The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster is a fan of everything floral. We took some time off to visit the Royal Ontario Museum's Floral Exhibit.
The Rom's Description of the Exhibit
Explore an era of European botanical discovery and its cultural connections in Florals: Desire and Design. With world-wide exploration and the economic expansion of the 1700s came a new-found fascination with plants and flowers, resulting in their exchange around the globe through trade. Plants that were previously unknown to Europe were prized as precious gifts. Whether enjoyed in botanical gardens, on foreign luxury goods with floral decoration, or as illustrations in botanical books and magazines, there was a growing desire for all things floral.
Highlighting botany’s connection to the culture of the era, Florals invites visitors to discover an explosive period of botanical fascination and interest during which art, culture and nature were inextricably linked. This installation showcases influential botanical publications and exquisite illustrations from the 1700s alongside stunning Indian cotton fashion pieces and wall hangings covered with colourful hand-painted flowers. These select objects from the ROM’s collection showcase how Indian artisans customized cotton textiles to indulge the European fascination.
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster had a wonderful time at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. During this meeting the Cluster team got to talk about encapsulated actives and experience a first in person meeting for the year. It was a great moment to celebrate the return to more normal conditions.
Join Us For Our Our Semi Monthly In Person Meetups in the Greater Toronto Area.
A Word from Cosmetic Cluster Founder
I have participated in Open Innovation since 2016. The first time I was involved with Open Innovation was in 2016. I was searching for events online to get involved with Cosmetic Innovation. I was fresh in the industry and eager to get involved. My first meeting was with Chanel Beauty. It was a great experience to meet the top cosmetic players and to learn from them. Over the years, I had the pleasure of meeting with companies like L’Oreal, LVMH, Yves Rocher, Puig and COTY. I found very little resources or advice to help me prepare for my first meeting Open Innovation Meeting. I wanted to share some tips on how to best prepare yourself for open innovation meeting. Even if the product is not the right fit for the company or companies – this experience will leave you with a much better understanding of the industry and make you a better professional.
My Advice for Open Innovation is the following;
Share Your Most Commerical Innovation
All applicants have the option of submitting multiple projects to Open Innovation. The more commercial the idea or concept, the easier it will be for an established company to implement it. Established companies are always looking for fresh ideas and many companies like LVMH have an entire division dedicated to Outsourcing. Focus on your most promising aspects. Also applying with a project that you would like more support on is a great way to get assistance in finishing it. Do you have a prototype that you cant finalize? Open Innovation might connect you with someone who will open your eyes to the pros and cons of your design. Comments that point of the flaws in a project can be more powerful than positive ones. They can show you the weakness in your project at an early stage.
Research the Companies Before Your Meet
Researching the companies that are participating in Open Innovation. Research their history and company values. This will help you tailor your pitch to the company that you will be presenting your concept to.
Have a concrete business plan
Present as much detail about all aspects of operations as possible. This will help you when you present your project to the company. Established companies want an idea to go to market as quickly as possible as well as Consider the document below to help organize your project. Prepare to give samples of your concept or products. Most companies will ask for the official samples to be sent to their sourcing departments.
Be Open-Minded and Enjoy the Experience
When speaking to established companies that have experience and rich history in the cosmetic industry, it is beneficial to soak up as much as the knowledge as possible. Be open-minded to suggestions for improvement. Sometimes individuals get emotionally attached to their project. Cosmetics should not be reflections of ourselves. They should be reflections on current market opportunities and potential revenue.
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster would like to welcome the Lisa Figuccio of Solevar Marketing.
Lisa Figuccio, originally from France, has worked for the largest cosmetic corporations in Canada (including l'Oréal Paris, Benefit Cosmetics, Bourjois Paris), she also helped several start-ups to emerge in new markets (Canada, USA, Europe) and led the expansion of new brands in North America (product development, marketing strategies, distribution). Lisa realized that there was a real need for fresh ideas and a personalized approach to coach cosmetic brands & founders. She created Solevar Marketing to leverage her expertise & passion for the industry and to support brands in their acceleration worldwide. Solevar Marketing is a consulting & branding agency focusing on helping cosmetic brand to grow internationally.We specialize in brand audit & positioning, market assessment, brand acceleration & go-to market strategies.
Lisa will be a great addition to the Cluster and provide service packages to help brands with marketing and branding. Please check out our service page for more information.
New Product, New Opportunity - 10% of New Products Succeed Which Means 90% Fail. This article addresses the key points to business success that small brands need to consider for longterm longevity.
Writing is the primary way business gets done in today's collaborative world. When it's done well, business gets done well. Communication can take many forms, such as texting, email, signage, advertising, blogging, publicity and others. Clearly written proposals lead to more revenue; clearly written notes lead to deeper insights; smart marketing materials gains new audience and boosts company reputation.
The purpose of a business plan is to help develop a strategy for starting your business. It also provides concrete steps that need to be taken, resources required for achieving your business goals and a timeline of anticipated results. For more information, our Business Writing courses cover all the information needed to make your plan come alive on paper and in reality.
The beauty and cosmetics industry includes a wide range of products that is constantly expanding, due to wellness and self-care trends. From makeup to bath products to skincare, some beauty brands are focusing on all-natural ingredients and sustainability. This makes it easier to develop a product on their own using everyday ingredients. But so much more is needed than a few oils from the kitchen. Professional help is the difference between a successful product and a flop.
Important things to consider is who will make your products? Are you going to work with a lab, a formulator or do private label with a contract manufacturer? There is no right answer, your needs will be different from all others. For more information, our Product Development and Contract Manufacturer courses cover all the information needed to make the right choice.
3. Supply Chain Management
For small beauty brands, supply chain management is an essential part of the business. Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services, between businesses and locations, and includes the movement and storage of raw materials or product inventory. This also includes end-to-end order fulfillment from point of origin to point of sale. You must have several suppliers in place in case an issue arises and you need a backup supplier immediately without interrupting the supply chain. Who are your raw material suppliers and do you have backups incase they don't have enough material for the next batch of products? Fulfillment centres need to be chosen with a focus on working with cosmetics. Logistics and shipping need to be carefully managed. For more information, our Business Management courses cover all the information needed to manage your business and not lose your mind.
4. Marketing and Retail Strategies
There are numerous challenges for a beauty brand to sell directly to consumers without involving a retailer. The biggest challenge is getting consumers to be aware of and interested in the brand without spending all your investors’ money. The way these new brands do it is by identifying a market that has been overlooked or taken for granted by larger, more established companies, targeting their promotion at consumers whose needs haven’t been addressed. Product Marketing ensures you’re developing a product people will pay for and want to use. However you decide to go about marketing your idea, it is important to get feedback from a variety of people and an unbiased audience. This can provide details on whether consumers would buy your product. Be wary of over-valuing feedback from people who “definitely would buy” if you were to create your specialized product—until money changes hands, you can’t count someone as a customer. For more information, our Marketing services cover all the information needed to make your products stand out from the crowd and find the right audience.
Cosmetic Regulations law provides a detailed set of requirements for the production, distribution and sale of cosmetic products in Canada. These include the obligations for labelling, storage of items under special conditions and for different products, and specifications for certain ingredients. In the USA, the FDA provides the regulations and oversight on the cosmetic market. Their program is a voluntary submission database, that is necessary for sale in many retailers and for importing into the USA. This is an essential step in your business. Know where your products are sold and what is required to be labeled on the packaging. Regulatory errors can be very costly down the line. For more information, our Regulatory courses cover all the information needed to file your own notifications and stay ahead of regulatory requirements.
Exhibitions are making a long-awaited comeback. After a year of looking at screens instead of into people's faces, it seems the shows are back. As convenient as virtual trade shows and conferences have been (and they have their benefits), they will never replaced the human need for interaction. This interaction is achieved in person. The spontaneity of walking down a trade show floor and bumping into a new person. A conversation strikes up, and you find yourself not just with a new client but a friend. These serendipitous meetings were the lifeblood of most in-person events.
Covid-19 has pushed many old-fashioned and electronic reluctant companies to join the technology revolution. Just in the past year alone, we have more options than just Zoom. Take the platform Remo; it allows you to network as well as present in conference style. It is the networking aspect that makes it attractive. People can hop from table to table with 8-10 individuals virtually seated. This allows you to have a more intimate conversation with people. We become one step closer to a better virtual reality experience.
Events that are coming back will still have the online aspect to accommodate those that can not travel. This defiantly expands the reach of past events. Hybrid events can be done in many new ways. For example, a company in Montreal booked a high-profile sommelier from Argentina to conduct an online wine tasting. The company delivered wine bottles to each of the online participants ahead of the scheduled online experience. This was much cheaper than paying for a complete in-person event. Yet the delivery of the wine made the event feel more real. Not everything can be replicated online. Hybrid events help bridge the gap on things that are meant to be touched, smelled or eaten.
Due to the influx of technology, digital elements will now be a part of every show. Touchscreens might not be incorporated as often as they promote constant touching. New sanitary protocols make things safer than ever before. Controlled traffic at an event will ensure that people are travelling in one direction. All these steps help events come back faster and safer.
Matthew Funge of Your Stand Builder, has a great deal of experience with trade shows. A young and innovative event technology company based in London’s exciting Tech City, Your Stand Builder are experts in exhibition and trade show preparations worldwide. Whichever continent you are exhibiting in, at whichever show, YSB are always on hand to help make the planning process as easy as it can be. The innovative free online matching and comparison platform instantly connects global exhibitors and stand builders, to allow them to find each other easily and save time when planning their upcoming events.
Planning your company's participation at an exhibition or trade show is a time consuming and complicated task, often taking weeks or even months. YSB don't believe it has to be this way. As a company they're completely changing and revolutionizing the way exhibitors organize their stand ahead of attending important events all around the world, so that exhibiting companies can focus more of their time on what's important – their customers.
Recently recognised as the Innovation of the Year winner at the 2019 EN Supplier Awards, YSB have already helped exhibitors with stand projects worth over USD $4 million across 30 countries – and it's only the beginning! The main aim is to provide a user friendly platform which gives genuine benefits to all members, and simplifies the whole planning process from start to finish.
Matthew pointed out that in the UK regional shows are returning as vaccine rates are high. As a founder the company, Matthew gave an insightful overview of booth building. In the past booth building at the show was a very wasteful and unsustainable practice. Booths were built and destroyed leading to mass amounts of waste. Samples and products are shipped all over the world. This was pressure on logistics to ship stands all over. Post- Covid, Matthew sees a more sustainable approach to booth building through his platform. This approach is focused on employing local booth building companies and not shipping things all over the world. This can hopefully lead to more local companies handling tradeshows and increasing local revenue.
The crowds will not be the same for the next two years at least. Companies have obstacles when sending people to international trade shows. Fewer crowds at trade shows can be a benefit. This will lead to a more acute audience that is more focused on buying. In the days of the past, international conferences attracted people looking for a day off work. Now the individuals attending the show will be serious enough to buy with even with the possibility of exposure to a virus. Now, that's a committed customer!
Take Away For 2021-2022 Exhibitions:
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster would like to welcome new team member who will be joining the cluster as volunteer to help organize activities and promote the Cluster programs/events. Welcome Lisa!
Lisa Fryer, Quadra Ingredients
Lisa received her BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology from University of Toronto. She has been actively involved in the Canadian Personal Care industry for 5 years and in Chemical Distribution for more than 15 years.
Lisa’s desire to understand human nature and her passion for Personal Care and Cosmetics led her to take a holistic approach to her roles in Sales and Marketing. Her ability to truly understand the needs of others allows her to provide excellent solutions to her clients and eventually the end consumer.
Quadra Ingredients is the largest, privately owned distributor in Canada and we’re so proud of all Canadian Brands.
Quadra is proudly Canadian and work only with ingredients of the highest quality. Our sustainability program includes offering Green or Better Choice products which include Ecocert and Cosmos certifications. Our product line is rich in natural, organic and Biobased ingredients that exceed all of the standards of Personal Care Industry. We understand that your clientele demands cost effective natural and/or synthetic remedies and personal care products. We also understand that local supply is crucial for the success of Canadian business. In addition to our certified warehouses in Burlington, and Vaudreuil, PQ, Quadra has also just opened a new Ingredients facility in Delta, BC and will be stocking many Ingredients for our Western Customers.
Cosmetics Cluster UK and Canadian Cosmetic Cluster, founding members of the Global Cosmetics Cluster (GCC) came together two weeks ago for a live webinar to promote partnership opportunities between Canada and the United Kingdom from all corners of the cosmetics industry.
The webinar was a jam packed session. Jane Evison opened the session sharing news about the GCC and how collaboration and offering opportunities to network on a global scale is at the heart of her role as Director of CCUK, Board Member of GCC and chair of Networks Dynamics Committee.
Margarita Sidorova, Founder of the Canadian Cosmetic Cluster and fellow founding board member of the GCC, shared exciting news and launch of The ChemBox - is a subscription box service for formulators, labs, manufacturers and indie beauty brands. The ChemBox contains ingredients and packaging samples.
CCUK Director Alastair Gardner, represented the Department for International Trade (DIT) sharing how the DIT can support businesses in the UK and abroad.
Margarita Sidorova of Canadian Cosmetic Cluster shared an extensive presentation on Canadian Beauty industry, routes to market along with regulatory process in Canada. It was interesting to discover the diversity of Canadian raw materials and the manufacturing and logistics and retail in Canada.
Harry McIlwraith from Full Circle Ingredients shared their story of upcycling 'From gin to skin' working with an award winning brewery to develop zero waste cosmetic ingredients from gin distillery leftovers. Full Circle’s vision is that one day, every beauty and personal care product will be made from upcycled materials - from ingredients to packaging!
The session concluded with a case study between Full Circle Ingredients and the Canadian Cosmetic Cluster, sharing value in partnering, networking and collaborating.
Meet Amanda Holt of Peresphone's Purse
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster is passionate about shining a spotlight on startups in the Cosmetic Industry. Startups are the future of the Cosmetic Industry. We would like to put a spotlight this month on Amanda Holt of Peresphone's Purse. We talked to Amanda about her start-up journey.
1. What Attracted You to the Cosmetic Industry?
I actually really got into gardening in the fall of last year during the quarantine. I began looking into herbs and all their healing properties. I'm a big makeup and skincare person so I thought about how I could merge the two. I began making products for my daughter. I was using herbs and flowers I grow in my garden. My business Persephone's Purse was born.
2. What Do You Enjoy About the Work You Do?
I enjoy the creativity. I enjoy the research of the different ingredients and how they work together. I enjoy creating a product with a specific purpose and then fulfilling that purpose. I love passing on the knowledge that I have learned to others.
3. What Is Your Opinion of Clean Beauty and What Does It Mean To You?
I'm into clean beauty. I believe ingredients should be thoughtfully chosen. I don't believe in adding ingredients just for the sake of adding them in the formulation. I believe in using the least amount of ingredients that are ethically sourced. We can create products that are good for the skin and also good for the environment and our surrounding communities.
4. As A Small Business What Are the Biggest Challenges that You Face?
Right now the biggest challenge would be having more time and access to funding. I do work as a teacher nine months out of the year. So while I have this month out for summer break, I am formulating as much as possible. Additionally, funding is always an issue with any new start-up. It's a challenge but it just pushes me to be more creative when selecting my ingredients and finding options like ChemBox.
5. What Types of Cosmetic Formulas Do You Most Enjoy Making?
I don't know if I have a favourite just yet. I enjoy making them all. It's like when I plant a seedling in the garden. I get so excited when I see it come to fruition. It's the same when I take my little concept and make an actual product that works.
6. Where Do You See Your Business Growing In The Next 5 Years?
Yikes, I have not thought that far ahead. I'm just excited to make it through today. Although, I can see myself still continuing to craft quality, handmade goods using innovative ingredients from the ChemBox and growing my business.
Canadian Cosmetic Cluster Team
Uniting Canadian Cosmetics and Bringing it to the World