#BossBabe Zara Ismail Of Delhicious Body

Inspired by powerful Indian Ayurvedic beauty techniques, the Delhicious idea came about when husband and wife team, Zak + Zara were expecting their first baby in 2016.
After battling with stretch marks, changes in skin colour and extremely dry skin, Zara wanted an all natural product that would help. As her own beauty regimes were always heavily influenced by her cultural roots, she dug out her ancestry recipe books and came up with her own skincare solution: an all-natural black tea exfoliator.
Fast forward 2 years, with another baby added to the squad (and another round of stretch marks, acne and dry skin gone), the Black Tea Body Scrub was born.   
I was kindly sent some to try, and I am so impressed. I love a good scrub that you can really feel working, and this one is great. I’m going to do a full before and after review on my arms next month (I have keratosis pilaris and I have a feeling this is going to make such a difference) I wanted to find out even more about the brand, so I interviewed co-founder and major #BossBabe Zara to find out what makes her tick, and where her creativity in the beauty world stems from.

Tell me a little bit about your background

I’m originally from a South-Asian background but born and raised all over London. My parents were teachers so wherever they were working at the time, we upped and moved. I literally was ‘the new kid in class’ for a total of maybe 7 times because of moving schools so many times! But the best part of that has been being able to grow up in so many different parts of the city which makes me a bit of a hybrid Londoner.  So, if you’re looking for a wicked take away in Tooting or need to know where you can find the best park in Harrow to enjoy the view, I’m your gal!

I’m also a total book nerd hence why I ended up studying Sociology at the London School of Economics. It was a great place to study and just travelling in to the heart of London every day was super cool and something I miss!


Tell me a little bit about yourself and Delhicious.

After graduating, I ended up working for a small gifting and design company which supplied licensed goods like Hello Kitty and Disney products to huge retailers like River Island, Next and Claire’s Accessories. The best part of working for a small company meant I was able to learn so much about the retail supply chain. Even though I worked in the Sales team, working closely with buyers to help design upcoming ranges, I got involved in everything. One day I could be attending a meeting with a senior buyer and the next be measuring pallet sizes for deliveries or be on the phone to factories in China.

So I was able to use all of this knowledge and apply it to start my own business. Coming from a South-Asian background meant that I was always exposed to my own mother’s beauty tips. Castor oil for thicker eyelashes, coconut oil for dry scalp, turmeric for acne- you name the ingredient, she had a beauty use for it.  So I was always shocked to see the lack of really great beauty products with Indian roots in the mainstream Western mass market. What did exist all seemed to follow the similar pattern of looking very herbal-based, bland and well, boring.

This led to me wanting to create a beauty brand that was fun, cheeky and fresh but had Indian roots- something that could break into the mass market to appeal to a wide range of people kinda like me- brought up in the West but from a minority background. It’s an attempt to fly the flag for girls from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds that are proud of beauty regimes that have been passed down to them.

So Delhicious Body was born.

What’s the best thing about your job, and why?

The best thing is that it is simply something I am passionate about. If you are passionate about your job then you enjoy working. It’s a super simple recipe for job satisfaction really.


What’s the most difficult part about your job, and why?

It’s difficult to start your own business especially when stepping into a saturated industry like skincare. There is literally a solution for everything nowadays (I came across a scrub on Instagram the other day made just for your bum!) But then again, if you do believe in your product and brand then you can overcome the difficult bits.


What do you think sets you aside from your competition?

Delhicious Body really is unique in that there is not many brands out there that are proudly combining two different cultures in order to appeal to a new generation of women particularly those that are from different ethnic backgrounds living in the West. Currently, you will find Indian brands to really follow a predictable pattern in the way that they present themselves which is usually very herbal, simple and deeply rooted in culture. Delhicious is more about celebrating diversity as opposed to being a typical ‘Indian’ brand.



Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly finding new people and companies that inspire me. I love reading business case stories on startups that started in somebody’s kitchen and are now selling worldwide as an established brand. Herbivore Botanicals is one of them- a husband and wife team, who just put in hard work and grind to get to where they are today!


If you could impart some wisdom to your fifteen-year-old self, what would you say?

To stop trying to fit in. Be proud of who you are and stand up for yourself instead of letting others make your mind up for you. Oh and stop using hair gel from the chemist. It is not a good look.


What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you, and who gave it to you?

Never rely on others- As a woman, be independent. My mother.



If someone wanted to follow in your career path, what advice would you give to them?

If you have an idea and you truly believe in it- go for it. You never know what may come of it and if you don’t try you will never know what could have been!


Describe to me your perfect work day!

I’ve recently had my second baby so I am currently working from home whilst my partner is at the office. So an ideal work day basically revolves fitting in emails, business calls and meetings around nap times and bedtimes!


When you’re not busy working, how do you relax?

Reading or catching up with my favourite Youtube blogs. I can literally watch makeup tutorials for hours in awe.


What’s your favourite drink/cocktail?

I actually don’t drink alcohol but I love a good Virgin Pina Colada!



What music do you listen to when you really need to get stuff done!?

Beyonce. Because everyone has enough hours in the day as Beyonce so just listening to her motivates me enough to get up and get going!


Who would you like to work with, if anyone, and why?

I absolutely love Karen Brady. She has broken into a male dominated field like the football business and just smashed gender barriers so I really admire and respect her for that.


What’s coming up for Delhicious?

We have recently launched our first product, the Black Tea Body Scrub which sold out within the first few weeks of launching which has been incredible for us. We are currently looking into developing the range further by adding new flavours and also looking into other skincare remedies like creams and oils so watch this space!


Website: www.delhiciousbody.com

Social Links: @delhicious_body



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