Uplink relaunches to better connect indie brands with beauty packaging and ingredient suppliers

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (ilona titova)
© Getty Images \ (ilona titova)

Related tags: IBMG, Uplink Live, Supply chain, sourcing, Ingredients, Packaging, Indie beauty

The online and events platform launched an all new website this month, complete with a concierge service for brand leaders. Cosmetics Design checked in with Nader Naeymi-Rad of IBMG to learn more.

As part of the relaunch, uplinkconnects.com now includes vendor categories for Formulation, Ingredients, and Packaging and Labeling​ along with the site’s 6 original categories: Branding and Creative, Business Services and Consulting, Marketing and Communication, Product Manufacturing, Distribution and Logistics, and E-commerce and Technology.

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Uplink can help indie beauty brand leaders find help fast

“Beauty entrepreneurs have three key needs,”​ says Nader Naeymi-Rad, Co-Founder of IBMG (the company behind Uplink); and those are, “finding customers (whether wholesale or DTC), finding vendors, and finding capital. The order and priority may change, but those are approximately 90% of what every beauty entrepreneur wakes up in the morning worrying about,” ​he tells Cosmetics Design.

Uplink was created by IBMG to help cosmetics and personal care entrepreneurs with the ‘finding vendors’ piece. “In 2018 we launched Uplink to help beauty entrepreneurs find vendors—whether manufacturers, suppliers or service providers​via a self-service model using directories,” ​Naeymi-Rad tells Cosmetics Design.

“In 2019 we added Uplink Live as an additional way to meet vendors face-to-face via a trade show format. In 2020 COVID hit, and we were forced to reexamine our entire business, including Uplink.”

“After interviewing dozens of existing and potential customers over several weeks, we learned very quickly that what busy beauty entrepreneurs really wanted was a simple concierge service: they wanted to tell someone what they needed and then to be quickly furnished with a shortlist of potential suppliers to then contact. Simple. Easy. Fast. So that’s what we’ve now built,” ​says Naeymi-Rad.

Not all vendors and suppliers are equipped to work with indie beauty brands

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The new site, which went live just last week, boasts a directory of some 600+ vendors ready and able to work with startups and emerging brands, Naeymi-Rad tells Cosmetics Design.

And over 10% of those suppliers and service providers have been vetted and are designated as Verified Vendors. The vetting process is an expense for vendors but as, Naeymi-Rad explains, it’s “our way to ensure a company listed does what they say they do and that all their contact information is accurate.” ​And Verified Vendors are served up first to brand leaders using the site’s new concierge feature.

Sourcing ingredients and packaging online until beauty events reopen

The Uplink franchise of the past included live educational programming and exhibitions. And will again, if that’s actually possible.

“Trade shows work, but in the wake of the global health crisis, all of our live events have been canceled,” ​says Naeymi-Rad, adding that, “Once health and safety officials give the green light for large-scale events again, we are going to try and bring Uplink Live back, hopefully bigger and better than before.”

In the meantime, he tells Cosmetics Design that the new uplinkconnects.com site is meant to be a go-to site for both suppliers looking to reach indie brands and for beauty entrepreneurs looking to find business solutions, ingredients, and packaging.

“Smaller brands are the ones growing the market today,” ​says Naeymi-Rad, “Therefore, it is in everyone’s interest to help these brands reach their potential faster. If you are a manufacturer, supplier or service provider who wants to do that, then Uplink is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to put your organization in front of this opportunity.” 

“And,” ​he adds, “if you are a brand founder or beauty professional who is sick of googling vendors and spending countless hours going down rabbit holes, then give us a call let us get you back on track fast.”

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