German mother and daughter team-up to build wellness venture in Dubai

Co-founders, Dr Heike Lieb-Wilson—Mrs Brightly—and her daughter Victoria Wilson, have vowed to ‘brighten’ this world through their venture Brightly Labs.

Brightly Labs specialises in wellness and anti-ageing products, with a focus on highly effective formulations like brand’s small-molecule collagen products.

“Teaming up with Victoria was an easy decision. We share a deep bond and have always been close, not just as mother and daughter but as best friends. We think alike and act alike, and our combined passion for health and wellness made this venture a natural step,” said Dr Heike.

For the duo — mother and daughter — Dubai’s dynamic market felt like the perfect place to launch Brightly Labs and make a positive impact. The city’s progressive atmosphere and openness to innovation aligned perfectly with their vision.

Dr Heike said, “Dubai’s cosmopolitan vibe and the diverse demographic here provided a fantastic opportunity to reach a broad audience eager for cutting-edge wellness solutions.”

Before starting Brightly Labs, Dr Heike held several C-level roles in various industries. However, just before the pandemic, she decided to leave the corporate world to focus fully on her consultancy business, which she started in 2007, and to launch Brightly Labs with Victoria.

“My mom has always been my role model, so when she suggested starting Brightly Labs together, I didn’t even have to think twice. We’ve always been super close, sharing not just a mother-daughter bond but also a deep friendship. Working together felt like a natural step,” said Victoria.

“Dubai, with its lively and diverse market, seemed like the perfect place to launch wellness venture. It’s been an amazing journey filled with mutual respect, lots of laughter, and a shared passion for helping people live healthier lives,” adds Victoria.

Dr Heike is 55 years old and originally from Germany, she moved to the UAE in 2014 with her two children Lucas and Victoria, drawn by the opportunities in the retail and wellness industry and the vibrant lifestyle of Dubai.

“Initially, I took on several high-profile roles, including General Manager for the GCC region at Apparel Group and Executive Director of Retail Properties at Tecom Investments. In 2020, I decided to leave the corporate world and focus on my consultancy business and later, Brightly Labs,” said Dr Heike .

The welcoming environment and the potential for growth in Dubai’s market were significant factors that motivated Dr Heike to make this big move. “Since then, Dubai has become more than just a place to work; it has become our home, where we have built lasting friendships and integrated into a thriving community,” she added.

Victoria, 21, was born in Germany and moved to the UAE with her mum and brother Lucas in 2014.

“I did take a couple of breaks — once in 2020 to go back to Germany and again in 2023 to Switzerland. But both times, I found myself missing Dubai too much and decided to come back. After living here for nearly 10 years, Dubai has really become my home,” said Victoria.

In 2024, Dr Heike plans to expand the product line with advanced anti-ageing solutions and launch wellness programmes tailored to clients’ needs.

“We are passionate about making a difference and plan to partner with local businesses to enhance community engagement. Additionally, we are looking into collaborations with healthcare professionals to provide holistic wellness packages. This includes workshops and seminars focusing on overall health, mindfulness, and nutrition to complement our product offerings,” she said.

Innovative wellness solutions
The company is expanding its footprint in the digital space, leveraging technology to provide personalised wellness solutions to a broader audience. The brand aims to expand its business to other GCC countries and even Europe, with a special focus on Germany—its primary target market.

“We are working on delivering our products as fresh offerings, such as various matcha dishes, matcha latte, matcha chia seed desserts, matcha cookies, collagen drinks, and healthy smoothies. These additions are designed to promote a healthier lifestyle, aligning with our mission to provide comprehensive wellness solutions,” said Dr Heike.

Victoria, endorsing her mother’s views, added: “We have some exciting plans for Brightly Labs in 2024! We’re expanding our product range and really focusing on growing our online presence to reach more people. We’re diving into digital marketing and e-commerce to make our products more accessible, and our goal is to make Brightly Labs a trusted name in wellness, not just in the UAE but globally.”

Recently, the mother-daughter podcast included chats about business, invitations to strong women to share their stories and experiences, and candid mother-daughter conversations. “It’s been a lot of fun, and we hope to grow this podcast to inspire others with our journey and the amazing stories of our guests,” added Victoria.

Dr Heike also mentions that the UAE has incredibly supported their entrepreneurial journey, providing them with numerous opportunities to grow their business.

“The country’s emphasis on innovation and health aligns perfectly with our business goals, enabling us to thrive,” she adds. “Additionally, the networking opportunities and the supportive business community here have been invaluable. The UAE government’s initiatives to foster startups and small businesses have also been a significant boon, providing us with the resources and encouragement we needed to succeed.”

The UAE’s progressive policies and incredible support for startups has proved to be a game-changer for mother-daughter. “The infrastructure here is top-notch, which has really helped us scale quickly and reach a wide audience. Plus, the multicultural environment has been such a gift. It’s given us a deeper understanding and the ability to connect with a diverse range of clients, making our work even more fulfilling,” said Victoria.

Dr Heike and Victoria are passionate about the environment and animal welfare. At home, they have seven rescued cats and actively support other rescue organisations, run by their friend Yasmin Sayyed — Ride-to-Rescue — which helps neglected and old horses in Ras Al Khaimah.

“Our journey together in business and in life is driven by our shared values and passions. Our commitment to these causes is a significant part of who we are and what we stand for, and we believe it’s important to give back to the community and the world around us. Being members of Rotary Club Eco Dubai further reflects our dedication to community service and our belief in paying forward and making a positive impact,” concludes Dr Heike.

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