Celebrating its 90th wedding anniversary this year, Weleda pioneered natural splendor before it was stylish long. Loraine talks to Your Beauty Industry about surviving the first years of natural splendor, the commercialisation of the natural sector and the opportunities and challenges for new and existing brands in the current natural beauty market.
Tell me a little about your career background. I joined up with Weleda in 1979 when the ongoing company shifted lock, stock, and wheelbarrow from East Sussex to Derbyshire. Day Between 1979-1988 and again from 1995 to the present, I was part of the marketing and sales force in Derbyshire. In the early 1990s I was presented with the challenge of setting up the sales and marketing division at Weleda in New Zealand. Among, I also certified in remedial, therapeutic massage and worked as a therapist incorporating aromatherapy, acupressure, reflexology, each bloom homeopathy and remedies.
Weleda is celebrating its 90th anniversary – how has it taken care of its success? Sheer determination and commitment. While we take advantage of trends, we realize who we are and what we should do best and stick to it. We have such an extensive range, there has been some category that has been popular always.
Until about 20 years back, the medicine side of our business was much bigger than the makeup products side. Last but not least our success is down to our very devoted long-standing customers surely! What have been the key changes in the wonder industry over this time around? More natural and organic competition, and nowadays – as pure, organic are so popular – even large mainstream skin care companies offer a range that purports to be natural.
Weleda was focused on natural beauty, long before it was fashionable – how do you survive for such a long time when consumer education was so low? Our first, and still core, retail partners are self-employed health stores. The individuals who own these shops are always at the forefront of health and environmental issues and their shops attract like-minded consumers. We survived over the decades because we have a variety of excellent products that truly work! Also, we have attempted to educate and inform the consumer always.
- Easy-to-use. Just clamp and release
- WOW Onion Black Seed Hair Oil
- It is a minimal invasive therapy
- 9 years back from Central Florida
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Avoid sitting within an idling car in winter when snow can obstruct the exhaust tube
- Impaired eyesight
Over the years we have benefited from a few “media scares” – the first one I recall was that CFCs damage the ozone coating. As CFCs, before these were banned, were used in aerosols we’re able to not match the demand for our ozone-friendly pump-action squirt deodorants. How has the commercialisation of natural splendor aided Weleda, and how gets the brand developed to remain successful in a now-crowded market?
The commercialisation of natural beauty has been a double-edged sword – on the main one hand there is certainly more consumer demand, but there is also more competition. The Weleda brand is rolling out as our knowledge has grown mainly. Now we have become so adept at formulating totally natural creams these are as attractive and easy to use as any conventional cream.
We even have our first vegan creams: all our Pomegranate cosmetic care lotions are ideal for vegans. Users don’t need to be into green or natural, they just want effective products to sort out skin issues often. We have had to get more professional -we now provide a very comprehensive range, covering all areas of skin care for those ages. The look too has evolved: modern contemporary packaging that reflects the quality of the products. Do you think there is certainly room for natural/organic brands to release into the beauty market still?
Many small new brands show up each year, most do not last long, some stay around but hardly any grow beyond niche-market brands. There is certainly a range for improvement and development among existing brands or ranges still, with the likelihood of improved formulations and prolonged lines. There’s a lot of confusion over what brands are truly natural and organic – what advice could you give to people trying to find effective natural/organic products? It can help to access know what the issues are – which elements are not lasting, not biodegradable, oestrogen-disrupting potentially, what product packaging is not environmentally-friendly, which processes could cause environmental and human being damage. The list could go on.