Name: Mehdi Elaichouni
Date of birth: 25 February 1986
Occupation: By day, he is a strategist in the advertising industry, leading strategic work for clients like Mastercard, Playstation and Lexus. By night, Elaichouni is the co-founder of ANIA — a newly launched brand in Singapore that brings in natural and organic skincare products from his home continent of Africa.
How he got started: Having worked for several years on some of the world's largest skincare brands, it became increasingly clear to him that the skincare industry was in the midst of a deep moral and ethical crisis — as synthetic ingredients and confusing proprietary formulas increasingly faced considerable negative publicity and solidified consumers’ negative perceptions of chemicals. With his partner Fern Lee, he embarked on a mission to find unique botanicals, oils and minerals from remote, untouched regions, that have been used for centuries. Growing up in an African household — he was born in Morocco — he was familiar with the look and feel of natural and organic products like argan oil, shea butter, rhassoul clay and black soap, and incorporated these ingredients and rituals, based on thousands of years of African beauty and traditional medicinal knowledge into his skincare.
Notable achievements: Elaichouni graduated with a Masters in Finance and arrived in Singapore as an intern in 2012 before rising to his current position. Besides his work achievements and the creation of ANIA in 2016, he was also the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Asian Champion in 2013.
Something you might not have known about him: He has been training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past six years. Amazed by the sense of camaraderie, he will be competing at the BJJ World Championships later this year in Abu Dhabi and will attempt to be the first Moroccan to win a gold medal at the World Championships.
A quote to sum it all up: "After moving to Singapore six years ago, the contrast in environments left a great impact on me and solidified my belief to never lose sight of my African upbringing. The founding of ANIA is my personal way of creating a bridge between those two worlds that are so close to my heart."
Ania is available for purchase here.
Read more about ANIA here and columns written by Mehdi Elaichouni here.