Question: Tell us what’s the latest with Yes to Carrots?

IL: Wow, Yes To! has had a lot of new this year! We just moved into our new headquarters in San Francisco, doubling our space in order to make room for all of our new family members. Secondly, we have recently had a very successful launch of Yes To Blueberries — our “Age Refresh” line in the USA (with global launches coming throughout 2011). Lastly our distribution continues to expand and we have closed on 28,000 stores (in the last 4 years)!

Question: Do you feel that your experience at Cosmoprof gave you the upper hand with creating beneficial business relationships, i.e. retailers?

IL: 100%. Our first ever foray into international markets was with Cosmoprof Hong Kong in 2006. That show was a springboard for us to launch globally. As the company has grown, we now attend Cosmoprof to build and nurture our friendships and business partnerships from all elements of the industry.

Question: Is the consumer’s interest in green products on the rise? How would you advise new brands to capitalize on this trend?

IL: Most definitely. Green/Natural continues to grow significantly faster than traditional Skin Care segments. My advice to new brands is that you must first decide what you stand for, and what emotional connection you want to make with your consumer. Once you have that, I recommend you build a plan that allows you to prove your concept within one year. Once you feel that you have a true business, I would then take larger steps to expand distribution. I have noticed that many new Natural brands fail because they do not have the right mix when they expand and therefore the consumer doesn’t purchase. Today, having a natural formula is only one part of the success equation.

Question: What are the keys to success for green products?

IL: Having a unique formula, a thorough knowledge of your target consumer, pricing to meet your target, and a brilliant team to help achieve the success.

Question: Do you have any cautionary tales for new beauty entrepreneurs?

IL: I have many…

Make sure you have the funding to survive year one (if you think you need $100,000, I would multiply that by at least two!)

Make 100% sure that your formulas work. Changing formulas is a pain in the butt!

Attend my session during Cosmoprof North America 2011 and I will share more 🙂

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