Cosmetics Design spoke to husband and wife founders Lucia and Diego Naselo to find out more about the story behind the brands, its development and the type of consumer they are targeting their product line at.
In particular the brand has a very committed and highly original approach to being a naturals brand that is highly clued into being both sustainable and ethical, which you will find out more about as their story unfolds in this article.
What is the basic philosophy of the brand?
We are an Argentine business engaged with ethical Men care, always staying true to Sustainability. We're Lucia and Diego, we're married, in our thirties/forties, have one little kiddo and share our passion with a wonderful international Team. We are Industrial Designers, Branding Experts and Sustainability Activists gathered together in order to work every day on the dissemination of a new form of Environment-friendly Production.
Dandy designs and manufactures beautiful natural products and accessories for grooming and personal care. We make it for the men who want to care of themselves, look more handsome and healthy while we promote both their´s and their families/friends´ cultural transformation in raising awareness about the ways to produce and consume, in order to accelerate collective social change against the indiscriminate use of resources.
What are the real strengths of the brand?
During our 4 years of life we´ve discovered our strength is to be bold, constantly innovative and seriously out-of-the-box. Every time we´ve had a no as an answer we´ve changed the way we were doing things.
Our first investment round is a good example of this. If we couldn't convince our families that what we do is innovative and really big, who would give us a large amount of money to achieve our next step? We had a beautiful coaching that helped us to trust our gut instinct and go for the investment round. The 2nd investor we met gave us his OK the following morning. We were thrilled!! Now, being bold for us means commitment, feasibility of the plan and fulfillment of the task. There´s no use being brave if you are not applied to your purpose and learn every day to get ready for the next challenge. After seeing our growth, we know our next challenge is right around the corner.
What is unique about your formulations and why?
We are not adapting ourselves to the shifting of the market towards Sustainability: we are creating the Shift. Dandy develops products with a blank page in terms of what should be used and creates the formula from scratch. That makes us very innovative in the use of materials but specially in functionality. I don´t know if you´ve had this experience, but when you are not a regular cosmetic user and you try one out, sometimes you get frustrated since you may not get a promise fulfilled. It is not your fault, it is not that you didn´t apply it correctly, or didn't pay enough, or any other excuse that your own mind creates: it´s simply because the product is not good enough. The formulae might have too much water, too much alcohol, too little actives. The lowering of costs diminishes a products efficacy and the brand loses its direction.
What is the stand out for your packaging and why?
Packaging was always a passion for us, even prior Dandy. Our commitment to Sustainability is not only found in the ingredients we use, we go for the whole product cycle. We always got mad with big companies that didn´t invest in solving that part of the product cycle. Separating garbage or rationalizing usage of water makes no real difference in the world we are ruining. As we already know the big actors need to take responsibility and packaging seems like a ridiculously easy place to start. A friend of ours said: "Try charging companies for disposing of their packaging, you´ll see how they will open I+D departments and get thousands of biodegradable options in months". We think that could be a nice place to start, but we also believe that the response would be "it cannot be done because in large scale.. bla bla". We are here to show the opposite reality: by using only cardboard, glass, tin and less than 0,5% plastic. Every time we produce a bigger batch we get the chance to decide to make packs differently and more ecofriendly, not cheaper and less biodegradable. We want to show the world we can have biodegradable packaging and we would also love to sell big companies our perfectly-functional amazingly-designed patents for biodegradable packaging. That´s what we call Real Environmental Impact.
What has been the most challenging aspect of getting this brand to the market and building recognition?
Dandy´s biggest challenges were the ones that helped us the most! We found ourselves with two main problems: Argentina being a country that its far away from the rest of the world, making it very difficult to import glass & printing materials and also not being a very conscious market when it comes to sustainability. Nevertheless, having both worked globally in the advertising industry, we follow trends very closely. Being born and having our business in this country helped us improvise constantly and never take no as an answer. Also the Government has been encouraging entrepreneurs and supporting small companies across all industries, allowing Dandy to start off slowly, selling online and creating a space in the almost non-existent men care market category. We have also caught the eye of the national media, providing publicity, while continuing to create new products every year and certifying natural formulas among. Demonstrating Argentinian talent to the world makes us really proud!
What will the future hold for the brand? What are your ambitions?
Trying to make the world a more conscious one and making decisions that our customers could be proud of! And that´s not a way of saying ´world peace´ like Beauty Queens. We are aware that we had the privilege of being able to learn English, and develop skills in branding, industrial design and business. We feel that all this, together with our stubbornness and our enthusiasm for the planet’s wellbeing could contribute to changing the world. We are set for our most exciting year yet with the launch of Dandy Men Body Care, having our own LEED platinum-certified plant and expanding to the US/UE markets.