Now that globalization has become a standard in the marketplace, we’re beginning to realize something…sometimes it’s better to keep things local. Manufacturing on our home turf allows for faster, cheaper production, easier communication between parties, and support of American jobs.
In the beauty market, consumers are more concerned than ever about the ingredients they are putting on their bodies, and often are more able to trust the company if it has a Made in the USA label. I especially notice this with small beauty brands. Customers will ask my clients what makes their brand better with questions like “Is it organic? Is it vegan? Or cruelty-free? Is it local?”
Pierre-Antoine Henry, senior vice president (business development and full service) of global manufacturer Texen, says “Both brands and suppliers benefit from being local. It brings more intimacy not only in the way they interact with each other, but also with the beauty market itself. Being local enables intimacy and reactivity, which we believe are keystones for success in the beauty market.”
And Amy Skellett, marketing and communications manager, Kolmar Laboratories, Inc., says, “We are seeing some new trends emerge in terms of brands wanting to have their products manufactured in the United States. Consumers are demanding more and more information on the products they purchase.” She stresses that “safe beauty” is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. Keep this in mind if you are a beauty brand…absolute transparency in your ingredients will be a key to long-term success.
Staying close to customers
Producing locally also provides a huge assistance in developing brand loyalty and strong relationships with customers. Jeff Molchan, sales director, Cultech, says, “Developing and nurturing customer intimacy demands being local. Being based in the New York Metro area allows us to personally serve the heart of the beauty industry in real time.”
And president of Color Optics (a division of Phoenix Color), Joe Cicci, says “Being local to our customer base allows our customers to be conveniently involved in the manufacturing process. Our ability to manufacture our products in the U.S. also removes the barriers of time zone differences and shipping challenges for our customers, making the entire process a smoother and more accessible one.”
Millennials are especially becoming interested in knowing the details of their purchases…especially your brand story, how you make your products, and what goes into them. Again, being transparent with them in every step of the way will be your best bet to a trusted relationship!
Finding the Right Balance
As with many things, finding a balance is key. Going back to local production doesn’t mean that we should say goodbye to globalization entirely. Sourcing both locally and globally depends on the situation. There are still times when doing business globally will hold advantages for both brands and consumers. Jack Albanese, director of new business development, Lombardi Design and Manufacturing, argues that there is often a balance between business at home and abroad.
He says, “No longer are the days when brands directed work to Asia based on a perception of cost savings. Many of our customers have realized the true cost of doing business overseas.” He explains, “As we know, it’s a lot more than just the piece price. That’s not to say that Asia doesn’t have a place—it certainly does—it’s just that we’re witnessing a balancing of production, which is a good thing for domestic manufacturers.”
A perfect example of Lombardi striking a balance between their U.S.-based and global impact is Ed Hardy Skulls and Roses perfume. Lombardi created a conceptual 3D printed model of the cap and bottle to be considered for the perfume’s design. Albanese states, “Our concept was immediately chosen and needed to be tooled quickly in order to meet the challenging timeline, which placed filling in New Jersey weeks later. We actually built the cap molds at our toolmaker in China and shipped them to our Long Island headquarters in time for our local production. This program demonstrated how we could impact development positively, resulting in the successful production launch locally in the U.S.”
Made in the USA beauty
One USA-based beauty company that gets it right is Alchemy Mineral Blends. Created by two makeup artists, Alchemy Mineral Blends offers the best features of mineral makeup combined with the quality of professional grade products. Not only are these cosmetics gentle, they also offer smooth finishes and are easy to blend. Alchemy Mineral Blends has a studio in Boulder where you can try the products and book professional makeup services. In addition to being high quality, these products are affordable, and there are two convenient locations in Boulder and Denver.
Another cosmetic company based in Denver is Mineral Fusion. Founded in 2007, Mineral Fusion offers a full range of makeup, skin care and hair care products that are gorgeous, easy to apply and cruelty free. By working with existing mineral technology, Mineral Fusion improves upon existing products, so you get excellent coverage and vibrant color. There is even a line of nail polish, so you can get a pretty mani without the same chemicals that are common in many polish brands. Available at many local stores including Sprouts and Vitamin Cottage, Mineral Fusion products are easily accessible.
What will the future bring?
It’s clear that “going local” has been growing in popularity for a while now. You can’t go wrong with today’s customer in sourcing and producing your brand on home turf. “Made in the USA” can be something you can be proud to put on your packaging. But will the trend continue? Time will tell…but maybe one day we’ll strike a balance that will keep both our local and global economies thriving.