17 June 2021
You might know The Ordinary as one of the most popular skincare brands in the world, especially among millennials and Gen Z. With a sea of competitors, The Ordinary has managed to build a niche for itself and a strong web presence to cement its status as one of the most sought after beauty brands since its inception in 2016. Case in point- the numerous Youtube, IGTV and Tik Tok videos that have propelled The Ordinary’s products to cult favourite status.
It is no surprise that The Ordinary is DECIEM’s most well recognised range. Founded in Canada in 2013 by Brandon Truxe and Nicola Kilner, the brand name DECIEM takes inspiration from the latin word for the number 10, decima. As its name suggests, DECIEM aims to launch 10 brands with different missions. Currently, cult favourite brands like NIOD, Hylamide and of course, its breakout star, The Ordinary are members of the DECIEM family.
Ms Nicola Kilner, CEO of DECIEM joins the blog today in an interview with me- special thanks to the DECIEM team and for facilitating this initiative. She shares insights into the DECIEM mission, upcoming developments for the brands and how beauty trends have changed in a post pandemic world.
Dr Rachel Ho: Thank you Nicola for joining the blog! Many of us are familiar with The Ordinary for bringing functional and affordable skincare products with well studied ingredients to the masses. Can you tell us more about the brand ethos of Deciem?
Nicola Kilner: DECIEM is a science-first brand. That’s why each product concept begins in our lab, showcasing our dedicated commitment to innovation, our lab is made up of 25 happy Biochemists.
DECIEM was founded in 2013 by “the beauty world’s most exciting disrupter”, Brandon Truaxe. He had become frustrated at the lack of passion, transparency, or insight when beauty products were being developed. So he set off to make a change in the beauty business. DECIEM’s ethos is creating a better world of beauty. Everything we do is of exceptional quality.
Today, quality is no longer defined by price points or distribution channels. Quality today means being authentic, being different, being functional, being beautiful, and being sensibly priced. We choose to serve the educated, the curious, and the intelligent who appreciate our dedication to this very genuine definition of quality.
Dr Rachel Ho: The Ordinary is Deciem’s most popular brand. Which Deciem brand is an underrated one to you?
Nicola Kilner: Our technology brand, NIOD. We reference it as our crown jewel! It really is at the cutting edge of scientific advancements and focuses on the integrity and overall health of our skin.
Dr Rachel Ho: Which are Deciem’s best selling products in Asia?
Nicola Kilner: Our Vitamin C products from The Ordinary are hugely popular in Asia. We offer eight formulations under the brand, so I think this is helpful to finding one suitable to a large audience.
Dr Rachel Ho: 2020 saw a shift in beauty trends and consumers’ shopping patterns towards more informed choices about skincare ingredients and more minimalistic routines. How do you think The Ordinary has contributed to this movement?
Nicola Kilner: I think our mission to lead with transparency has been recognised even more so over the past year. Audiences want to know what they are putting on their skin, and with so much education now readily available they are able to better understand ingredients, actives and percentages.
This respect of science with a nod of single-ingredient formulations has encouraged customers to be more intuitive and ask more questions. The Ordinary for example, is as transparent with its packaging as it is with it’s science and now audiences are understanding what is in their skincare regimen.
Dr Rachel Ho: Can you share more about The Ordinary’s products that are in the pipeline?
Nicola Kilner: Our talented lab team are continually trialling new products, ingredients and formulations. Some are brand new to DECIEM, but sometimes the team discovers newer methods to deliver a formula, and therefore some of our products may be tweaked over time to align with our commitment to respecting scientific advancements. We are looking to expand on our best-selling products and retailing these jumbo sized, offering the consumer a saving, stay tuned!
Dr Rachel Ho: The Ordinary’s only store in Asia is in Seoul (although there are online platforms and boutiques that also stock Deciem’s products in Asia e.g. Escentials in Singapore). Can we look forward to another Deciem store in Asia?
Nicola Kilner: We love our cosy stores in South Korea and would definitely love to open more in Asia. Never say never. We are usually led to opening a store by falling in love with a building, knowing our abnormal brand would fit right in, our eyes are always peeled.
Dr Rachel Ho: Deciem means 10 in latin. Currently, there are 5 brands under Deciem. Will there be new brands joining Deciem soon?
Nicola Kilner: We are forever ideating, designing and creating new products some of which do not sit under a current brand, and therefore we might launch a brand new one altogether.
We also have our Abnomaly brand – for the misfits – and recently launched our store fragrance SHOP under here. Brands and products come in and out of our “incubator”, so although it may appear as 5 right now, we always have some ready and waiting in the pipeline such as HIF; our haircare line.
Dr Rachel Ho: What are your favourite products from Deciem?
Nicola Kilner: It’s very hard to pick a select few. I cannot go without NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 in my skincare regimen. It puts my skin in a constant state of repair and looks after my overall skin health. Our only cleanser from The Ordinary, Squalane Cleanser, is perfect for cleaning skin and also removing impurities, makeup and SPF. Our retail store Abnomaly SHOP is very close to my heart, as I can feel a sense of familiarity with our teams across the world, from home.
Dr Rachel Ho: What can we look forward to in 2021/2022 from Deciem?
Nicola Kilner: Lots of new retail partners which will continue to spread the DECIEM word around the world. Making our products accessible to everyone is key, and I’m excited to be launching in new markets, some of which are my favourite places to visit.
Dr Rachel Ho: A personal question for Nicola – you are an inspiration to many women to be able to juggle being a mother and managing Deciem. Can you share a few tips for achieving a good work-life balance?
Nicola Kilner: Delegation! When time is the fixed component, the only option is to delegate and say no when appropriate so you can prioritise what is important. I have respect for all colleagues who leave meetings they’re not needed in, and would hate for a parent to ever miss bathtime because the company had used their time ineffectively. If you can, surround yourself with good people you can trust.
A strong network at home, I do all the night wakes and feeds so my husband always gets up at 7AM with both our children which gives me the chance to have a short sleep alone and get ready for the day. We have both our parents nearby and will run through our meetings in advance to make sure we have childcare where needed as our diaries change each week. Knowing they’re having the best time with their grandparents is a comforting feeling whilst we’re on calls. We have built a phenomenal team at DECIEM, and again being able to trust in their independence to deliver on our values has really allowed me the time to focus on motherhood and work more efficiently than ever.
Thank you Nicola for giving us a glimpse into future beauty trends and new developments at DECIEM. I think I can speak for most of my friends to say that we are very excited about the new products and skincare range from one of the most innovative brands in the world!
I hope that you have enjoyed this interview! Special thanks to the Global Communications Team at DECIEM, especially Ms Alaya Cambata and Ms Lizi Aston for making this magic happen.