Meet the Founder of Whitley Bay-based Brand Merwave
Merwave has made a name for itself by encouraging its followers to embrace their natural waves
Tell us about Merwave.
We create products for wavy-hair women. Products that'll transform your hair into soft, defined, beautiful beach waves. Frizz-free, gorgeous locks that make you feel confident and attractive. Amazing hair that empowers you. Merwave was a lockdown idea, and we will be turning three in March. It’s only myself and my husband running the show. We started it from our garage and didn’t expect it to take off like it has!
What was the inspiration for starting the business?
During lockdown I stopped heat styling my hair and decided to embrace my natural hair. I honestly didn’t know I had wavy hair. The problem was I could never find the right products or a simple process to achieve the desired result. Most products are catered for curly or straight hair. I spent a fortune on products, hours on researching complicated, strict techniques – only to end up with a limp mess. Fed up, I decided to create my own products and process, products formulated for women with wavy hair, with a process that was quick and easy. After months of research and testing, I finally found the perfect combo. Five healthy, light-weight products. One simple five-step system.
What’s your background?
I am from Whitley Bay, and still live at the coast. I have a Marketing degree from Northumbria University. After university I worked in marketing for new-build house builders. I grew Merwave and my second baby at the same time so I never went back to my ‘normal job’.
What makes Merwave unique?
Merwave is more than a set of products. It's a wavy hair journey we're all on together. We have a support group with over 10,000 members, where all things wavy hair are discussed.
What have been the biggest challenges so far?
Apart from starting an E-commerce business with zero experience, the biggest challenge is being in the public eye. I am very much the face/hair of the brand and sadly there can be trolls on social media. It used to get to me more but now I just delete and move on.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Reading the amazing comments, emails and messages saying how life changing the products are. This feedback more than makes up for any negativity from trolls!
Tell us about your typical day.
I like to workout early, it’s a calm time when everyone else is asleep – sunrise beach runs at this time of year are pretty spectacular. Then it is onto the nursery and school runs. It’s great that I can be flexible enough to do these. Finally, it’s time to work, the usual emails, Members' Group catch up and planning (my husband Tom deals with all of the logistics and finance). Once a week it’s hair washing time, I tend to film this for new content. And throughout all of this I am constantly monitoring the socials.
‘Accept that embracing your natural hair is a journey.
Your waves are unique. Embrace them’
Plans for the future of the brand?
At the moment we want to concentrate on our core range – the concept of Merwave is to be simplistic, educational and not overwhelm any potential users. I often ask for feedback in our Members’ Group though and this is how our Refresh Spray was created. We went through numerous versions and trials with our customers before we were all happy with the formulation and it was given the green light. So, although I created the original products, any new releases have the approval of current Merwave users.
Your top tip for wavy hair?
Accept that embracing your natural hair is a journey. Your waves are unique. Embrace them. Don’t try and fit into society’s idea of what perfect hair looks like. Learn to love yourself for who you are. Oh, and try to avoid dry brushing!
And the biggest mistake people make?
Giving up straight away. Many people heat style, bleach or neglect a good cut of their hair for years, then expect the damage to heal overnight. That’s really unlikely to happen. However, if you use the right products and techniques for your hair type it will lead to healthier hair, giving you the freedom to be you, be confident in your own skin, to look and feel amazing, whatever your age, whatever the occasion.
Favourite place to eat or drink?
I love pizza so the best local pizza is Crust Social in Land of Green Ginger, Tynemouth.
Whitley Bay prom, perfect for the kids' bikes and scooters with the promise of an ice cream at the end!
How do you unwind?
Exercise, or I’m trying to learn Spanish. It’s nice to think about something other than haircare and not scroll on social media!
Can you recommend a book, TV show or podcast?
British Scandal podcasts.
Best snack for a long drive?
Pick n mix.