Make sure that your manufacturing partner meets all of your criteria.
with ups and downs and easier times
and harder times. The key is for the
foundation of the relationship to be
based on trust, common interests,
and respect for each other’s expertise.
Switching manufacturers is very
challenging—even if you own your
formulations—so picking the right
one the first time will save headaches,
heartaches and dollars.
Selecting packaging is another
essential part of bringing your product
from concept to reality. For most
smaller brands, stock packaging will
be the fiscally responsible strategy.
Custom-made packaging, while more
unique and offering more options
and choices, is often prohibitively
When selecting a packaging supplier,
Alchimie Forever looks at:
• Responsiveness of team
• Quality of product offering
• Breadth of product offering
• Minimum order size
• Printing options (silk screen, etc.)
• Sourcing options: made in China,
made in USA, made of recycled
The best resources when looking for
packaging suppliers are tradeshows.
Don’t Scrimp on Legal
Last but not least, following our
industry’s regulatory guidelines is key.
This means that there is one more
partner in the process of evolving a
product from an idea to a physical
reality: a lawyer.
As a bootstrapped company,
Alchimie Forever has always paid
attention to costs and budgets.
However, our FDA legal expert was one
area where the company decided not
to over-economize. We chose someone
with significant FDA experience and
who works in a large law firm. This was
still less expensive than the alternative.
Our expert continues to advise us
on labelling, claims, INCI listings and
new regulations in the industry. The
sunscreen regulation in particular
has continually evolved in the last few
years, and is particularly tricky to keep
An additional resource to consider
is the ICMAD “A Simplified Guide to
Cosmetic Labeling.”* While this is not
an alternative to legal counsel, this
guide provides valuable information on
Keep in mind as well that different
countries will have different regulations.
If you plan on selling your products in
Europe, for instance, speaking with an
expert on European regulations and
REACH will be necessary.
A Collective Effort
Dreaming up a product and creating
a brand story that will resonate with
the customer is just the start of any
project. Transforming that dream
and story into a reality involves a
number of partners, ranging from
manufacturers to suppliers to lawyers.
Being able to find and work with
these partners requires a budget and
financing—which will be explored in
the third article in this series. n
LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION
This marks the second of a series of article that I will be writing for Global
Cosmetic Industry magazine this year on what it takes to build a beauty brand. The
first of the series covered crafting your brand’s story. Throughout the rest of the
year, I will cover topics ranging from distribution to financing. I will be sharing my
own experience in building Alchimie Forever, my family’s Swiss skin care brand,
and I will be reaching out to my network of other beauty brand owners, advisers,
and professionals in the industry to share their expertise. I look forward to your
feedback, and welcome comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADA POLLA (ada@alchimie-forever.
com) is the co-creator of the Swiss
antioxidant skin care line, Alchimie Forever,
which launched in the U.S. in 2004. Her
strategic focus and implementation
have yielded double-digit annual revenue
growth for the company. Polla holds an MBA from Georgetown
University, majored in art history and political science at
Harvard University, and graduated magna cum laude with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999. She is also a Global Cosmetic
Industry editorial advisor.