Beauty consumers today, looking for clean, effective products, are turning to brands like Cosmetics 27—indie brands that take full advantage of innovative science, new natural actives, and the opportunity to deliver something truly original to the marketplace.
In this case, a brand that seems to have begun just a decade ago is in fact a skin care line with significant industry and life experience behind it. Here beauty entrepreneur Michèle Evrard shares a profile of herself and the Cosmetics 27 brand.
Name: Michèle Evrard, Founder and CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Cosmetics 27
Headquarters: Paris, France
Cash flow: Cosmetics 27 is privately funded. I am the major shareholder of the company and have one private partner/investor.
The first year, 2009: 6 months of activity with a only one product selling in one store, Colette in Paris and online, on a single product site, I sold 45 K€! That got me to decide to develop a business. It was my “living test”. Had it not sold, I would have kept it for myself and my friends!
Last year, 2018: 9 years after on some rocky roads; we‘ve been growing only organically to reach retail sales of 1.5 million, with our existing clients. That was the proof I was waiting for; the brand had taken roots!
Indie how? Precisely independent! Which means with the freedom of making decisions fast, taking risks and assuming [responsibility], trying and testing, requiring 150% investment and 200% motivation and energy, and a true sense of entrepreneurship.
Team work: 2 full-time employees and 4 part-time
Distribution: Cosmetics 27 is sold primarily in selective cosmetic distribution: independent perfumeries, specialty stores, beauty concept stores, some clinics and aesthetic medi-spas, department stores such as Le Bon Marché and Harrod’s Holistic clinic; Mecca Australia is the only chain we work with. And Cosmetics 27 is also sold through key skin care e-tailers along with on our own site.
Education is an essential part of the brand philosophy and of our marketing and commercial development strategy. We select partners who have trained and dedicated staff; and we place customer service high in our criteria.
Years in beauty: I started my career in the industry in 1987, in the US.
Years at Cosmetics 27: 10 years in 2019!
Entrepreneurial experience: I worked for about 15 years in large leading corporations, cosmetics and otherwise. I aimed my career to build experience, expertise, and become independent. I chose my last positions precisely because they were, for one as COO and GM and the other as it was with a much smaller entrepreneurial company.
I knew it would be tough to start my own company; but you never imagine what the reality can be or the adrenaline it can create! I ‘ve always thought you had to be courageous, daring, and a risk taker to be an entrepreneur, and also a bit unconscious or at least have a truly optimistic, positive mind!
To me, it was evident since I started working that I would develop a personal project, and create and build something. Initially you need an idea, then money, then a network and selling capacity, then resilience—a load of it—then courage, then family or good friends around, and then you realize you need good health!
Entrepreneurship is a business challenge as much as it is an intellectual, mental, and physical challenge. But it is the most extraordinary human and business experience. The best part of it: Freedom! not in a sense of just doing what you want, but freedom to believe in what you do and to make decisions, take risks and assume responsibility for them. That is the only way to learn, grow, and achieve.
The business: I created and launched a single product, Baume 27, in 2009 and it led to the development of the brand, Cosmetics 27. My main drive and my company’s reason for being is to be a part of what skin care will be tomorrow. I created an integrative skin care brand, an approach to beauty that focuses on skin health, encompassing the beauty cosmetics criteria and integrating today and tomorrow’s consumers’ expectations and eco-conscience.
The wow-factor: Cosmetics 27 are next-generation cosmeceuticals: clean, natural, [promoting] skin longevity and health; [our products are] efficient for good, beautiful skin from age 27 on!
The consumer: Our target consumer has been women 35 + looking for natural regenerative skin care. We initially, naturally, attracted a core audience of 45-55 year old women; but with the brand growth internationally, our customers are now younger as the Millennials are very health and beauty conscious yet also very concerned with brands ethics. That is the case in Australia and Hong Kong as well. The younger audience has also come from our growth and presence on social networks
We want to reach customers who adhere to our philosophy and products, they look for authenticity, brand values and ethics, consistency, and results—the last being the key to building our very loyal clientele.
Milestone moment: Meeting someone at a diner who had been a customer for a few years!
And, the endorsement of Lady Gaga’s facialist Joomee Song is another one. She is an amazing person and professional who I appreciate and highly respect.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Never give up your dream. Stay consistent and follow your intuition. Listen, watch, and talk...but not too much!
Entrepreneurship is like driving: plan your trip before you go and make sure you have enough fuel to get there, keep the next station in sight, and don’t speed too much (it burns too much gas!).
Just one: Asked about her go-to product Evrard says it’s Baume 27, adding: I made it just for that reason.
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.