A visionary collaboration
How do you create and launch a new holistic skincare range in an already saturated market? Sisters in law Emma and Jill, founders of the Holski brand, share their story and their advice. NZB: Describe the moment you two made that initial decision to go into business together with Holski. And what made you […]
How do you create and launch a new holistic skincare range in an already saturated market? Sisters in law Emma and Jill, founders of the Holski brand, share their story and their advice.
NZB: Describe the moment you two made that initial decision to go into business together with Holski. And what made you two think you’d make successful business partners?
Jill: Emma and I are sisters-in-law, and we spend a lot of time together. Our children love hanging out with their cousins, and we both experienced melasma during our pregnancies, which was a major concern for us. Melasma is a skin condition which can happen during pregnancy where discoloured patches appear on the face.
This motivated us to learn about skin function and how to care for and protect it. Since we enjoy each other’s company and share a common interest, it made sense for us to collaborate.
NZB: The skincare industry is massive, with countless local and overseas brands competing for market share. What made you think you could find a niche, successfully break into the market and turn a profit?
Jill: I believe that the skincare industry is facing some significant challenges that need to be addressed. In my opinion, this industry heavily relies on consumerism, encouraging people to purchase an array of products that may not even have proven benefits. It’s all about pumping up profits, and it can be overwhelming and confusing for consumers.
However, this challenge excited Emma and I as we believe that healthy and radiant skin can be achieved through a simplified skincare routine, saving consumers time, money and packaging waste.
We’ve also observed that many skincare companies are selling supplements alongside their products. This led us to ponder the idea of formulating topical skincare and supplements with the same ingredients to provide additional benefits. It was our “ahah” moment.
We understand that skin health is affected by both internal and external factors. Poor dietary choices and lack of sleep can cause skin issues to arise. Therefore, we believe it’s essential to take care of our skin holistically from both the inside and outside.
NZB: Explain why your products are unique? Where are they sold? And how have they been received by users?
Jill & Emma: We offer consumers a simple but effective two-step holistic skincare system that works from the inside out and outside in. Our customers appreciate the straightforward approach we take to skincare, and we have received many positive reviews for our products. We are particularly proud of our silky 3-in-1 collagen hydrator and versatile collagen powder, which can be added to many different beverages or just water. Our refillable, reusable, and plant-based packaging mix has also been well received. There are many benefits to discover with Holski.
We sell our products online and through a network of beauty-focused bricks-and-mortar retailers.
NZB: What were the most challenging aspects of getting your products launched into the market? And what sales & marketing tips can you share?
Jill & Emma: As a small business in Aotearoa New Zealand, we faced a significant challenge competing with established global players in the skincare industry. Educating consumers about innovative approaches to skincare can be daunting, especially in a market that is saturated with noise. That’s why we believe it’s crucial to maintain a clear and consistent message and to never tire from sharing it. We know it’s easy to get distracted or make excuses when faced with challenges, but we strive to stay focused on sales. We recognise that growing sales is difficult for new businesses, and the multitude of options available can be overwhelming. That’s why we take things one step at a time and aim to master each challenge as it comes.
NZB: Has the business met your expectations so far? And is there anything that with hindsight you’d do differently?
Jill & Emma: We believe that every decision we’ve made has led us to where we are now. We’ve taken our mistakes as lessons and celebrated our successes. While there may have been quicker or better alternatives, we’re satisfied with the progress we’ve made so far.
However, our perspective may change in a year, so it’s essential to check in with us again to see how we feel then!
NZB: How much of an effect did the pandemic have on your plans?
Jill & Emma: Due to the pandemic, we experienced a slowdown, which affected every aspect of our journey, from conducting consumer trials to sourcing ingredients and manufacturing packaging. However, we used the extra time to develop better products and improve our preparation for the delayed launch. We recognise that while our progress was slowed, other businesses have faced far greater challenges during this time. As a result, we have no complaints and remain optimistic about the future.
NZB: Based on your experience, what’s your best advice for other start-up business owners?
Jill & Emma: As a business, we understand the importance of being realistic in projecting our financial numbers. To ensure we’re well-prepared, we’ve factored in a worst-case scenario and costed accordingly. One of the most significant challenges we faced was cashflow, particularly during the early stages of our start-up. As such, we recognised the critical need to have sufficient funds on hand to weather any potential financial difficulties that may surface.
NZB: Where would you like the Holski brand to be in five years’ time? What are your goals for the business?
Jill & Emma: We believe in staying true to our vision and not getting too caught up in what other companies are doing. We focus on taking small, consistent steps every day towards our goal of creating innovative, holistic skincare that promotes beauty, health, and well-being.
While our five-year milestone is still some time away, we remain determined to drive positive change in the skincare industry and, who knows, maybe even revolutionise it.
Recently, we came across another company that takes a similar inside-outside approach to skincare, although not the same concept as ours. This discovery has boosted confidence that our vision for a different future in skincare is shared by other like-minded individuals and businesses.
Visit the Holski website here: https://holski.com/
“We believe in staying true to our vision and not getting too caught up in what other companies are doing.”