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60 January 2015 | beautystorebusiness.com the natural community. These customers already understand our natural principles and rely on our products' reputation, but they seek us out because they want to be chic and they trust our brand. Now that the mass market has become more aware of the need for and benefits of going natural, we have seen a wave of customers who are in the transitioning period. They are not quite sure what to look for in natural prod- ucts, but they know they want to make the move. At the same time, they need products that will maintain their high- performance needs. Giovanni becomes a great solution for these customers. What are some of your company's best sellers? Our No. 1 product in the beauty-supply channel is, without question, Direct Leave- In Weightless Moisture Conditioner. We have had distributors joke that customers must be drinking the stuff. It is a great product, and we are thankful for all of the blogger buzz and online consumer reviews that have allowed the product to become so well-known. Most of the praise from consumers has been regarding how our Direct Leave-In not only helps detangle, but also defines curls and eliminates frizz. Our most successful collection has been our 2chic Ultra-Moist With Avocado & Olive Oil. I think the majority of customers have a need for moisture, and our collection offers everything from the shampoo, conditioner and leave-in basics to a deep-moisture mask that can be used once a week as an intensive treatment to nourish even the most severe, coarse, dry hair. In addition, the collection offers a leave- in protective spray to help consumers main- tain moisture while heat styling, enabling them to create their signature looks. The collection also arms them with our Ultra- Moist Super Potion Anti-Frizz Binding Serum, which can be used throughout the day whenever hair needs a little refresh. What unique ingredients or technologies are in your products? Because we want to make our products as natural as possible, we do not use parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, animal byproducts or artificial colors. We also made the decision early on not to test on animals and embrace biodegrad- able formulas with recycled packaging. While developing new products, we research key natural ingredients that have the components needed to achieve high-performing results. This was a great deal of fun when crafting our 2chic collections, all of which fea- ture a unique dual complex designed to meet a specific consumer need. We cur- rently have three 2chic collections: our 2chic Ultra-Sleek With Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil; our 2chic Ultra-Moist With Avocado & Olive Oil; and our 2chic Ultra-Volume With Tangerine & Papaya Butter. A fourth 2chic Ultra-Repair With Blackberry & Coconut Milk is launching in January. What trends do you see in the natural-products industry? The benefits of natural products have taken some time to truly hit home with the mass consumer, but we are glad to have been able to ride the wave. Today, if you are a retailer and you do not offer a natural option, you can be sure you're missing out on a large segment of potential consumers. In the past, natural products were hard to come by, and these brands did not have the funds behind them needed for research and development. Now that natural products are in high demand, we have seen the product selection and quality increase tremendously. In turn, consumer knowledge about what they are looking for in a natural product has increased. This is great because it allows you to glean from your coun- terparts as well as experiment more and let consumer feedback guide your development. In turn, we have become much more alert to online buzz and consumer-product interaction. The best way to meet consumers' needs is to interact with and get to know them. As such, we are continually evolving our social-media platform and recently developed a number of short video clips. The segments range from interviews with celebrity hairstylist Clay Patane to makeover episodes that high- light a 2chic collection. The clips are being released over the next few months on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. The added benefit of being a natural brand is that many of your customers made a deliberate choice to transition to natural products out of necessity. When you make an intentional choice, there is more of a tendency to seek out advice. Today's customer heads straight to the Internet for blogger/vlogger blessings and consumer reviews. Here they are able to find someone with their exact same hair type and choose a product accordingly. As a brand, you want to be listening in on the current buzz and make sure your products are not being overlooked just because you have not joined the conversation. Ultimately, it is key to have your ear to the ground to truly understand what is driving the different trends. A shallow grasp can lead to wasted investment, but truly understanding what drives your customer and exercising fashion-forward thinking will keep you ahead of the game. Why was it important for you to offer natural products? We have pretty deep roots in natural products and can truly say we were natural before it was the popular thing to do. We became a natural company by necessity. As a hairstylist, my father developed a skin condition because of the harsh chemicals he was working with on a day-to-day basis. Initially, he changed a lot of things in his daily routine "A fourth 2chic [collection]— Ultra-Repair With Blackberry & Coconut Milk— is launching in January." Image courtesy of Giovanni Cosmetics