Beauty Idol: Cherry and Paula Francis from SuperFoodLx
SuperFoodLx is a brand that is created by mother and daughter, Cherry and Paula Francis. The brand was born when Paula moved abroad and began to experience unusual extreme hair loss and breakage. Mum came to the rescue and made her a pot of oil and after using it for a few days Paula's hair began to regain its usual strength and shine. This piqued her interest in hair products that harness your hair and hence SuperFoodLx. The brand aims to provide customers with nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. What made you decide to set up your own beauty business? Setting my own business started out of me suffering from hair loss and my mother helping me to grow it back by making me her own home remedy. This set me on a journey to learn about what is different between what she had made me verses the other leading haircare products out there. I learned how to read the ingredients list on the back of my hair products and found out what the ingredients meant and found many of the ingredients to actually cause hair breakage. I decided that if this is the reason that mine and may other women are having severe hair breakage than I can help solve the problem.
What is the concept behind SuperFoodLx? The concept is to provide high quality, complex formulations using superfood ingredients.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of products your customers wanted to buy? When researching, many people I spoke to recounted stories of being at primary or secondary school and being paranoid about the strong fragrance of their hair product. As adult women, another issue was not only wanting beautiful discreet packaging but also something natural that worked. For me personally, I looked at what was already available and thought, 'how can I upgrade the formulation by making it more nutritionally complete'. With each product, I use a blend of ingredients so that nutritionally each product replicates a mini balanced meal for the hair and skin.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand? I thought about what do I want to proudly display in my bedroom and bathroom and that was the initial starting point. I wanted something that could be given as a gift and really felt, looked and smelled like luxury.
What are your future plans for SuperFoodLx? Future plans include bringing out more vitamins and hair repair solutions. We aim to have a vegetable protein shampoo and conditioner by this Summer.
What are your favourite beauty products? Oooooh. In terms of a raw natural product, I love the sticky yellow Sheabutter from Ghana. For pre made, Aesop make some really really beautiful lotions. And for makeup, I've been having a recent love affair with KIKO.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business? 1. Test the market, test the market and then test the market again. Sell your products in different geographical areas and at different events to see who in reality buys and doesn't buy and then find out why. 2. Always prepare for things to go wrong and plan accordingly. As dismal as this sounds it really is the reality of business. Always over prepare and leave more time and money to complete individual milestones and projects. 3. Things going wrong is not a sign to give up. Make time to read several case studies on other people starting their own business and you will see that no business start up is; straight forward, quick or without stress. 4. Have one or two business mentors 5. Love your own brand and use your own products.
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