What motivated you to start up your own business?
My stepfather was diagnosed with cancer, and through helping him change his lifestyle I started to examine everything I was putting in and on my body. I couldn’t find any natural products that gave me the results and the luxury experience I was looking for, so I set out to create my own. No one should have to sacrifice their health for their beauty.
In an increasingly competitive organic beauty sector, what do you still consider as opportunities? Do you oversee any future challenges?
Personally, I don’t believe that organic beauty is that competitive. It’s clean beauty that’s the really competitive sector at the moment, but that has nothing to do with organic beauty. There are few brands like ours that are certified organic and 100% natural. I think that the future is full of opportunities because so many people are looking for truly natural skincare that is effective, authentic, and transparent. Customers are over greenwashing and are looking for the real deal now.
Without a uniform international certification of organic based products, what do you think would be the best approach?
At the moment, there are a handful of organizations that have very strict parameters that deal with organic and natural beauty products. I don’t think there needs to be an overarching organization that oversees everything because the existing organizations already have guidelines and requirements. We use Cosmos / Ecocert to certify our products and generally follow EU guidelines. We use Cosmos / Ecocert because they have been around the longest and have the highest standards, and in addition to validating products’ organic content they do audits a few times a year that delves into our raw material vendors, packaging, and sustainability.
When developing your various product lines, did you have a specific target segment in mind?
We develop new products primarily for category gaps and also based on client feedback. For example, we had been hearing for a while about how we didn’t have products suitable for our blemish-prone clients which lead us to develop our Clarifying line. We are currently working on a line for reactive and sensitive skin.
Which are currently your most important markets in terms of sales? Are there any regions / countries, where you believe you should expand faster?
North America, the UK and Europe are our most tenured business and the most important in terms of sales today. Currently we are focused on Asia expansion, having launched an omnichannel strategy earlier this year and soon we will be expanding to the Middle Eastern market.
When expanding internationally, what is the ideal representation for your brand? How do you work with luxury hotel Spas versus traditional beauty retail?
We have a luxury first strategy when launching into any new international markets. Our international business is, for the most part, a combination of an omnichannel retail strategy that encompasses luxury department store business and five star spa resort business, where we focus on new luxury client acquisition. In general, it’s very important for our brand to have both retail and spa offerings. We work really hard to ensure exclusive spa offerings that bring something new to the client experience and is unique from spa to spa. We realize that we have a much larger opportunity when clients get to experience the brand through our spa, and it’s one of the best ways for people to drive new customer acquisition.
Besides top quality ingredients, packing is very important. Tell us more.
For us, packaging has always been about sustainability first and then finding a way to bring in the luxury elements. Just how I set out to create products that don’t compromise your health for beauty, I wanted those products to be sold in packaging that didn’t compromise the earth. That’s why we use glass bottles as often as possible, because glass is infinitely recyclable. Our cartons are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the paper comes from sustainably managed forests, we also use soy ink which makes the cartons easier to recycle.
Performance is not only achieving a high service standard but maintaining it. How important is training / protocols in Spas?
Training and protocols are incredibly important. Logistically, there is a lot that happens in terms of acquisition through the spa business and because we customize treatments to different partnerships, protocols are unique and exclusive to different resorts around the world. This requires a much more detailed and on-going approach to training on the esthetician level to make sure they are able to speak to our clients about every single product. Maintaining a high level of service is an important part of our luxury positioning, because we want every single treatment to be a reflection of the Tata Harper experience and be a representation of everything we stand for as a brand.
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