Rejna Alaaldin a British-Kurdish lawyer, who started her own law firm, works in international human rights such as transitional justice in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region and has advised both the public and private sector. Rejna has now ventured out and created Rejuvenate her own beauty brand, Rejuvenate, enhancing the health of skin and focused on results-driven products. Rejna wants to empower women in a completely different way and make them feel confident in their skin.
1. What inspired you to start Rejuvenate Skin Ltd aside of having a law firm and being a lawyer yourself?
After more than ten years, and still counting, of practising law and being an international human rights advocate, I wanted to empower people from a completely different angle, self-care and skincare. Our skin is always one of our priorities and when we take care of our skin, we feel more confident and try to be healthier.
Rejuvenate started when I was going into my thirties and increasingly realised the need to care for my skin. I am always on the go and I have used many products in the past, however, I was not entirely happy given I was using so many. I could not seem to find one brand that included all the key ingredients in one bottle. Trying different products at different times also caused me to become inconsistent with my skincare routine. Further, the bad weather in some destinations, poor water conditions and constant traveling were really taking their toll on my skin and hair. I was in need of a huge boost.
That was when I started Rejuvenate, products based on ingredients that work best and more importantly, that is safe for all skin and hair types. After many long days and nights, research and working with professionals, I finally launched Rejuvenate, products that actually work and a brand that is results-driven.
2. How do you manage your time between the 2 businesses?
It definitely has not been easy, especially when you come across hurdles. It has helped that I am a very organised person and therefore, more able to manage the two businesses. I would say that my human rights work and my clients are a priority. However, Rejuvenate is slowly becoming bigger and I would need to split my time in the near future. I am lucky to have a good team working alongside me. The people you surround yourself with are the people who can break you or share your success, so choose wisely. I appreciate my team very much and I make sure they know it too.
I also practice self-care to keep energised and refreshed. I usually take Saturdays or Sundays off for myself and do what makes me happy. People need to be practising self-care frequently, and whether it’s doing a Rejuvenate routine, reading a book or getting your nails done, it matters.
3. What would you say is more your thing, Rejuvenate Skin Ltd or your law firm?
I would say, both! I think my law firm and Rejuvenate reflect the two sides of my character. One is much more serious and demanding, while Rejuvenate gives me a chance to use my creativity and let go a little. It feels good to have two completely different businesses, it certainly makes it more interesting and jam-packed. My legal work is very important to me and something close to my heart, especially my human rights work and Rejuvenate is a passion of mine.
4. Tell us more about Rejuvenate Skin Ltd, who are your clients, what are they looking for?
Rejuvenate is based on trust, honesty and integrity, values that underscore our commitment to healthier skin. Compared to other brands, Rejuvenate is realistic rather than giving consumers an idealistic image of skincare. The company emphasises consistency as being key if you want to see results and that people need to be careful of harsh chemicals some brands may use, and which cause unwanted effects in the long-term. I also wanted to promote self-care, especially in light of the pandemic and the need to uplift the spirit of millions around the world.
My clients are people who want to enhance the health of their skin, simplify their skincare and use effective products. They may be busy people with a busy schedule or people who are constantly travelling like myself. Those who invest in themselves and are continuously looking for better things in life. They would be looking for self-care treatments such as Rejuvenate. Whether they are constantly travelling, always at the office or running around after their children, Rejuvenate is for them.
I would like to promote more men using skincare, especially in the Middle East.
5. Tell us what do you do as the owner of Rejuvenate Skin Ltd?
I started off doing pretty much everything. From designing the products, social media, packaging, shipping, you name it, I did it all and still am sometimes. When I am unable to do so, I have my sister and a close friend of mine prepare and ship products for me and will be forever thankful to them for being so patient with me. Now Rejuvenate is in a stable position, I have been able to contract the services of social media experts and logistics companies. When there is someone who can do it better than you, delegate that responsibility when you can and when you can’t, do your research and do it yourself.
6. What’s your view on micro-influencers compared to celebrity influencers?
We have been focusing on micro-influencers at Rejuvenate. Micro-influencers seem to care more about the product and the brand and, therefore, are a greater asset, especially for small businesses. They do really take the time to try the products, provide a review and showcase in such an authentic way. I have found celebrity influencers to be helpful also. We recently had Radhi Devlukia try our products and she is lovely. We would, however, like to see more interaction and feedback on their platforms, to help build us up and perhaps, learn more about us and the brand.
7. What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Why?
For updates and my legal work, I prefer Twitter and LinkedIn. They are more professional platforms and you get quick news on-the-go. Twitter is great for checking news as it happens. We have been focused on Instagram for Rejuvenate. I believe that we reach a wider audience there and it is well-suited to the skincare business. You get the visuals, captions and you can easily engage with your audience. Social media in general is a powerful tool for any business.
8. Tell me about what you’re working on now.
A number of things. I am currently focused on legal reform in Baghdad to achieve justice and accountability for ISIS crimes, to implement a robust anti-domestic violence law and enhance rule of law in the country. My law firm is focused on promoting investment in the Kurdistan Region, there are many opportunities and I would like to see the region further develop. For Rejuvenate, I am currently working on our latest venture with a U.K. retailer (was very excited to be in-stores now), launching in Kurdistan and offering our products here. I am looking forward to finding out what people will think of Rejuvenate and how it makes a positive difference to their skin.
9. What is the best advice you have ever received?
One of the best advices I have received has to be, “if you’re going to do something, do it well and work hard for it, otherwise don’t do it at all.” These words were instilled in me from a young age and they resonate with me to this day. When you set out a goal, you need to believe it and use your best efforts to achieve it. I have never done anything half-heartedly. I have found that things are done better when you prepare for it, believe you can do it and give your 100%.
10. Share two advice for female entrepreneurs.
- Never let anyone bring you down.
I had some of my closest friends and family try to bring me down when I first launched both businesses. Whenever I feel there is negative energy coming from someone, I try to not let it affect me or entirely block their negative energy. Instead of letting their words get to me, it motivated me more to do well. When I first started the law firm, I was already working in a tough and competitive environment, and a male-dominated one, especially the oil and gas industry, where the majority of my clients came from. You have to remember to never be deterred by other people and to always focus on your goals, no matter what.
- Appreciate and support other women entrepreneurs.
I love when I see women supporting women. We have many obstacles to overcome as women entrepreneurs already and when I see a female being supported by other females, it truly makes me happy. Never be jealous of another woman’s success. It should have quite the opposite impact. It should make us happy that a woman has reached such success and that she has paved the way for other woman to do the same. Block out any negative, competitive and jealous emotions out of your system. We should always remember how far we have come as individuals and not compare our success with anyone else’s. Emotional intelligent is a skill that women should master.