Beauty Store Business

SEP 2013

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Continued from page 58 using exfoliate foaming cleanser, concentrated balancing toner, healthy aging serum plus vitamin peptide complex and pure facial moisture. Then I use eye lift radiance renewal eye cream, lip repair butter and butter cream salve. I use these every single day. Please share with us some fall/winter skincare tips. Fall is all about preparing the skin for the long winter ahead; particularly when you live on the East Coast, as I do. Winters are hard on the skin. Exfoliation is always important to me. But in the winter, it's because of the dryness and indoor heat, and also because we don't get a lot of fresh air. I suggest exfoliating regularly to keep the skin dewy and fresh, and to remove all of those dry, dead skin cells. I use a heavier eye cream at night, but I don't recommend using a heavy overnight cream all over the face. Use a facial oil instead because the skin is meant to breathe and expel toxins overnight. I highly recommend using a body oil or lotion right after bathing, while still damp, so that it absorbs well. All moisturizers absorb best while skin is slightly damp. I also suggest trying not to be exposed to too much heat, even though it can feel good when it's so cold out. What advice can you provide to beauty stores to enable them to sell more skin care or sell it better? Consumers need help understanding their skin types; so don't be afraid to point out their specific issues and let them know which products will help balance their skin conditions. People want solutions, and with some help, they certainly can have much better skin—which I find many people don't really believe. I'd also suggest helping to simplify regimens and the entire process for them; and try not to overwhelm them with too many product suggestions. Kits are also a great way for women to enter a brand. We have complete care kits for youthful or clear skin, which contain all a woman needs to try our line before investing in it. All she needs to start a simple skincare regimen is a cleanser and moisturizer. But retailers should definitely give her a few samples as well. Especially with suki, if consumers try it, they'll like it and purchase it. In a spa, it's much easier for estheticians to sell the line because they have the time to educate their customers and gain their trust while performing a facial. At the shelf, you only have a moment or two with your customer. Also, suki doesn't believe in competing with our stores by discounting online. We've been the one hold-out brand in that way. So we help our retail partners there. But salespeople still have to know a few key points about skin types and products to recommend products quickly. Please tell us about the iPhone app launch that was designed to assist retailers in determining the appropriate products for customers. What has been the response? We decided to go in a different direction with that and will probably revisit that concept next year. We really aren't sure if the numbers are in for mobile sales anyway and feel it's more important to put our resources into the website, making the brand easier to shop, and expanding the line into our reps and trainers. Please tell us about your ambassador program. The suki ambassador program, which launched about nine months ago, is really about helping women become independent. Fans of the line can spread their love and belief in suki from home, through suki spa parties, networking and talking about it with their friends— essentially in the same way any homebased business works, with very little investment other than time and energy. I love this program because that is really how suki has always grown— through individuals and their experiences. It's amazing how one person being an advocate and believing in something can so strongly impact a brand. What we do here, and what we believe, and how we have been uncompromising—these are the reasons why we've grown so much, and people can feel that. The brand ambassador program is essentially just a formal version of how we've grown organically. 74 September 2013 | beautystorebusiness.com We currently have between 1,500 and 2,000 ambassador respondents. People really believe in what we're doing. batch freshness but, more importantly, it ensures that our standards are always high and true to my original ideals. Please tell us about your product packaging. Which charities and causes does suki support? Our goal is always to do everything responsibly. As an example, we use postconsumer-use recycled paper, responsible coatings and glass packaging. We don't believe in using plastic; so we use as little of it as possible. [Our use of glass packaging] is not only sensual, but part of my idea of a great skincare experience along with efficacy. We do everything as purely and responsibly as we can—from how we manufacture, label and fill, to how we package our products. We also work with responsible partners for our sourcing and printing. The most rewarding and unexpected benefit from starting my company has been the letters from survivors and people in treatment. Learning that my products were the only ones that many people found they could use on their skin while going through radiation treatment, for instance, was moving and sad. I started working with cancer centers and organizations such as The Farber Center a few years ago as they provide [special] care and attention to everything. It's such a special place. I love Breast Cancer Action because it, like my company, is all about exposing the truth. I highly recommend its website [bcaction.org] for information on alternative and mainstream treatments, pink-ribbon campaigns and more. I've been working with it for quite some time, trying to turn more people onto it. I'm also looking for more ways to work with programs that help empower young women. I'm on the board of Bay Path College in Massachusetts. It's doing wonderful things for women of all ages who are looking to further their educations. The energy there is incredible, and the president, Carol Leary, has led incredible growth and change. I really can't say enough about the entire staff and every student I've met there. They're all so inspiring, and I'm really proud to even be a part of that place. One other program I participate in is a ballroom-dance competition to support the International Rett Syndrome Foundation. Rett is a debilitating condition affecting one in every 10,000 girls. My first love in life has always been dance; but ever since I was a child, of course, my insecurities held me back. I started ballroom dancing about five years ago. Today, I dance in eight to 10 national competitions a year. I am lucky enough to find the time to dance—fulfilling that childhood dream. Each time I practice and compete, I grow and change, and discover something new about myself. It's like hard-core therapy, but more challenging and fun! ■ Will you be exhibiting at Natural Products Expo East or Natural Products Expo West next March? We'll be at both shows; but we have a booth at Natural Products Expo West. We'll host some events at Natural Products Expo East such as meetings and a cocktail party. What goals do you have for suki? Of course, we have an infinite amount of products we'd love to launch. This year is all about reshaping the packaging to help people realize how easy it is to shop and sell the line. We're also expanding the sukispa line. And, we'll be launching products like the [sought-after] body oil in a lighter aroma that is reminiscent of our unique lemongrass blend that people love so much. We'll be launching a high-end point-of-sale display for our lip repair butter. We're formulating an SPF—but this will take quite some time with regulatory changes. It is a proprietary, nongreasy blend that I've been working on for a long time. Every type of formulation is an exciting, new challenge for me. It offers the opportunity for new discoveries and to know that we are helping women realize their true beauty. Although I am the founder and president, I still formulate and check every product myself for quality and consistency. And suki skincare is made, labeled and filled by our amazing staff here. This ensures Regina Molaro is a freelance journalist based in New York City.

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