The name of the business is Candida Belleza Piel, and it supplies an interesting line of both skin care products and a natural hair loss treatment.
We caught up with company owner and founder Leonardo Torres Jiménez to find out more about his product range and what it takes for a Cuban beauty business to exhibit overseas and make moves to expand a business internationally.
Can you tell us a little about the business and how it got started?
The name of the brand is to pay tribute to my aunt who raised me and trained me since I was two years old.
When I first started my brand, the private sector in Cuba was very new, so I had to go through the complex process of registering my brand with the Cuban authorities. I had to sit down and learn the procedure, which was difficult to get through but we made it.
The formulation of Candida is mostly natural ingredients that, when properly used, can help the body to function better and help damaged cells to recover quickly and help them to repair.
How do you back up the claims you make about your brand and product range?
Candida is endorsed by the most prestigious research centers and laboratories in Cuba and we also invested in a clinical study to monitor its effectiveness during every year since its creation in 2008, which has allows us to make updates concerning the efficacy of the products. Not only for alopecia but also on spots and other skin imperfections, which has helped an significant percentage of people suffering from psoriasis, vitiligo, erythema and other skin problems.
What are the challenges for a Cuban beauty company to exhibit internationally?
We have already had several invitations to exhibit internationally, but the private sector in Cuba is still new and so the big challenge remains in the business documentation requirements. For Cubans this is different compared to citizens of other countries. For example, in Cuba it is not permissible to simply leave the country and go to do business abroad. Also Cuban bank cards cannot be used to make hotel reservations overseas or to pay for exhibition overheads like renting a booth. So we have to perform a little magic to transfer the money over and make the payments in advance.
But ultimately it was very gratifying and positive to represent Cuba and the private sector at Belleza Y Salud with my brand.
What were the specific challenges to exhibit at Belleza Y Salud?
We had to make a great effort and maintain very comprehensive and detailed communications with the organizers of the event to be able to furnish the organizers with all the information that are specifically required of Cubans. In fact we were working on all of this until the last day before we arrived here.
What is your ultimate goal with your brand?
I would like people all over the world to have the opportunity to treat different hair and skin conditions using Candida products. This is the goal I have set myself for the next years.