En route to her new role as an entrepreneur, Claudia Novira chats with Prestige about her fledgling beauty brand, the ups and downs of the industry, and her dreams for the future
The first thing one will notices about Claudia Novira is how friendly and bubbly she is. When Prestige meets up with her at the studio for our It Girl photoshoot, she effortlessly makes everyone involved in the session feel instantly at ease and relaxed, thanks in no small part to her likable nature. Dressed in a simple brown-and-blue jumpsuit and sneakers, she also exudes a disarming chic-meets-street sense of style.
Claudia was born in Jakarta 24 years ago. She studied fashion business at the Raffles Design Institute International as well as fashion merchandising at the Raffles Design Institute in Singapore. After graduating in 2018, she came back to Indonesia for good.
In Jakarta, she has been well known as an influencer and digital content creator since the age of 13. Recently, she added another notch to her résumé as the founder of beauty brand Cleyà Beauty. “I’ve been obsessed with makeup ever since I was young, and starting a beauty brand was one of my biggest dreams,” Claudia tells us. “I finally gathered my savings and courage and launched Cleyà Beauty last year. Our skin absorbs around 60 to 70 per cent of everything we put on it. And because of that, I knew I wanted to create everyday beauty essentials that work with your skin and not against it. One of the trickiest parts is to create beauty products that are clean and high performing at the same time, so there is a long list of ingredients we blacklisted because we didn’t want to compromise on quality.”
Claudia goes on: “But I also wanted Cleyà to be more than just a beauty brand. We want to encourage others to be kind, not only to their skin, but also to others and to the planet. So, a percentage of our proceeds goes to non-profits in Indonesia whose causes are dear to our community hearts.”
The budding entrepreneur happily describes how the Indonesian market has responded to her products. “The first launch was a big hit! I really didn’t expect to sell thousands of Tinted Lip Serum, and we ran out of our first batch in just one hour,” Claudia recalls. “Developing a product for one and a half years, with over 50 samples, and finally seeing all the amazing reviews from our community really is the best feeling! We’ve already launched three more products, namely the Micro Brow Definer, Magic Eyeliner Duo, and Ultra Soft Vegan Coco Sponge.”
Despite the overwhelmingly-positive response to her products, Claudia still regularly thinks about the challenges she faces. Or, more to the point, the challenges she will continue to face as she ventures further into the world of beauty. “Launching a brand is easy but maintaining it is hard. Constantly thinking about what’s next usually makes me stressed enough since I’m a single founder,” she says. “So, it’s all on me, basically. That’s the stressful part. And developing a product can be really hard sometimes because you’re dealing with people.”
Of course, stress and hardship can sometimes present the best teaching moments. It goes without saying that Claudia has gained a lot of new insight and wisdom since her early days up until today. “I’ve learned that business is about people, having the right people on your team, and also knowing that it’s okay to stumble and fall as long as you do your best and keep on moving forward because business is a never-ending journey.”
She adds: “Not many people know this, but I had already patented the Cleyà name in 2017. But my courage to launch it at that time was not there yet, because I saw so many beauty brands around me and I knew it was not going to be easy. Now, seeing everything come to life is the best feeling ever.”
Having been through the wringer and coming out on top, she certainly has some good advice for anyone who wants to start their own brand. “Try to tie it to a greater purpose,” Claudia suggests. “For me, when I started Cleyà, I wanted it to be a brand that was fuelled by kindness. We want to contribute to a better society and a more conscious community, and help others to realise that beauty starts the moment one decides to be kind.”
Speaking about kindness and striving to be better, Claudia cites her sister, Ketrin Agustine, as someone she looks up to in life. “It’s amazing to see her grow gracefully. She juggles three different jobs, has two babies, yet still manages to live a balanced life. She always motivates me to be a better person. She is strong, independent, and has the biggest heart for people.”
Like every good daughter, Claudia also looks up to her loving parents, especially her mother. “The biggest advice I received from my mom wasn’t something she said, but rather how she lives her life,” she says. “She loves sipping coffee in the morning, shopping for groceries, baking the family’s favourite chiffon cake, going on road trips with my dad, and taking care of her plants. I love how my parents enjoy ordinary moments and take such pleasure in ordinary things.”
The conversation then shifts to Claudia’s other passions, which she occasionally posts about on her Instagram account. “I am really into golf lately! Even though it is very challenging, it teaches me to be patient and calm. Ups and downs happen, in life and on the golf course. It’s how you respond to the downs that determines your level of success,” she smiles.
With borders opening up and travel becoming once again convenient, Claudia also looks forward to exploring beyond golf courses again. “I do love travelling,” she tells us. “I’m the kind of person who likes to spend money on experiences rather than possessions. I want to travel to the U.S. and Japan. I miss going on ski trips and food adventures.”
Although our latest It Girl exudes confidence while answering our questions, she confides that there’s one thing that no one else knows about her. “People think I’m such a confident person, but only I know that I am a shy and I get so nervous when I have to mingle with new people,” she admits.
As the shoot wraps up, Claudia talks about her hopes and dreams for the future. “In terms of career, my goal for Cleyà is for it to be available on more platforms and in more countries. I want to open an offline store and launch a wide range of makeup and skincare products,” she says.
“What’s my hope for 2022? If I have one word for 2022 it’s definitely health. Health is something that we often take for granted, without even realising it. So, this year, I want to be more active, be more mindful of what I eat, and lead a healthier lifestyle.”
PHOTOGRAPHER ANDRE WIREDJA | STYLING SAFINA HARYS | STYLING ASSISTANT BAGOES ABYOSO | PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT TOFIK HIDAYAT | MAKEUP AMI BECKS | HAIR TUMIN HAIRSTYLIST
[Hero Image: Dress, Outer, Heels by Louis Vuitton]