A Conversation with the Founders of MerryDerma About Their Special Household Skin Care Store
With the onset of winters, the demand for authentic and targeted skin care products tends to skyrocket. We spoke with Rida and Fahd, the founders of MerryDerma, an online skin care store that specifically focuses on common skin conditions in Pakistan. They are also parents of an atopic child, and we talked about the journey and the philosophy that led them to create this start-up, and what differentiates it from others.
Tell us about your brand.
MerryDerma is an online store that offers authentic and therapeutic skin care products in Pakistan for eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne and other common problems. This includes moisturizers, cleansers, cleansers, sunscreens, etc. Currently, our entire range is imported.
When and why did you start?
Our son was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis as a baby and his condition was so severe that it interfered with his daily activities; going to sleep, play, eat; everything became a difficult task for him, and for us as parents too. It took a long time for us to find skin care products that made her eczema bearable as most of the products were not available in Pakistan. It was so complicated that we had to ask our friends and family living abroad to send us these particular products, which was not always possible. After a few years of struggling, we finally realized that we couldn’t be the only ones with this concern. And so, MerryDerma was founded to fill this gap in the market and address all major concerns such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, premature aging and dry skin in general. At first our main focus was eczema, as we struggled with it as a family. But later, we added products related to other skin problems according to demand.
What is eczema? What are the general misconceptions people have about eczema?
The biggest misconception is that eczema could be contagious. Well, it is not. It actually reminds us of our son’s first day of school. That day his eczema was quite prominent, especially on his face. So one of his teachers asked us if it was contagious or not. She looked very disturbing, but obviously you couldn’t blame her; no one wants to be exposed to something that is not desirable. Either way, we assured her it wasn’t and educated her more about atopic dermatitis and it’s more of a genetic thing.
In Pakistan, eczema is not as common as in some other countries, so naturally you can’t expect people to know the details. But the prevalence is increasing and we, as sufferers (or relatives, friends, etc. of people with this disease), absolutely must raise awareness in our country.
How did you choose the name âMerryDermaâ?
In fact, we thought about many names for our business and ended up choosing this particular one. I wanted to keep things simple and consistent with our slogan – âBring Your Skin to Lifeâ. So, “joyous” meaning “happy” and “derma” meaning “skin” serves our purpose. Because happy skin is what we target through the products we offer.
Do you also guide people on the right products for their skin type?
Over the years, we have tried many products to find out what is best for our son. Also, in the beginning, we would ask friends and family with special skin concerns to try related products and give their feedback as well. We have tested most of the products in stock ourselves.
So yes, we provide tips and tricks on how to get the most out of these products for any specific skin concern – both on our blog, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
But skin care is always about individuality and what is right for each client. What is 90% suitable may not be suitable for the remaining 10%. It involves experiencing, monitoring, and understanding your own skin. And it is a misconception that genuine products will be 100% suitable for everyone – this is not a guarantee. So, while we are advising you, the final selection and results will always depend on the client and their own knowledge of their own skin (or what their dermatologist might tell them!)
You don’t have a lot of staff. Don’t you find it difficult to run your business, manage the supply chain, and manage customers, while balancing time with family?
Generally our shipping process is smooth as we work with great business partners. We’re highly automated, which relieves us a lot, and we don’t really have a push to balance family time. But yes, sometimes hiccups do happen. We are very interactive with our customers, so when this happens, we inform our waiting customers about the pending products. It should be noted that we are not working on a drop shipping model – our products, regardless of our inventory, are actually here in Pakistan, so we have more control than many.
How to deal with dissatisfied customers?
Our customer satisfaction rate is quite high, almost stellar. But obviously, like any other business, we also face setbacks every now and then like broken products during logistics, or orders getting mixed up (human errors). It’s pretty rare, but as soon as the affected customer brings it to our attention, at MerryDerma we respond quickly and offer the necessary adjustment – whether it’s refunds, discounts or product replacement insurance. .
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Over the years we have really learned to empathize with people with skin problems. Since this is not a joke, it is something very serious. Your daily activities, in fact, your whole life are affected.
So every time a customer gives us positive feedback about a certain product; that their particular skin problem gets better with each use of any of the products they have purchased from us; it puts a big smile on our faces. It’s so heartwarming that someone has found something that suits them, through our platform.
Three tips for healthier skin?
Well, our experience has taught us that whatever you put on the inside of your body reflects what is on the outside. Diet has a very important role to play, eating a healthy diet will actually help control the symptoms of your eczema, psoriasis, and acne-prone skin. So this is the first thing to consider.
Second, uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger skin problems. To promote healthy skin and a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage your stress.
Finally, obviously whatever you apply topically plays a huge role as well. So try to find moisturizers, cleansers, sunscreens, etc. depending on your skin type. Ask an expert if you don’t know what to buy or what not to buy.
Something you would like to add at the end?
Everyone has their fair share of fighting ahead, and we all have to get through it whether we like it or not. It is entirely up to you how you handle your situation. In our case, there was a low point where these negative thoughts took over; that our son will never improve and that life will only deteriorate. But we as parents have both pulled ourselves together and used those feelings, resources and experiences; thus creating an opportunity for improvement. So the trick is to try and find positivity in whatever issues we face. Think about whether we can find solutions or use our experiences to help ourselves or others with the same problems.
This article is sponsored by MerryDerma.
Cover image via MerryDerma