Five Minutes With… A Family Business Success Story

Before setting up Alchemy Oils, the brains behind the brand, Amandeep Panglin, 28, worked in film and operations management. She studied Film at the University of Nottingham and has spent time working in Mumbai.

Amandeep, her sister Ramandeep and her brother Navdeep, founded Alchemy Oils because they believed the British public have hair issues when it comes to using oil. Taking inspiration from their Indian heritage they decide to address that problem by introducing the age old Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling from India and combining it with Western hair styling sensibilities and needs. Amandeep told Belle About Town: “People view hair oil as old-fashioned and greasy, which just isn’t the case! A lot of major brands have introduced ‘hair oil’ to their existing ranges but in reality they have used a serum replacement, – a hybridised product that is full of chemicals. We wanted to create something which was natural, because you don’t need excessive ingredients for an effective oil, you just need the oil itself.”  So Amandeep and her brother and sister decided to tap into this niche and create a brand of back-to-basics hair oils. 

The 28-year-old from Derby adds: “My family grew up using oil, it’s a tradition in the Indian subcontinent. It’s rooted in the culture to use hair oils from a young age, and they always have done so to maintain our hair. We thought we could create something similar, both as a styling product and as a deep conditioner, the way we used it when we were younger. So fusing the Indian heritage with the British styling sensibility would make a multitasking product.”

We were intrigued to find out a bit more about this determined businesswoman and er siblings, and the reasons and motives behind their success…

What was the inspiration behind starting your own business?

Our main inspiration was to work for ourselves, and work on something we are passionate about. Being siblings means we communicate well, and this helps us when we’re all working together to build our brand. It’s easier to be brutally honest when you’re working with family, they know you love them really!

Have you faced any obstacles you’ve had to overcome to make Alchemy Oils a success?

Of course, everyone faces obstacles. But where we can’t find solutions, we learn from the mistakes (we have learnt many a lesson!)

What puts Alchemy Oils apart from the rest?

In terms of our actual products, we ensure that they’re effective by using only those ingredients which your hair will want to drink up! Not like oil/serum blends which aren’t really made for long term use. Our products are for both short and long term results. As a brand, we like to focus on taking time out for yourself, creating relaxing rituals to improve your daily life.

Who are your female role models?

I don’t really have role models, male or female. I’m not trying to model my life/career on someone else’s path. I admire a lot of women, like J K Rowling, she’s basically built an entire universe, Mindy Kaling for carving a place for herself in a white-male dominated industry. I think Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna (co-founders of Birchbox) are trailblazers. I basically love a good maverick.

Where do you see your lives going in the next ten years?

I honestly have no idea, I do look back and think when I was 10 years younger I thought my life would be so different so now I don’t like to predict anything.

Where do you see your business going in the next ten years?

I have huge aspirations for Alchemy Oils and I’d like the business to continue to grow and make a difference.

Who are your best customers?

There’s no specific kind of customer that I could say, that’s our best customer. However I’ve had a lot of feedback from women that use the products on themselves and on their daughters, and I love that. I love that it’s become a ritual for them and they bond using our products.

Who are Alchemy Oils for?

Everyone, there’s no restriction on who can and can’t use them and that’s the beauty of the brand. Running our own business is hard, everything is a challenge. But we want to produce a product for everyone, and I think we are achieving that. I wish it was easy, but it’s not. But I do love it, and that’s the most important thing!

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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