Indie Beauty Profile

Dr. Conny Wittke, nügg

By …as told to Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Indie Beauty Profile Dr. Conny Wittke nügg

Related tags Skin Nügg

In her Indie Beauty Profile, Dr. Conny Wittke, founder of the Beauty Ideas Group and the skin care brand nügg, explains why, in today’s personal care market place, a brand’s unique value proposition should put the emphasis on ‘value’ rather than on ‘unique’ and how she turned seemly simple dreams and ideas into a successful beauty brand.

With its signature pod-pack masks, nügg is changing the ways shoppers buy and use skin care. Single-serving personal care and beauty products, once commonly thought of as samples, are more abundant than ever. Brands, contract manufacturers, and industry suppliers are finding ways that portion packs and portable packaging can streamline the consumer experience.

But nügg is about more than clever packaging as beauty entrepreneur Conny Wittke reveals in this profile of herself and the brand.

Name: ​Dr. Conny Wittke, Founder & CEO

Indie Beauty Company:​ nügg (company name, Beauty Ideas Group LLC)

Launched:​ 2014

Headquarters​: Port Washington, New York

Cash flow: ​At nügg, we are experiencing very high growth and will be expanding our distribution from over 1,000 doors so far to over 4,000 doors by the end of the year.

Team work: ​4 full-time employees, 3 part-time

Distribution:  ​In the USA, nügg is sold at Target, Ricky’s, select Whole Foods regions, Pharmaca and select independents; also via our website where we just exclusively launched our face mask subscription boxes. In the UK, nügg is at Selfridges, beautybay, asos, as well as select department stores. nügg is also available in Ireland, Sweden, the Middle East, and Mexico.

Years in beauty:​ 10+

Entrepreneurial experience: ​Before I started my own company, I was the CEO of Tweezerman for many years and also on the Board of Management of the Zwilling Beauty Group, responsible for Tweezerman, QVS Global and Zwilling Beauty. Before that, I worked for McKinsey & Company.

While these are wonderful brands and companies, I wanted to start my own brand and business from scratch since I was a teenager. So when I had the idea for nügg, which was way before the big masking trend that has emerged since then, I thought it’s ‘now or never’ and decided to pursue my dream.

The business: ​nügg’s mission is to provide top quality skin treatments at affordable prices and in innovative, cute and unique packaging for outstanding and honest value for money. You get prestige formulations in our pods and spheres that you would elsewhere have to pay much more money for. All our products are over 93% natural or naturally derived and formulated without mineral oils, parabens, synthetic fragrances and colors. We formulate in gentle yet effective ways that are truly good for your skin and help enhance your skin barrier function. Since our launch in 2014, we have been incredibly fortunate to have won the Allure Best of Beauty Award every year.

We are a women-owned-and-run company and we believe in working hard, doing the right things for the right reasons, being humble and giving back to the community.

We do not believe in ‘one hit wonder’ products that derive their ‘reason to be’ just from being different without offering superior product performance, but we believe in building a top performing, trustworthy and credible skin treatment assortment through products that are truly outstanding.

The customer: ​Our customers are mostly women who want to look and feel their best and are looking for products that solve specific skin issues or help them maintain healthy, beautiful skin. But our masks are also great for men (in particular our charcoal skin detox mask and our revitalizing mask) and we are noticing increased interest from them.

The secrets of success: ​At nügg, we are most proud of the exceptional product assortment we have built and the passionate feedback we have been receiving from our fans. Many women have reached out to us that our products have helped transform their skin and get rid of skin issues such as, for example, dryness and flakiness. Receiving this type of feedback is what keeps us going and so very passionate.

I’m also very proud that we are never running out of ideas about new products to bring to our fans. We have a very strong pipeline of products that I can’t wait to bring to market.

And, last but certainly not least, I’m very proud of our team. When you are small, you are relying heavily on a team that shares your vision, is truly passionate about what we do, and excels at multi-tasking; our team has all those qualities and many more.

Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs:​ Be truly passionate about what you do, be very clear what your brand’s vision and reason-to-be are and stick to them. And then, just get started. Building a new business can be daunting and appear like a monumental mountain that is just too high to climb. But if you take your first step, the next step will follow and then the next and the next, and before you know it, you are on your way.

Just one: ​Asked about her go-to product, Witkke says it’s nügg Soothing Face Mask – I use it every day, both in the morning under my make-up and as my night cream in addition to using it as a full mask twice a week.

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