INNOCOS interview with Raquel Wing, Founder and Managing Director, The Clean Hub

How important is it for indie beauty brands to be looking to get big

investment in their company?

It’s quite alluring for beauty brands to seek investment right away, as the

majority of indie brands are self-funded. Not to mention, it’s such a competitive

market so instinct tells brands to grow as quickly as possible, and investment

can help to achieve that. However, what is more important than raising

investment is ensuring that your brand has a proven customer in a substantial

market. And more importantly, you will have to prove your case for this to

investors. As such, I would caution brands from spending time on seeking

investment until they have truly tested their market and are receiving a

continuous stream of income. These are things that investors will definitely look

out for.

 

What three/five (depending on which is appropriate) top tips would you

give to an indie player looking to gain investment?

1. Get organized. Pitching for investment is a very time-consuming process.

Make it easier for yourself by practising your pitch, creating your business

plan, familiarizing yourself with your financial statements, and keep all

documents in a safe place.

2. Get yourself a solid differentiator. Preferably one that can be easily explained

in one sentence – your elevator pitch. It will stick with investors and help to

explain the problem that you are solving for the market

3. Make sure you have clearly defined your market. If you are a natural/clean

beauty brand that says your market is a woman, aged 25-45 that does yoga

and drinks tea, you are not alone. What other aspects create your consumers?

4. You need evidence to show that people are interested in your product. The

best way is through sales, as it shows proven traction. However, if you are at

an earlier stage it can also be through surveys, interviews, and your niche

social media following.

 

What are the main challenges facing indie players today?

I think that the major challenge for indie brands is that they are competing in a

very crowded market while juggling marketing, strategy, and finance (to name a

few). It’s sometimes difficult to know what areas to give the most attention to.

The best advice I can give is to test your market, find your niche, and streamline

as many processes as possible.

 

Any other thoughts?

I interview indie beauty founders every week on our podcast “Clean Chat” and

the number one thing I hear is that they are glad they just went for it. Growing a

clean beauty brand can be a very difficult job and you need to be prepared for

the good and the bad. Keep up the good work and don’t give up on the first

hurdle!

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June 14-15, 2018, INNOCOS World, Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, Florence, Italy

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