Business of Beauty



In July 2012, I remember going to my first Beauty show as an owner and heading into the distributor forum. As I sat in a room of distributors from all around the world I could feel an air of tension and heard a sense of urgency in the voices of the attendees that spoke.

The Beauty industry was going through its largest overhaul in over 20 years. Changes were happening rapidly. The rulebook was being thrown out and being rewritten. Traditionally, there was a line drawn between professional beauty products and consumer (retail) beauty products.  Professional products were only sold in salons and beauty supplies with limited access to who was allowed to have them.

There are a few things that happened pre 2012. When the worldwide recession that began in 2008 it created a conservative consumer culture which meant customers began to visit the salon less to save money.

This meant that in order to still look good clients had to do it themselves. DIY became popular in all areas of life but beauty blogging and vlogging was HUGE and still is. The “University” of Youtube as we call it, gave everyone access to information and the suppliers were no longer in control of the conversation.

Many of the large suppliers were losing money because of the lack of access to their product due to the firm line they had drawn. How do you both speak on a professional platform and allow access to products everywhere?

In secret.

They were selling their products to companies that would distribute the product to companies outside of the professional realm such as online sellers and pharmacies while continuing to hardline their professional distributors around the world to only sell to the professionals and salons.

Well by 2012, they had come clean… they called it Protail (Professional retail) I don’t think the word ever stuck.

At the time I did not realize what an impact that these changes had on business, but I know that I had to make some changes or the legacy of a store that I had just acquired would be no more.

Over time, change has been difficult. The fight to find the middle ground is ongoing- this process is frustrating because it has been slower than I would like it to be however, its getting done. The point is change happens and you have to be prepared to adjust quickly. 

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