Based in Colombia, the company has hit upon phenomenal success, reaching a global audience through its online sales, but is now embarking on a regional distribution plan by first expanding into the Mexican market.
Cosmetics Design spoke to H la Cosedora co-founder, Juan Diaz, to find out more about the companies evolution, the nail art trend, and what the company’s ambitions are for the future.
Can you explain about your business and how it got off the ground?
We are mainly focusing our efforts on two areas. On one side we design, produce and distribute nail art products under the H la Cosedora Brand. The product development ideas come from nail artist and company co-founder Heidy Aristizabal's, who represents the H la Cosedora brand.
The other area we are focused on is our commitment to growing the Latin American Nail Artist community. We want nail artists of all levels to connect with each other, exchange ideas, skills, products, and we want to be at the center of this ongoing communication. I think that what is really helping us in getting the business get off the ground is our uniqueness in the market and authenticity with the community. We have quality products, different designs, prices adapted carefully adjusted to suit the market. But what really makes us stand apart from the rest of the pack is our authenticity and the community is rewarding us for it.
How has the business progressed since you first set it up?
We are growing rapidly, not only financially, but also in respect to our relations with the Nail Art industry, which includes nail artists, other brands and suppliers. Everything has evolved fast. We are a small brand and that is still a huge advantage for us because we can constantly change and adapt things, testing new ideas and being very flexible with our offerings while staying consistent on what we are delivering to the market.
As an example of this, a couple of weeks ago we decided to ship all our orders in branded boxes. It does not seem like a big deal, but it is. People loved those boxes and just by sharing a picture of them on social media, our sales started to grow. The business has progressed, a lot, but our culture remains the same. We are keeping things real, since day one, always looking out for new opportunities to improve by making those affordable steps. One by one.
How is the trend for nail art developing in Colombia? And what about the rest of Latin America?
Colombia is among the fastest growing countries in the Region and Nail Art adoption is on the rise too. According to market research, 9 out of 10 women paint their nails. With H la Cosedora we mainly focus on a very specific segment of the market, the DIY, all nail artists painting their nails at home. This segment is extremely dynamic thanks to the use of social media giving them access to free education through video tutorials, and virtually any products through digital channels. We have noticed the same trends in others Latin American countries, and especially in Mexico.
You are now launching in Mexico. What does that mean for your business?
This is a big challenge! We have received a lot of offers from distributors to represent the brand in Mexico. But we always wanted to do it ourselves. The goal is to offer the exact same customer experience to the Mexican consumer as we are offering to the Colombian consumer. And it is extremely challenging from a logistical point of view. This big step means a lot for the company, from an financial stand point, but also ideologically. We are making this move as part of our goal to grow the Latin American Nail Art community. I think that shows a lot about H la Cosedora's philosophy and our commitment to the idea.
How different will your approach be to marketing and promoting your business in Mexico?
At first, not very different from Colombia. It will be a two step process. we will replicate the exact same model as Colombia and then adapt to the local requirements, like we always do. For the first step, we will exclusively sell through Social Media, especially WhatsApp, and have a local warehouse to pick, pack and ship orders. All communication, sales and customer service will be administrated from Bogota, Colombia. Then once a certain level of sales and market penetration is reached, we will activate phase 2 whereby we will start offering free workshop in main cities in order to teach people how to use the products. Eventually we will start participating in trade shows and get more allies to expand operations. Like we are doing here in Colombia.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
I personally think that H la Cosedora will hold a strong position in the market segments we are focusing on. With more products in the portfolio answering new needs that we have already identified and are currently working on. I believe we will be having operations based on the same model as Mexico, in others Latin American countries, like Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil. With access to the internet, you can virtually be everywhere at anytime, quickly growing your business across different regions. I believe that as long as you stay unique and authentic to your community, things will be alright.