Gisou Founder Negin Mirsalehi Says Honey Is The Best Beauty Secret

Honey definitely has its moment in the sun. Prized for its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and even potentially antihistamine properties, the ingredient is as versatile as it is effective. But back Before tiny glass bottles of honey-infused hair oil became an inextricable part of every it-girl beauty routine, Gisou brand founder Negin Mirsalehi spent long summer afternoons learning the art and science of beekeeping. As a sixth-generation beekeeper and the daughter of an ingenious hairdresser, Mirsalehi enjoyed the beautifying power of thick, golden honey years before it hit the mainstream – that’s how she came to love. managed to launch an entire best-selling line around him, earning him a spot on countless lists of top and most influential entrepreneurs.

To hear Mirsalehi tell it, Gisou’s story seems as much a birthright as anything else, the inherited skills and stewardship of bees imprinted directly into his DNA. But Gisou’s success is also due to Mirsalehi’s deeply instinctive understanding of social media. Right now, the founder’s Instagram account is just north of 7 million — exponentially more than many Oscar-winning celebrities. Gisou’s products could not see the light of day without his traditional knowledge, but his meteoric rise could not happen without Mirsalehi’s masterful mastery of decidedly modern social media politics.

Negin Mirsalehi

His experience in beekeeping

The 5,000-year-old art of beekeeping was taught to Mirsalehi by his father, who in turn learned it from his. “Beekeeping is something that’s pretty much in our blood,” she tells TZR, describing the long and happy days spent in their bee garden, set up by her father when the family moved from New York. Iran in Almere, the Netherlands, a popular bustling suburb about 20 miles east of Amsterdam. When his family moved there in the 1980s, establishing the bee colony was a top priority for his father. Mirsalehi remembers coming to help him with the bees between backgammon games and Sunday picnics. “Seeing how happy he was to work with bees and take care of them sparked my interest and curiosity to become a beekeeper myself,” she says.

Even now, Mirsalehi is an active beekeeper, a major role in her life, and frequently showcases glimpses of her work on social media. It’s both mesmerizing and thrilling to watch an otherwise glamorous social media star scoop a dozen bees into her bare palm, calmly peering at their thick hexagonal combs through her medieval-looking mesh helmet — or sometimes, just stylish sunglasses.

How she founded Gisou

Growing up, Mirsalehi was far from the only family member inspired by the bee colony back home. Her mother, then an apprentice hairdresser, discovered the naturally moisturizing and therapeutic properties of honey (she often applied it to cuts and scrapes) and immediately understood its hair-carrying potential. Mirsalehi says she would experiment with honey in different DIY hair recipes, refining her formulas through trial and error, and eventually perfecting the honey hair oil that would one day become Gisou’s Honey Infused Hair Oil, launched for the first time in 2013.

Negin Mirsalehi

None of this, however, would be possible without Mirsalehi’s early eye for cultivating an online community. As a fashion and beauty influencer, she has attracted a large, highly engaged audience of mostly young women who are captivated by her world travels, whimsical outfits and ever-bouncy curls. “I started by sharing my beauty and fashion tips with my wider community, but over time I started to hear more and more from them that they were interested in knowing more about my hair routine in particular,” she explains. “I slowly started sharing more about the beekeeping world and got an amazing response.” With a dedicated following and fanbase baked into his fledgling brand, success was immediate – and charted what would become a smart strategy for other would-be entrepreneurs. “Because it was a product our community had requested and expected, there was instant brand loyalty and a cult following and to this day it is still one of the best sellers in our collection.”

And after

Today, the Gisou line offers a full range of honey-based products: rich hair masks, revitalizing scalp treatments, leave-ins, shampoos, hot tools and primers. More recently, the brand has expanded its well-received skincare collection, which includes face oil, lip oil and the brand new beauty balm, with honey as the central ingredient. .

Mirsalehi’s tycoon mentality is focused on the next innovation, but as a beekeeper she is equally concerned with sustainability and environmental impact. She tells TZR that she sees it as a real responsibility to raise awareness and mobilize resources on the importance of bees to the ecosystem, and to develop beekeeping as a practice. The Gisou Bees Project is an initiative by Mirsalehi aimed at popularizing urban beekeeping, which helps to mitigate the decline of bee populations in general. “Over the years we have seen that the bees are struggling and the hives are getting smaller and the winter is getting harder and harder for them to survive,” she explains. “Past generations created lives around beekeeping and now it is our generation’s responsibility to help create an ecosystem that ensures their survival.”

Mirsalehi is currently working hard to educate Next generation to be considerate and conscious citizens, starting at home. She and her 16-year-old companion have just welcomed their first child, a little boy, on July 11. It’s too early to say for sure, of course, but it looks like the seventh generation of family beekeepers is here. She shares that some exciting things from the brand are coming, but gives a “stay tuned” tease on the details.

For now, Mirsalehi deserves to just bask in everything it is created. Gisou was created to educate about the importance of bees, inspire future beekeepers and share the benefits of honey with the world, she says, and providing trusted products and information to her audience will always be paramount. “We listened to our community – our Gisou family constantly inspires us to go further and be bolder!” Spoken like a real queen bee.

At TZR, we only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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