Launch date: July 2018
Category: Certified vegan and cruelty-free skincare made with active and natural ingredients.
Before SEEH Skincare founder Sophie Hansson launched her business, she was actually a chemical engineer. She’s now using those skills to co-develop a product range that has been scientifically formulated with natural ingredients to treat and protect an array of skin types and conditions.
“Rest assured you will find no lanolin, beeswax, emu oil, honey or any other animal product in our formulations,” she said. “We use only pure and powerful plant-based oils and extracts to promote healthy, glowing skin.”
According to Hansson, the business experienced triple sales growth as consumers were in lockdown and turning to beauty as a form of self-care.
“As Covid-19 took hold and the precautionary measures of lockdown were implemented, it had a really interesting impact on our business,” Hansson shared. “This was a common experience across a number of different e-commerce industries.”
However that surge in online orders came with challenges and like many businesses, SEEH struggled to keep up with shipping and distribution. Longer-term, inventory management is a continuing challenge for the retailer.
“In South Australia, we have been somewhat back to normal for quite some time, but other parts of Australia and certainly the world are still impacted. This has impacts on our entire supply chain, from overseas ingredient supply, packaging and manufacturing delays etc. It has forced us to put plans in place to keep the shelves stocked,” Hansson said.
“Focus on customer service and the customer experience is crucial. It’s been a really rough year for everyone, but we’re all in it together…Engagement and transparency is key, because at the end of the day you need your customers to be happy in order to keep coming back and telling all their friends and family.”
Five Dot Botanics
Founders: Zaffrin and Brian O’Sullivan
Launch date: 2019
Category: A gender neutral vegan skincare company
In recent years, gender neutral brands have been on the rise, as retailers have become aware that many products don’t need to be specifically targeted to males or females.
“Gender inclusivity is only part of a larger conversation that is happening in the beauty industry, which is about better serving consumers who for a long time have been underrepresented,” said founder Zaffrin O’Sullivan.
In an effort to keep things simple for consumers, Five Dot Botanics products feature just five plant-based ingredients. Zaffrin describes the concept as “slow beauty”.
“FiveDot Botanics is a minimalist initiative, more so than a vegan skincare brand, or an indie skincare company. We give your skin exactly what it needs, and only what it needs,” she said.
“Turns out when those five ingredients are high-quality, plant-based ingredients, the answer is quite a lot. Your skin gets to feel less overwhelmed, less confused. It gets to look and feel stronger, healthier and happier.”
Zaffrin and her husband spent two years developing the products for their startup with a cosmetic scientist and had their first manufacturing run in 2019, when they sold directly to consumers.
In January last year, Five Dot raised funding from startup seed investment fund Worth Capital, which will be put into manufacturing and marketing the business.
Founders: Huang Jinfeng
Launch date: 2017
Category: Beauty brand that develops quality cosmetic products for Asian skin types
Fast-growing beauty retailer Perfect Diary debuted in the Milan Fashion Week just one year after launch and it is now one of China’s most popular beauty brands among millennials and Gen Z consumers.
The Guangzhou-based makeup brand, founded by Huang Jinfeng’s Yatsen E-commerce firm as an online, China-focused operation, develops cosmetic products suitable for all Asian skin types. According to the brand, it features minimalist, sleek products that are affordable without compromising on quality.
Through the company’s innovative online marketing strategies, which utilises social media platforms like Weibo and TikTok, the brand managed to quickly stand out, especially with its target age group of Asian girls from 18 to 28. During lockdown, while its stores were closed, staff streamed live videos on WeChat, where they showcased beauty techniques using Perfect Diary products and answered customer questions
Since its launch, the four-year-old cosmetics brand went from being an online operation to having more than 150 stores in China. It now has an online store specifically for Southeast Asia as well as an official store on Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asia arm.