feel like work. I’m really happy to go to the office on Monday mornings, which is a good sign.”
The future is looking bright for Marie and Gallinée. “At the moment it’s quite interesting. We just closed our first round of investment, so I’ve got some fresh money that just came in. That’s going to allow me to launch some new products, do a bit of clinical research, and increase marketing and online sales. So it’s growing in all directions.”
Marie wears the gold Minute & Azimut Bisham with a Pixie Green Ostrich leg strap.
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