OLIKA is one of the most well thought-out indie brands to come to market recently. The team behind the scenes is clearly focused on not only what works well in terms of product efficacy but also in terms of global marketability in today’s fast-paced, digital, consumer universe. The company launched with a hand sanitizer that resonates with the Kardashian family and the everyday suburban consumer alike. As COE Jessica Postiglione puts it, “Our birds love making new friends.”
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Jessica Postiglione, CEO + Co-Founder
Indie Beauty Company: OLIKA
Launched: January 2017
Headquarters: New York, New York
Cash flow: OLIKA has 55 distribution partners and growing. Plus, we are proud to have the support of private investors who believe in our vision and want to help accelerate OLIKA’s long-term growth.
Team work: 5 employees
Distribution: Birdie and Minnie are always available online 24/7 at their main nest of OLIKAlife.com. We also sell our products online and in stores at select retailers such as Alcone Company, Amazon, New For You, Lucky Vitamin, The Detox Market, Ricky’s NYC, Target, Walmart, QVC and Urban Outfitters. Currently we distribute to the US, New Zealand and Australia.
Years in Beauty: 4 years
Years at OLIKA: 3 years
Entrepreneurial experience: As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for business. My first job in high school was working as an office temp, answering phones, filing papers, and delivering mail. I worked my way up with each subsequent position. After graduating from the University of Chicago, I took a role as an M&A investment banker and held a number of corporate strategy roles after attending the Harvard Business School. It was a risky decision to leave the corporate world to start OLIKA, but I jumped at the chance to build an innovative brand and product from scratch.
My vision was to create the most sophisticated, hydrating hand sanitizer on the market. An audacious goal that was greeted with skepticism from many potential partners. However, I knew from months of research and my own encounters with the personal care category, that the hand sanitizer market was ripe for disruption. Before OLIKA, the experience of using a hand sanitizer was not a very pleasant one. We researched, revised, and tested more hand sanitizers than you can count. We married the data we collected on hand sanitizer usage with a bit of imagination, to create a final product that goes above and beyond a simple formulation update. From this, the concept of Birdie was born. An innovative solution that has since been named “the world’s most beautiful hand sanitizer” by media experts.
The business: OLIKA is a design-forward brand reinventing consumer staples, starting with hand sanitizer. We are the makers of Birdie and Minnie, adorable bird-shape natural hand sanitizers that clean and refresh hands.
The wow-factor: OLIKA is following in the footsteps of companies like Method and eos Products, which combined innovative packaging with better-for-you ingredients. Our natural formulation contains seven simple ingredients: alcohol, water, glycerin, aloe vera, and the essential oils of lemon, spearmint and bergamot. OLIKA’s formula has been proven to improve skin hydration for up to 24 hours and is vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free. Our birds elevate the experience of using hand sanitizer from boring to fun.
The customer: Our target customers are [women and girls who love] to be the first in her squad to find the latest beauty finds. She cares about the ingredients in her beauty and skincare products and prioritizes finding items that really work for her. Our target consumer shares those recommendations with others and our birds fit seamlessly into her life as a busy woman on-the-go.
Milestone moment: OLIKA products have been placed across 150+ publications and featured on the TODAY show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and in Khloe Kardashian’s Snapchat stories.
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: There are a ton of beauty start-ups popping up daily. The ones with staying power are those that offer a superior product and address an underserved customer. In my experience, focusing on how a product solves a need in a target customer’s life is what makes an indie brand stand out. This was our own vision from the start as “OLIKA” means differently in Swedish.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Postiglione says that aside from our birds, I absolutely love Dior Diorshow mascara - it’s a beautiful mascara that never clumps, dries out, smudges, and honestly, makes lashes look like feathers. Must be the bird-lover in me that loves the look. If you can splurge, get this one. It's gorgeous!
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.