Negotiating brand partnerships can be tricky, but throw a relatively unknown indie line into the mix, and things can get even more complicated. There's a number of aspects that both spas and independent beauty brands need to know to work together. We spoke to a few of our favorite indie beauty brand founders, and as it turns out, building and maintaining a solid indie brand and spa pairing is much like dating. Here’s how to find the perfect mate.
- Know Your Type...: “We are an organic, green skincare brand that offers organic facials, and we love partnering with retailers and spas that are green and holistic,” says Julie Clark, founder and CEO of Province Apothecary.
- ...But Don't Be Afraid to Ignore It: “A spa working with green products is always appealing, but it is not necessary for a spa to be green. We see it as a wonderful opportunity to be one of the first organic skincare lines in a spa,” says Kindred’s founder Frances Thrasher.
- Look for Shared Values: “Are their goals aligned with mine?” asks Ahlam Abbas, founder and CEO of Dirty Lamb. “I want to make sure we’re on the same page about delivering high-quality products and services to clients and want to work with someone who is in tune with their client’s needs and wants, which will create a larger reach for both of us.”
- Meet Their Friends: “We consider the look, feel, and clientele of individual spas to make sure that we feel the spa audience and our brand audience are one and the same. We try to ensure that our brand will do well in a specific environment before chancing it,” says Florapy Beauty’s founder and chief Kristen O’Connell. “We like our spas to be true partners, we love hearing their feedback, we absolutely love being featured in services, and we like to engage with each other on social platforms to create crosspromotional opportunities.”
- See How They Perform in Social Situations: “Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, or a blog, a spa needs to have a strong presence in at least one social-media outlet to reach enough customers," says Hartley Humphreys, owner of Nude & Noir Cosmetics. “Online sales are very important, and a great website with easy access to explore products and an easy checkout is necessary.”
- Don't Rule Out a Set Up: “I joined Wholesale Matchmaker, and it’s pretty amazing,” says Wendi Sudhakar, founder and CEO of Kudarat Skincare. “It’s this woman who started her own body-products company, and now she’s created an entire business around helping small-business owners grow their wholesale. You spend 10 days learning, getting your stuff together, and answering questionnaires, and then based on that, they match you every month with a set number of shops that they’ve vetted for you that are appropriate to what you’re selling. It’s brilliant.”