The Lead To Nudity …… Part Two
The Lead To Nudity Part 2…
I’d only been home from Vegas about 6 hours before I’d gone and sourced the ingredients I needed for my new invention. The original trial solution was very basic and I actually just watered down a body lotion, added a few ingredients which would stop the water & the lotion from separating, added a few bits to help hydrate the skin & a couple bits to help the solution dry & of course the all important DHA & there we had it the first ever cream based spray tan solution ready to be tested on a human, cue Carmel of course!
Now Carmel is a beauty therapist through & through, she takes complete care of her skin i’d go as far to say a skin enthusiast! She moisturises religiously and because of this her skin is soft and has lots of oils in it, this skin type can be difficult to self tan. This is because of the natural barrier that has formed over time with heavy moisturising (she often says tan slides off her skin) Due to this Carmel never went a flawless dark colour from water based solutions.
I got to the salon poured the concoction into the spray tan gun & blasted her! She definitely thought I was insane.
Now as the solution is clear we had to wait over night for the results, I was so nervous. On initial application she was really happy left her moisturised, non sticky, low odour, and loved the fact it wouldn’t block her pours, a huge benefit to those who suffer from breakouts & blackheads.
The next morning she text to say it was amazing she’d gone darker than she did usually the colour was perfect & she would definitely choose this over a normal tanning solution. Well I was over the moon, as Carmel is unbelievably honest even though I try and push her into thinking my way she really is quite a stubborn little thing & so I knew for her to think it was good it was definitely good.
I had absolutely no clue what to do next, I researched the internet for days trying to see if this has ever been done before but I couldn’t find anything of its kind anywhere.
I made a big batch of it and started to spray my clients in this clear cream solution, I did as many as possible as I needed feedback, they loved it!! Not all il admit but the majority & it began to outsell my water based solution that was called Intensity at the time.
I needed to sell this tan to other salons I needed to get it out there but I was so stuck, I tried to phone Joy from star line as I thought she would be able to help & I knew I needed the solution formulating correctly for resale and to get it certificated, i just knew if she would back it and help me I’d be on to something.
I must of spent months trying to find her. Another couple years had passed and there was no longer a star line aerosol company online, I googled her name, guessed email addresses, trawled through countless websites to find her but found absolutely nothing. I even rang numerous companies asking if they knew of star line or a lady called Joy but no one did and everyone thought I was crazy.
There was a bit of a buzz around the tan at the time (only within a 2 mike radius of my shop but that was enough for me) I went to lots of trade shows & small ladies events & everywhere I went people would tell me how fabulous the product was but that I needed investment, it’s all I heard, so I started to wonder is that what I needed,my gut never wanted to (the fun is in the building of the business) but my head started to sway … Rule number one go with gut.
A friend of Carmel’s had a business man boyfriend (now husband) and himself & his business partner were interested in meeting me and I talked myself into believing it was exactly what I needed, I got pretty excited & I went and met them for the first time in a pub near where they lived.
Now another thing Ive not mentioned is at the time I also had another company called My Treat Card, this was a salon discount card that was to be sold like a diners club card and in return you would receive discounts in salons around the U.K. I’d worked on My Treat Card For Years, all my spare time would be spent signing up salons, I even did trade shows for that to, you could say I’ve wasted all my earnings on business ventures, but each venture gained me so much experience. My Treat Card started to get noticed, it nearly got a huge deal with a massive magazine but nearly isn’t really and so I ended up choosing the tan over the card as one of them had to go, and the person who made the decision was Carmel, she had always told me to run with tan & so that’s what I did.
Sorry I always sidetrack, back to the meeting!! At the meeting the guys were interested in My Treat Card & The Tan but only the tan was up for discussion (I had a huge emotional attachment to my Treat Card… Rule 2 don’t let emotional attachments cloud your judgment when it comes to making money). They agreed to work with the tan & leave out My Treat Card & see how far it could go using their known business models & experience.
Now these guys were all about facts, figures, statistics & logistics, I thought what they knew I lacked n vice Versa so let’s give it a go. Plus they had big offices & office staff & this to me was a huge, the tan would have an office and I’d have people help me with whatever I needed it actually seemed incredible.
I remember going into the offices they had in Spinningfields for the first time to work on the tan and it felt so crazy (I also remember the £16 parking fee to, it ruined my whole week!)
It started off ok, they added structure & advice to the business. I was introduced to a young man who did an absolutely amazing job at re branding the business, years on and I still love the branding and he passionately taught me exactly how important branding is to a business and for this I’m eternally grateful!
I was given help for deliveries but we only really sold on eBay back then (something that can be immensely damaging to your brand) & there wasn’t many being sold!! They also offered me help with social media by offering the services of young guy from the office to post for me but he didn’t know anything about Self Tan & unless you really live, breath & believe in what your selling your social media isn’t worth the screen it’s seen on so this wasn’t helping as much as I had originally thought!
The more I was given help, the more I realised that it was my brain, my ideas & my determination that would lead to my goals. Due to the tan not selling huge amounts (or some days any amounts) the guys were reluctant to invest actual cash into the business which I totally understand, but I had now learned other than cash all I needed was my effort, my self belief & my passion.
Don’t get me wrong these guys were great & they are extremely successful within their own right with rational functioning brains, something I massively lack & so I learnt a huge amount about the running of a business, but what drives Rose & Caramel is passion something that can be highly underrated in the business world & for this reason the partnership dissolved & I was back to square one.
Well almost square one, one minor detail I’ve left out is that as the investors were looking at the bigger picture (mass production) they had contacted various factories only to be told they needed the solution correctly formulating with full cosmetic safety data sheets & ingredients lists, but they worked with a very well known bio chemist within the industry who may be able to help, and it was only Joy! I’ve said in earlier blogs everything happens for a reason & they had only found me the lady I’d been looking for!!
To cut a hugely long story to a slightly long story I met Joy she agreed to work on the formulation if it hadn’t already been done, she checked numerous files & agreed it was the first if it’s kind, and re formulated my kitchen concoction into the fabulous formula it is today.
I was so excited to meet Joy, she really is fabulous, don’t get me wrong we are complete polar opposites and spend endless meetings arguing over ingredients as now she is the lady who makes all the crazy ideas that I come up with reality, so in all honesty she makes my dreams come true!!
I knew the only way to make any sort of mark in the tanning market was to scrape together the money to get a factory run of home use aerosols together, the salon market is a very difficult market to break and I was down on money, enthusiasm & strategy, it was literally my last shot. It took a little financial help from my mum & my brother who always believed in me. To be fair they had no choice, I would completely wreck the family home on a weekly basis making litres upon litres of spray tan solution. They would wake up with stained hands from touching areas I’d not cleaned properly or brown patches on feet where I had dropped ingredients, or better still I’d have a family production line labelling bottles for trade shows! My determination was indisputable and I promised if they didn’t sell they’d still get their money back, my glass isn’t half full it literally over flows with me believing things will be fine, you have to be positive but It would help if I had a little more sense at times.
As soon as I had the cash the order was placed & 8 weeks later a huge delivery was made to my little salon, it was pretty overwhelming to see all the labelled up aerosols ready to be sold, seeing them there in front of me I knew that this was the start of something exciting but if I thought the hardest part was the long gruelling soul destroying lead to production, I was completely wrong, it was now the real work started to begin!