Zoe Boikou, Founder of ZOEVA, Talks International Women’s Day

March is Women’s History Month, or as we like to call it here at BEAUTY BAY, the month of calling out your hype women and supporting the women around you, no matter what. This is the month to feel empowered, inspired, and be the hype woman you wish you had. It’s all about being a cheerleader for your girl gang and embracing all women. 

To celebrate this iconic month, we’ve been chatting to inspirational women, from brand founders to activists, about what International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month means to them, how they use beauty to empower, and their biggest inspirations. 

Read below for our interview with Zoe Boikou, founder of ZOEVA

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty comes from within and is ubiquitous. It is in the little things and in the great. It is not transient, but infinite. For me beauty lies in everybody and everything. 

Who is your biggest inspiration in the beauty industry?

I can find inspiration in many great companies and brands within our beautiful industry. There are so many creative and motivated minds out there. But most definitely, I find true inspiration in other passionate founders, who challenge the everyday and what is set to be the right. This year’s International Women’s Day is themed #ChooseToChallenge because only challenges lead to true and meaningful change. Great icons such as beauty pioneer Helena Rubinstein were ahead of her time and have chosen to conquer norms. Today, I see young dynamic women creating companies based on revolutionary ideas. These impressive females lead me to really take on tomorrow. 

What beauty product makes you feel empowered?

Actually, it depends on my mood and can vary from day to day. But a creamy liquid eyeliner definitely ranges in my top five!

When do you feel the most empowered?

I just recently had an online workshop with my creative and product team at ZOEVA. We brainstormed on new content ideas and all participants were excited and one great idea after another just bubbled up. To witness how passionate my team is and how excited they get when talking about our beautiful brand makes me very emotional and fills me with pride. In these kinds of situations, I feel very strong and empowered and I just want to give back and support and comfort others as well.  

As a brand founder, how do you want women to feel when they use ZOEVA products?

I don’t want women to just use a brush to apply foundation or use eyeshadow to highlight their eyes. The focus is on each individual woman with her needs and desires. When women use our products, I want them to feel good, confident, and empowered. Every woman is beautiful just the way she is. We don’t create products to cover up the things that make us who we are. We aspire to provide women with little supporters for their everyday challenges and opportunities. 

How do you think the beauty industry can grow to empower all women?

I think support, equality, and appreciation are the key. Recently we have seen indie brands joining together to support each other on social. They take pictures of their own products together with loved items from other brands and tag them in their postings just because the products work well together. I love to see how they co-exist and value one another for their aspirations and purposes. A few years ago, this approach was completely unthinkable. But solidarity and unity have become more important. I truly believe that we really can grow by uplifting others.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another woman? And what is the best piece of advice you could give to another woman?

My mother told me to always stay true to myself and to believe in who I am. She made me the woman I am, and I am beyond proud to be her daughter. To me, she was a true superwoman – my hero. Her strength taught me to fight for my goals, to accept and to return stronger from defeat. I always lived by her advice and always will. Challenges might not always be comfortable or easy to overcome and we even might fail sometimes, but the most important thing is what we make of it.

How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day?

For me, every day should be International Women’s Day and I really love to live by that credo. But of course, this appointed day is important to communicate important achievements made. However, I try to really live by my life’s mission and support women whenever they need support in any way. This can be a really small gesture by just telling another how valued she is. It can also be something that makes a difference in someone’s life by helping with essential needs.

Who is your hype woman?

As you can imagine there was and always will be one answer: My mother. I find inspiration in so many other women: whether I meet someone in a café and talk to her five minutes or discuss important decisions all night long with my wonderful sister, Barbara, every woman has her story. And every story needs to be heard, because we can learn from everyone.