Gabar debuted in October with three scents inspired by Myanmar’s natural landscape. It was developed by Phway Su Aye from Myanmar and Su Zar Wain Hnin, two former investment bankers.
The concept of Gabar was conceived in 2020 with the intention of developing a beauty brand that could represent and showcase the beauty and culture of Myanmar.
“We are both Buddhists by birth and this Buddhist philosophy is so ingrained in us. When we launched this brand, we designed it more like three bottles that convey this message of mindfulness and conscious living ”, said Aye, who was previously involved in developing a CBD beauty brand.
On the morning of February 1, the Burmese army seized power in a coup, shattering the country’s fragile democracy. This event prompted Gabar to use the brand as a platform to spread a message of resistance.
“We were building this brand throughout COVID and earlier this year the coup in Myanmar struck. With all of this chaos happening around us, we couldn’t just ignore it and build a beautiful product with blinders on everything that’s going on in our country, ” said Aye.
“We thought it was really important to honor this energy of resistance, to honor the young people who sacrificed their lives, and even their livelihoods, to fight for change and for freedom.”
Yes said CosmeticsDesign-AsiaThat her scents have proven to be an elegant way to convey her message of conscious resistance.
“It seemed so appropriate mainly because we had always intended to be a brand for young people, like we wanted to teach people in the early 20s, those mindfulness ideas to nurture a new generation that was still part of it. DNA… When it comes to real resistance, it’s an internal change and it changes your mindset. And we channeled it through the smell and the scent.
From us to Z
With most fragrance brands targeting millennials and up, Gabar has sought to differentiate itself by targeting a younger audience.
“There is no young fee [fragrance] brand that speaks to the younger Generation Z. For us, it’s so exciting to build a brand that has fresh new energy for a new generation. Of course, this can appeal to an older audience, but we like the idea of talking to someone who hasn’t really been spoken to before, ” said Aye.
“We want to help a new generation to do better and to do good. And for us that ultimately means helping them lead better lives and lead calm, clear lives so that they can do all the work they want to do.
Aye added that it made business sense to target Gen Z as they were emerging as the primary growth leader in the luxury sector.
“In terms of luxury spending, the Gen Zs are a growing group. If they like a business, they like the product and those values, like they’re setting aside funds to buy and they will. They are loyal customers ”, said Aye.
Plus, Gen Z wielded the power to help small independent brands like them go viral.
“If they like it, they will broadcast it. From a business perspective, this helps our growth because we don’t have to rely on so much paid marketing to get the word out.
A new journey
In October, Gabar launched a collection of three sensory fragrances in the UK, where the company would focus its launch efforts first.
“It was a strategic decision. In the UK, there isn’t as much activity in niche perfumery. There are few brands and even fewer targeting the market that we are. There is also a colonial link between Burma and Great Britain. This obviously has complications, but we love the idea of reclaiming this legacy in a way that honors Myanmar ”, said Aye.
The brand would also ship to the United States. Ultimately, he planned to bring the brand back to Asia and target markets such as China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“Mainly in Hong Kong because we see that there is the same kind of energy brewing among their Gen Z. For example, political awareness is very high there. I think Hong Kong is at a stage in its economic development where people are starting to think about these larger concepts and are looking to progress internally ”,say yes.
Gabar does not intend to stay long in the perfume industry. She already has a development pipeline for new products like a face oil that she hopes to launch soon.
The company’s goal is to develop products that could tap into the conscious beauty and wellness movement, Aye pointed out.
“I don’t see us falling into just any beauty category. We want to choose the types of products that help improve your well-being. Later, we are really curious about the home products that can improve the space and help you relax.