Finding The Right Mentor For Your Beauty & Wellness Brand
Startups in any industry have their work cut out for them, but the beauty and wellness industry is notorious for dashing the dreams of many young and talented hopefuls before they’ve had a chance to find their feet.
Launching a new product has always been a high-risk strategy in any business sector. Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen has stated that the failure rate for a new product is 80 to 90 per cent.
Nowhere does this ring more true than in the beauty and wellness industry, where eight out of 10 businesses end up folding before they can realise their true potential. The reasons for this are varied, but the evidence usually points to a lack of contacts and insider knowledge, and a failure to put together an effective marketing strategy.
Times Are Tough
Any way you cut it, it’s a tough industry, and such statistics are guaranteed to deter many would-be entrepreneurs who are considering cutting their teeth in the beauty and wellness marketplace. And for those who do take the leap of faith and try to make a name for themselves, they tend to find it’s tough and getting tougher for individuals to break into what is still largely a male-dominated field.
It’s an eye-opener for many that when you draw back the curtain on many beauty and wellness brands, you’ll find a middle-aged businessman in the driving seat.
It’s one of life’s little ironies — in an industry which relies almost exclusively on a female client base, women CEOs are thin on the ground. The statistics don’t lie. In WWD’s 2018 list of the 100 biggest beauty companies, only 10 had a female CEO. Additionally, only 4.8 per cent of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies had ladies at the helm.
If that wasn’t daunting enough, seven companies control almost every single beauty brand you buy. Household brands such as L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are multinationals that have spent decades acquiring smaller companies. For years, they have enjoyed an almost complete hegemony in the industry. For example, L’Oreal owns a total of 39 beauty brands such as The Body Shop, Maybelline, and Garnier, and in 2016, their annual turnover was $27.6 billion. It’s safe to say the playing field is far from level.
The Winds of Change
Yet, in recent times, we have seen the welcome winds of change blow throughout the industry. The rise of the indie brand has challenged the status quo and made it a lot easier for newcomers to get their foot in the door. As a rule, large corporations are reluctant to take risks and do not have their finger as firmly on the pulse as independent brands, who are more in tune with the latest trends and have greater social purpose and responsibility.
Indie brands have also benefitted from the digital revolution, which has completely transformed shopping habits. The accessibility of online shopping has enabled more and more people to experience the delight and convenience of browsing and buying off the beaten path.
Boutiques and brands across the globe are now accessible at the click of a button, and a dynamic global market is within reach of everyone. The recent boom in online sales reflects that remote shopping is a trend that is here to stay, and its popularity affords new brands an excellent opportunity to get their foot on the ladder.
However, the sheer cost involved in getting a product to market remains a huge financial hurdle for newcomers to overcome. Here’s a sobering fact: the average cost to create and launch just one brand effectively and engagingly will cost about $250k.
Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum
There are still some in the industry who think outside of the box and succeed by doing things differently, on their own terms and without compromise, such as the co-founder of Beusail, Tamara Loehr.
Tamara is an entrepreneur who is something of an enigma in the beauty and wellness industry. Over the last five years, she has been globally recognised for generating over $40 million in online sales of beauty and wellness products. Against the odds, Tamara’s range of wellness and beauty brands have achieved great success in becoming profitable, ethical, and sustainable, with giving back being part of the brands core values. As such, Tamara now wants to help mentor others looking to get a foothold in the industry and create the life of their dreams.
“Online beauty and wellness is why I get to live on a beach with my family, work from home, have a head office in L.A., and lead a life which balances purpose with profit,” explained Tamara, who added, “And it’s not because I benefitted from some rags-to-riches fairy tale. I’m a country girl from Queensland, Australia. I had no rich parents, trust fund, seed investors, or capital to back me when I first started out, but what I did have was self-belief and an iron-cast work ethic.”
Tamara counts herself blessed to be mentored by some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this lifetime including Jeff Hoffman, billionaire founder of Priceline.com, uBid.com and 2018 Philanthropist of the Year, as well as and David Stoup, who has founded and re-invented consumer product companies throughout his thirty plus years in the beauty industry including Red Door Spas, La Prairie and Perry Ellis Shoes.
“I was also lucky enough to have the right mentors who helped me navigate the fundamental errors that can all too often lead to early failure.”
Momentum and Mentors
Tamara is keen to emphasise that such fundamental errors are easily avoidable if you have the right mentor by your side to guide and advise you on industry insights, winning strategies, access to the market, and the core foundations needed for launching and scaling a brand. She believes fervently in the power of shared experience.
“A great idea or early stage startup needs a certain skill set to make it a tangible reality through a tried and tested process, and that’s where mentoring comes in,” Tamara shared. “Good mentors provide information and knowledge, they can stimulate your personal and professional growth, act as sounding boards, and I think it was Oprah Winfrey who said, ‘A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.’”
Tamara explained, “We have spent over 10 years perfecting the process of launching and building 8-figure online brands. It's a repeatable process based on a very clear and deliberate formula.
With this in mind, Tamara spent 12 months with her team collating their existing processes and strategies, including the blueprint they follow. Such knowledge is usually kept for the ‘inner circle’. After a decade of being mentored, Tamara felt it was time to ‘paying it forward’.
Beusail started with 50 startup brands and aspiring Wellnesspreneurs. “We are investing our time and our IP into them so we only want people who are serious about starting, refining, or scaling their own business,” Tamara Loehr.
In under 2 years Beusail Academy has successfully transitioned dozens of brands including gaining international sales and winning numerous awards. Beusail invites other Wellnesspreneurs to apply and explore what’s possible with the power of mentorship through their programs.