Interview – Williams Pro Makeup Founder, Azzi Williams.

JW11Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with creative powerhouse and founder of Williams Pro Makeup, Azzi Williams.  You know those people who make you feel like you have done nothing with your life?  Azzi is the perfect example of this.  Here is probably a great time to mention her husband is an equally talented individual, being a accomplished photographer – this blog shot by Wayne Williams.

On a beautiful Winters day, we met at one of my favourite locations, Hacienda Sydney.  Azzi and I chatted all things beauty and Williams Pro, her natural, vegan & cruelty-free makeup. With 15 years experience as an international, commercial make-up artist, she is no newcomer to the industry.

Azzi is not only experienced in the creative industries but also has an impressive corporate background as a lawyer and journalist… Am I crazy to interview a journalist?! I might mention the whole time we are chatting, Azzi is keeping a keen eye her beautiful 11 month old daughter – yet another amazing achievement.  Phew! How she does it all, I’ll never know.

WilliamsPro was launched in 2016, the same year your daughter was born, which is a challenge in itself. What is the biggest hurdle you have faced with the development of your product and how has your product changed since conception?

The pilot brand was launched in August 2015, and after incredible feedback from customers and bloggers we decided to commercially rebrand and relaunch the company – with a new logo, new website and 14 new products – which yes, we did while I was pregnant with our first bub!

It took a lot more effort to manage my time and have the sheer energy to get things done, but I had great support. My husband, Wayne Williams who has a design, architecture and photography background stepped in and played a huge role in the brand concept development while I focused on sales, fulfilment and marketing.

What difficulties do you experience as an emerging make-up brand vs a household name product?

There is a consumer tendency to accept products that are on department store and pharmacy shelves as more ‘credible’ and purchase blindly, without even thinking about the ingredients, animal cruelty and ethics behind products manufactured by large corporations. There are thousands of emerging brands doing amazing things when it comes to ethics, sustainability, premium natural and vegan ingredients and quality of product – yet somehow the smaller emerging brands are always approached with more scrutiny and mistrust. The irony is it is the larger cosmetic corporations’ practices we should be questioning!

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What mistakes have you made in the development of Williams Pro (product, branding or marketing)?

We have decided to grow the brand organically, and roll out products slowly as the brand slowly grows. We do adopt a test and learn philosophy so if something doesn’t work, we will quickly change tactic. I do admit I haven’t put as much love into my email marketing as I would have liked this year, but that’s all about to change!

How do you educate consumers of the importance of natural products?

This is mainly via our blog, social media and our customer stories who share with us pictures of their healthy, glowing, beautiful skin after using out product.

What do you think the future of the cosmetic industry looks like?

It’s only a matter of time that more consumers will realise natural, cruelty free cosmetics with no cheap fillers like talc or silica are genuinely better for the health of their skin. Already, there are court cases resurfacing the carcinogenic effects of talc and opening up the debate about toxic ingredients in makeup. Personally, I would like to see all makeup lines free of animal derivatives like shark matter (squalene), crushed insects (carmine, pig fat, sheep placenta and fish scales).

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What is your proudest moment so far on your Williams Pro journey?

One of my proudest moments was launching the commercial rebrand at the Ox. It was incredible to see so many loyal customers, bloggers, celebrity makeup artists and TV presenters coming together to celebrate our brand – it was very humbling.

Why should people try your product?

If you want professional products that make you look incredible in your photos, are gentle on your skin and actually improve the health of your skin – try Williamspro! And if you care about animal cruelty, you’ll know none of our products are tested on animals or contain any animal by-products – we are PETA certified vegan and cruelty free.

What make up trends do you see coming through for this Spring/Summer?

Colourful intense highlighters are surfacing all over Instagram, so it’s a great time to stock up on our #selfieglo super pigmented highlighters. Radiant, dewy skin is also coming back, so our zeropowder in #superfine is really popular with models and makeup artists working on spring/summer shoots as it takes away shine but keeps the radiance and freshness of the complexion. 

Thanks Azzi and Wayne for taking the time to meet with me to chat about Williams Pro Makeup.

Shot on Location: Hacienda Sydney

I’m wearing:  ONLY polka-dot dress & Wittner Shoes. Henna tattoo by @hennabymaziah

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10 comments

  • What a great interview! I love hearing stories from brands on how they started, why, and these exact questions you asked! What an amazing line, and I love that everything is vegan and cruelty-free. I definitely see the trend in makeup and skincare going towards natural ingredients that is good for your skin and she is right on with her makeup. I can’t believe she launched when having a baby! Being a mom I know how hard that is and how amazing she has come this far. I would definitely like to try this brand and thanks for sharing this detailed interview. xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

  • What a great interview of an amazing woman, mom and entrepreneur. Azzi Williams embodied that woman we all aspired to be and such a great story she is telling on how she created her brand. I love the product that is vegan, cruelty-free, and natural. I have two kids and I know how hard it is trying to juggle between work and life and kids and she has come so far for being pregnant while trying to launch her brand. Great story!!

    xo Sheree
    PoshClassyMom.com

  • I loved reading your interview with Azzi Williams! She really does do it all! An amazing business, husband and a new baby. Hashtag GOALS! I love that the Williams Pro Make Up values ethics, sustainability, vegan ingredients and the overall quality of their products! I also love that Azzi mentioned the the highlight trend for the Spring. I have recently been OBSESSED with highlight! Especially bold ones, like gold.

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    XO
    Tandya
    http://www.simplytandya.com

  • I love your interviews – and I love hearing about empowered working mommas who manage to have it all! Azzi is gorgeous and sounds super smart – and her little one is so cute! I haven’t heard of her brand but I’ll have to check it out. I love that they are all natural. And it’s so funny she mention that trend because I was just thinking I needed to up my highlight game.
    XO
    http://www.lehoarder.com/

  • Hey, Jill,

    You always inspire me with your IG stories and unusual posts. I guess it was a real challenge to launch a company when you have a small kid. She must have excellent time-management skills and patience. I’m so impressed with the story of this brand that I definitely must try their products!

    xoxo

  • What an incredible and accomplished woman to interview! Aziz Williams is absolutely beautiful and I love that she is so focused on the ingredients in her products and the environmental impact. To do this with a baby is incredible too! I have two little ones so I know how big of a challenge that can be! When it comes to products on shelves, I completely agree. It’s a convenance thing for most people and I totally get that but after you learn the harmful effects of specific ingredients, it’s difficult to ever buy those products again in good conscious! Wonderful to learn about this incredible woman behind an amazing brand!

    Manda | http://EvocativelyChosen.com

  • this is amazing! what a cool opportunity. Azzi Williams is such a stunning woman and her products seem wonderful and high quality. Her little one is adorable. I actually had never heard of this brand but I’m always 100% open to trying new brands. I love the idea of them being natural and cruelty free! Thanks for sharing!

    Vanessa

    http://thefashionstatement.net

  • Azzi Williams is definitely a woman who reminds me so much of myself and what I want to achieve. She sounds like the idea role model and business woman I desire to be! I am not mad about dewy skin making a comeback; I’ve always worn dewy skin, on trend or not haha! I will have to look into WilliamsPro 🙂

    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  • What an amazing interview! And what an accomplished girl boss! Dang! Lawyer, journalist and entrepreneur. She really is a lady of all trades and sounds like a great role model. I’m so down with dewy skin making a comeback. I just need to figure out how to get it. I suffer from dry skin so any tips would be GREAT!

  • You are both so stunning !
    What a wonderful interview and definitely an inspiring girl boss!
    I’ve never heard of that make up line before and I’ll definitely have to check it out ,I think products should be more natural and have less nasty ingredients in them, I love the Henna tattoo on your hand and the plum lipstick it looks fabulous on you.
    Xo
    Natalia k

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