Exclusive Interview

How can indie beauty players catch the eye of investors?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

How can indie beauty players catch the eye of investors?
In this exclusive interview, we caught up with Raquel Wing, founder and managing director of The Clean Hub, on when and how indie beauty players should look for investment.

Wing will be speaking on ‘Catching the Eye of the Beauty Brand Investor’ at the upcoming Innocos beauty knowledge-sharing and networking event.

Innocos is set to take place in Florence, Italy at The Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, June 13-15, 2018, with full details available here​​​.

Wing’s company, the Clean Beauty Hub, runs accelerator programmes for indie beauty brands within the ‘clean beauty’ trend.

How important is it for indie beauty brands to be looking to get big investment in their company?

It’s quite alluring for beauty brands to seek investment right away, as the majority of indie brands are self-funded. Not to mention, it’s such as competitive market so instinct tells brands to grow as quickly as possible, and investment can help to achieve that.

However, what is more important than raising investment is ensuring that your brand has a proven customer in a substantial market. And more importantly, you will have to prove your case for this to investors.

As such, I would caution brands from spending time on seeking investment until they have truly tested their market and are receiving a continuous stream of income. These are things that investors will definitely look out for.

What four top tips would you give to an indie player looking to gain investment?

1. Get organized.

Pitching for investment is a very time consuming process. Make it easier for yourself by practicing your pitch, creating your business plan, familiarizing yourself with your financial statements, and keep all documents in a safe place.

2. Get yourself a solid differentiator.

Preferably one that can be easily explained in one sentence – your elevator pitch. It will stick with investors and help to explain the problem that you are solving for the market

3. Make sure you have clearly defined your market.

If you are a natural/clean beauty brand that says your market is a woman, aged 25-45 that does yoga and drinks tea, you are not alone. What other aspects create your consumers?

4. You need evidence to show that people are interested in your product.

The best way is through sales, as it shows proven traction. However, if you are at an earlier stage it can also be through surveys, interviews, and your niche social media following.

What are the main challenges facing indie players today?

I think that the major challenge for indie brands is that they are competing in a very crowded market while juggling marketing, strategy, and finance (to name a few).

It’s sometimes difficult to know what areas to give the most attention to.

The best advice I can give is to test your market, find your niche, and streamline as many processes as possible.

Any other thoughts?

I interview indie beauty founders every week on our podcast “Clean Chat” and the number one thing I hear is that they are glad they just went for it.

Growing a clean beauty brand can be a very difficult job and you need to be prepared for the good and the bad. Keep up the good work and don’t give up on the first hurdle!

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