Amanda Xuereb graduated from Kent Business School in 2010 and, right after began working for the family business, Toly Products who create packaging for famous brands including Benefit, Fenty Beauty, Estee Lauder and Dior. Four years ago, she launched an arm of the business called Beauty Trill, which works with beauty start-ups to develop a business from idea to finished product, creating both formula and packaging.
“I studied BA Business Admin on the Canterbury campus, starting my course in 2007. Hailing from Malta, I wanted to meet people from everywhere and gain global insight. My experience was everything I’d hoped for. Above all, the lectures and seminars taught me lots of theory, yes, but what stayed with me was a general ability to question things, to read and think and to network – to use my contacts to help my needs and work innovatively. I applied these skills practically, working with my family business, beauty packaging brand Toly – two days a week.
I took a Year Abroad, which ignited the business flame in me. An island girl, from Malta, with big dreams and aspirations to follow my family’s footsteps and succeed in business getting to study in the hotbed of multiculturism in Hong Kong, it was a dream come true. I found myself in a dormitory with 22 Asian girls and having to quickly learn another culture. It was the start of a lifelong ability to break down barriers with people – cultural and otherwise – to make vital business connections.
When I completed my thesis, I used Toly as an example, covering the Blue Ocean Strategy Theory and looking at how my family had used innovation to compete in their own space. I got a good grade and was overwhelmed at my graduation ceremony at the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral. In 2011 I began working for them. My remit was to gain some of the international markets on the periphery that we hadn’t quite reached yet, and it was a success. We branched out to unchartered territory in Turkey, Scandinavia, Australia and the Middle East.
Beauty Trill was an idea incubated within Toly. I went to the board with a plan for a business that could help start-up beauty brands to produce their products. The idea was to move up the value chain and develop innovative formula as well as the packaging. This was inspired by my Kent Business School thesis and my desire to innovate. For instance, we designed a lip gloss bottle with an innovative applicator that also, inside had a new and exciting formula.
Beauty Trill develops a full line for a brand, from start to the end. We deal with regulatory issues, quality control, finished products, specifications and certification and support finding investors, design and branding. Working with famous start-up brands, influencers and sometimes even celebrities that have launched skincare or make up, the business has flourished over the last four years – the social media revolution has been a catalyst here.
Sustainability is one of the most important topics on our agenda at Toly Group right now. We have just launched a partnership with Finnish company Sulapac who produce a fully biodegradable material made of sustainably sourced wood and plant-based binders Generally, we design other products smartly with less plastic, paper palettes and refillable options for skincare, foundations, and lip-glosses. We also invested €20million in a new factory in Malta, which we have created to be the most sustainable factory of the Group with the materials and processes that we adopted.
My partner and I have just had a baby girl. I want to be a role model for my daughter and for her to experience everything I have when she grows up– to travel, to work in an exciting, fast paced sector and to leave a positive impact to make the world a better place.”
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