WWD was able to talk to Amsterdam-born influencer, Negin Mirsalehi while in New York this week to unveil two projects.
From the conversation, we quickly learned that just about two years ago, Negin turned down an $800,000 deal to be the brand ambassador of a leading hair-care brand.
And she admits that there are still no regrets.
While she declined to reveal the brand, she did say that the fee immediately increased after declining the initial offer of $600,000.
Fun fact: If Mirsalehi had taken the deal, it could have been one of the biggest deals between a brand and an influencer to date.
So, why didn’t Negin take the deal?
She had plans of her own.
And now, it all makes sense because the 28-year-old was gearing up to start a hair-care line of her own.
Negin cofounded and self-funded the company, Gisou, in late 2015, with her boyfriend of 11 years, Maurits Stibbe.
You can expect a fourth product to arrive around November and six more are slated for release throughout the year of 2018.
And Gisou is anything but a little pet project.
Gisou has generated $1.5 million in sales in its first full year and is on track to reach $3 million in sales in 2017.
And two months ago, Gisou.com saw $250,000 in sales within 48 hours of the texture spray launch.
Negin told WWD:
“My dad is a beekeeper and my mom was a hairdresser and she always experimented with my dad’s honey. We grew up in my dad’s bee garden…She [her mother] came up with a few formulas, one was what’s now our Honey Infused Hair Oil. It was my favorite product.”
At this point in time, about 90% of the sales generated comes from gisou.com, according to Negin.
But you can also find Gisou products on:
In order meet the demand of Gisou, Mirsalehi and Stibbe plan to grow their current team of 15 employees to 25-30 by next year as they plan on focus on online marketing, supply chain and production.
And while Gisou is doing amazing, it’s just a part of her growing empire. Negin is still on the hunt for a megabeauty deal — as long as it’s not in the hair category.
And if you’re wondering about her blogging life?
She’s doing prettyyyyy well in that aspect as she’s still racking in the big bucks.
Last year Negin brought in over $2 million in personal deals and is projected to hit the $3 million mark this year. These personal deals include:
- paid posts
- partnerships with Revolve, Cartier and Cluse – a watch company she has been a brand ambassador for since 2016.
And if you’re interested in getting Mirsalehi to post one of your products, her fee can range anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 for a single sponsored Instagram post.
And brands are totally willing to dish out as she currently holds well over 4.2 million followers with average Instagram Story views of 600,000.
But note that she does try to keep sponsored content to a minimum.
What does that mean?
She tries to limit her sponsored posts to about 1-2 posts a week.
But back to the projects she’ll be revealing while in New York.
Mirsalehi will attend a dinner hosted by Brazilian brand PatBo.
She is starting her six-month ambassadorship with the brand. And while Negin would not disclose the financial details on this deal, an industry source has estimated the deal to be in the low six figures.
Patricia Bonaldi, found and creative director of PatBo says:
“We obviously think her style is amazing and she will raise brand awareness, but we do see sales lift when we work with these girls [influencers]. We see it as a two-fold thing.”
PatBo has also worked with:
- Aimee Song
- Camila Coelho
- Chiara Ferragni
Bonaldi also noted that there has been a “huge spike” in PatBo’s Instagram following a partnership with a leading influencer.
In addition to PatBo, Mirsalehi will also unveil a daily, monthlong Fashion Week series: “Negin Mirsalehi: Real Life Daily” on her YouTube channel.
Mirsalehi currently holds 190,000 subscribers.
Mirsalehi claims the videos will be “really instant” and chronicle. Each episode is also to be filmed and posted within 24 hours.
“I didn’t want to become the typical YouTuber. I didn’t want to post only beauty-related videos or a lot of the standard videos, like ‘My 10 Beauty Hacks.’ For me, in general starting YouTube was a small risk…we work with a lot of luxury brands and you have to be careful and produce high quality content. It’s something we really talk about.”