Independent brands are “pushing the whole beauty and skin care industry into what’s happening next,” believes Liz Bishop, founder and managing director of i5 Beauty Foundry.
The Phoenix, Arizona – based consultancy, which formally opened last month is “an exciting, innovative beauty consultancy comprised of a rich network of deeply experienced industry veterans with proven expertise in building brands and companies from concept to commercialization,” according to a media release.
In conversation with Cosmetics Design at Cosmoprof North America and again later by phone, Bishop shared her vision for the consultancy and her take on the indie beauty movement.
“I put myself in those startup shoes,” Bishop tells Cosmetics Design, as an entrepreneur she’s able to constructively empathize with clients and provide access to the insights, ideas, and solutions that she wishes she had access to as the leader of a new company.
Entrepreneurs bring “passion and creatively and in many instances innovation” to the makeup and personal care industry, says Bishop. And, she admits it’s both fun and challenging to help entrepreneurs put all the pieces in place.
She and her team at i5 hope to meet those challenges with their combined beauty and wellness industry experience, which totals over 100 years. “We’ve been corporate executives, entrepreneurs and brand founders; with prior positions having included CEO, CFO, COO, VP Business Development, VP Marketing, VP Sales, VP Product Development and VP of R&D,” she says in the media release.
Bishop and her team aren’t looking to turn out cookie-cutter indie brands or replicate what’s already been done by legacy cosmetics, personal care, or fragrance brands. Rather, she says, i5 Beauty Foundry is “a rolodex of capabilities.”
The consultancy offers clients anything from a simple hour-long brainstorm or conversation with a consultant to retainer work and full project-rate work. The team provides brand development, management growth, R&D, project management, legal guidance, distribution strategy, talent recommendations, and more.
“We want [indie beauty brand founders] to stay authentic to their brand,” she tells Cosmetics Design. “We appreciate guidance,” says Bishop, explaining that her role is to offer brands enough insight and information to make their own decisions and to help make sure “they don’t do anything they can’t recover from.”
In the media release announcing the new firm, Bishop puts it this way: “We love new projects and challenge ourselves to think outside the box, to roll up our sleeves and find the opportunity in a new idea. We are collaborative by nature; we’ll ask questions, listen, brainstorm, and think. We’ll give you honest feedback and will be partners with you from start to finish. We can be a sounding board to you or build an entire team to support your project; no idea is too big or too small.”
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.