You must have a particular drive and passion for your products to launch a niche brand into an already crowded skincare marketplace, but Lloyd and his business partner, Luke Wellings, were undaunted by the challenge. A year and a half later, with a prestigious Highly Commended at the National Safety in Beauty awards under their belt, the business is at an exciting point. With 22 accounts already established and some exciting new customers in the pipeline (which I cannot name for commercial reasons) future success for Cozmetica is assured.
I met Lloyd over a coffee, and he told me how he had become interested in skincare after researching healthy foods, supplements and skincare when a close relative developed breast cancer. Lloyds’ job at that time involved him working with many celebrities and the British aristocracy for whom he would select ‘hero’ skincare products. It was in this role four years ago that he met Gaylia Kristensen in Melbourne, Australia. He was immediately blown away by the results he saw using her product range – a premium anti-aging skincare range designed to keep its users looking young without the need for harsh chemicals, dangerous toxins, injections or cosmetic surgery.
Gaylia asked him to become her sole UK distributor then, however the time wasn’t right for Lloyd and it was only recently that Cozmetica was set up after he visited her in Australia again in the autumn of 2017. The products are sold to high end beauty salons here in the UK and Ireland. One of their first customers – the 5* Sofitel St James in London – won Conde Nast London’s Best Facial award last year and their PASSION Treatment Oil was shortlisted as Editor’s choice in the UK Beauty Awards. Here in Worcester, you can try these amazing beauty products, including a pampering massage and facial at Journey Hair and Beauty salon in Copenhagen Street. For Lloyd, the new business is all about getting these fabulous products to customers here in the UK and Ireland.
Like any new business, predicting sales and stock levels and cashflow is a challenge and the business has been ably supported by Mark Smith at Lloyds Bank. Because of this close relationship, Journey and Cozmetica have joined forces to raise money for Marks Mental Health Marathon by selling raffle tickets in the salon, so you could be lucky winner of one of these luxury facials, other beauty treatments or a haircut and blow dry. Lloyd says” The first year of business has taught me many things, including belief in myself and the that realisation that we’re nothing without support from family and friends. One emergency I had to overcome quite quickly was when my website crashed whilst users were trying to access it! I was very fortunate to have a good IT person to call on! “
So, what are the secrets to success for Lloyd and Cozmetica? For this highly image-conscious industry, PR around celebrities using the products and influencer marketing have been critical. Lloyd has also gained huge benefits from networking within the industry body, the UK Spa Association, attending their networking events and trade fairs. Other association members have helped the business launch successfully by helping with industry introductions to key players in this niche market. Once the products are in use, customers have been keen to extend initial trials into ongoing commercial relationships. For example, Sofitel took on the brand for an initial 3-month pilot, but after their initial training for their therapists with Nicky and Lloyd have immediately extended this to the next 7 months. Lloyd keeps in regular contact with his customers either by phone or in person and he’s currently very busy in talks with potential new accounts, so there should be more good news about this exciting, expanding business coming soon.