Growing up in Perth, Maeva Heim spent much of her chilhood at her mother’s “tiny, hole-in-the-wall” salon, a place that specialised in textured hair, braids, weaves and cornrows. “As any first-generation immigrant child knows, if your parent owns a business, you’re there for the weekend, school holidays. …” says Heim with a laugh (her mother hails from the Ivory Coast and her father comes from France). But it was those salon days that ultimately inspired Bread, Heim’s globally stocked haircare brand, which enjoyed a spectacular debut, in 2020, at Sephora in the US.
Still based in Perth, Heim, 33, describes the products as “haircare basics for not-so-basic hair”. Having previously held marketing roles at major brands such as L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble, Heim had the business acumen to realise there was a gap in the market. The companies she worked for, Heim says, “were never really speaking to me as a consumer, [or] to my peers or to people who look like me.”
Among her many goals, Heim wants to challenge the idea that curly hair is difficult hair. At Bread, she emphasises education over marketing and, with its strong online presence, she says it is as much a media company as it is a beauty brand. “We celebrate shampoo and conditioner,” she says. “But we want people to feel like they can come to Bread for more than that.”