Insider Spotlight: Tyra Kamaruzzaman Shares Her Life as a Girl Boss

By: Farah Khan / June 23, 2021
Categories : Insider Spotlight

22 year old Tyra Kamaruzzaman is well known for her relentless drive and passion for makeup and her brand BeauTyra. As a young founder she has achieved incredible success especially for her beauty brand and setting new standards in the Malaysian Beauty Industry. Beauty Insider was honoured with the opportunity to chat with her on what it’s like for the young founder, born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, to build her own brand, and manage her personal life. 

Read on to find out more about our exclusive interview with Tyra Kamaruzzaman. 

What Interested You in Makeup? 

As a young child, I was never one to be interested in makeup and beauty as I’m really close to my brothers and spent a lot of time with them. Hence, I didn’t have the influence at that age to try out makeup. However, when I got my first salary and walked into Sephora, I bought myself my first ever makeup product which was a Naked palette. This was when I was 15 and after buying myself my first makeup palette, I started watching makeup tutorials and my love for beauty and makeup only grew from there. I told myself that one day I was going to build my own brand and make an impact in the makeup industry through my it. 

What Made You Start BeauTyra? 

Honestly, I was shocked when I received the opportunity to start my own brand as early as when I was 18 years old. Personally, I wasn’t interested in continuing my studies although I was still open to it. I’m more of a street smart person instead of book smart. So when the opportunity came to start my own business, I thought to myself why not? I’ve been dreaming about this since I bought my first eyeshadow palette. I wanted to do something different than what everyone else was doing so I ventured into business. I’ve actually been engaging in business since I was 13 and in high school. I used to sell a lot of things such as clothes, contact lenses, and everything I felt like I could sell. 

Back when I started BeauTyra, there weren’t many local makeup brands in Malaysia. So I wanted to venture into that. I made the plans, and pitched my ideas to several investors. Luckily, some of them were interested in investing in my idea and BeauTyra was born. Although I lacked experience, I was blessed with a family who were supportive and had a lot of business knowledge that was enough to help guide me through the process. 

What Motivated You To Highlight Diversity in Your Brand? 

When I was a teenager and first started looking for makeup products for myself, I always found it hard to find shades or colours that would suit me. This was especially hard because the campaigns and images used by brands back then lacked diversity. It was always the skinny and fair model that was really hard to relate to because how would I know if the products that looked right on her would look just as good on me? From the photos and campaigns I saw it was hard to see myself and even harder to look for the products that I can go home, try on, and love as much as I did when I saw it in the campaign shots. 

This was why when I started BeauTyra I wanted to create campaigns and makeup products that catered to everyone, no matter your size or skin colour. I wanted everyone to feel included, and know what it feels like to see the products they want on a model that looks like them. Truly, makeup is for all and the best way to show that was a diverse range of products and a campaign that highlighted that. Therefore, with every campaign or new product launches I do with my brand I have to include as much diversity and inclusivity as I can. Besides that, we are in Malaysia and nothing says diversity like Malaysians. I couldn’t possibly separate diversity from my brand when my target market is as diverse as they come. 

What Is Your Favourite Part About Owning Your Own Brand? 

 My favourite part about being my own boss is probably the flexibility I get when it comes to work. It’s not a 9 to 5 job, although I still have to work many hours a day. I enjoy being able to do things on my own time. It’s relaxing and freeing that I am able to do so and I think it takes a lot of the stress of managing my own company off my shoulders. I like having a sense of control and I’ve already set a target for myself for what I want to achieve. I believe it’s very important that I have that control and do things at my own pace.  

I do feel that being an influencer and having the audience before I started my brand really boosted the reach and success of BeauTyra. I am grateful to be blessed with many opportunities to be able to assist me in achieving my goals for myself as well as my brand. 

What are Your Future Plans for BeauTyra? 

We are planning to venture into more aspects of beauty in the future. I would love to expand BeauTyra more and we’ve got the plans for it ready already. I can’t wait to share it all with beauty enthusiasts in Malaysia. Coming very soon is actually something that I’m very excited about. This time we are not doing makeup as I feel like, especially now that we’re all staying safe at home, not everyone is wearing makeup as much as they used to. So we are launching something very different and special this time. We try our best to think out of the box and do our best to sustain the business while expanding our reach as well. 

This will be our first time doing something like this and hopefully it works out for us. In the future I would love to get into skincare too one day but I’m waiting for the right time and the right resources. Skincare is complicated and I want to make sure I do my best and do it right the first time. 

What Do You Hope To See More In Malaysia’s Beauty Industry? 

I think I want to see more inclusivity and diversity. I feel like we are getting there slowly compared to back then when all we saw in campaigns, even in Malaysia were white and skinny models. Now, we are seeing more local faces in campaigns and I love it. I also hope to see more trust in local brands. People are still skeptical about local brands because they stick to this notion that every product is from the same factory and goes through the same process. The truth is what goes behind the scenes for each and every brand is very different. Although brands don’t share these details, the processes that the products go through and even the ingredients are very different. So I hope that this idea that everything is the same will fade away one day. There is also this notion that international brands are better than local brands. Probably ten years ago this may have some truth to it but today, every brand is stepping up their game, generating more ideas, and reaching new heights with their brand and products where most if not all have products that are better, safer, and affordable for our local beauty enthusiasts. 

How Do You Make Sure You Keep a Work and Life Balance as A Boss? 

I try my best to separate work from family and friends despite my busy schedule. I make sure that when I’m with family and friends I’m always present and while I’m at work I give my all to ensure the best for BeauTyra. I think a lot of people struggle with that to the point where they lose friends and family because they strive too hard for success. In my opinion it’s good to work hard towards your career goals but at the end of the day relationships are still important. So I try my hardest to make sure that I give adequate time to all the important things and people in my life, and stay true to myself so that I won’t lose myself. Keeping the balance also helps with my mental health. I try to not push myself to not work too hard which I also implement in my company rules as well. I want my staff to place importance on the work life balance and make sure that work is only within working hours and weekdays so everyone can spend some time with their family and the people close to them when they’re out of work. Work is work, but your time with yourself, family and friends is equally as important. 

What is The One Thing That You Wish You Knew Before Starting Your Own Business? 

I think the one thing that I wish I knew is to be realistic. Not everything will go the way you want it to. And that’s okay because God has better plans for you. You just have to go with the flow. Sometimes what you want is not what you need, and God has plans that will help you get where you need to be. You just have to trust the process and that would be the one thing that I would tell my old self when I first started my business. You never know what the future holds, it’s good to plan but it might not be a totally bad thing if it doesn’t go as planned. The pandemic has definitely shown us how things aren’t certain, so go with the flow and it’s okay to change your plans half way as long as you get where you need to be.