As a professional hairstylist and owner of my own namesake Austin Kyle Professional Hair Care Company it was primarily the adventure and the dream of having my own professional haircare system that led me to start my company. The best part about starting my own professional hair care product system is how it has given me a deeper understanding of the hair care industry. This has allowed me to reach deeper into my craft, while being able to share some tips and guidelines with others who dare to launch their own product systems.
As a hairstylist starting my own hair care system, this line has the perfect blend of hair artistry and chemistry; enabling other hair designers to master their techniques of managing hair and managing a client’s total image. Being able to be on both sides, as a hairstylist and a hair care product manufacturer, I am able to see what is needed in the forefront of the salon industry and to create products that match these needs.
Of course there were a few obstacles and unforeseen challenges that came across along the way. Coming from a background in cosmetology and not cosmeceuticals, I had to strive to make contacts and to learn a lot of the lingo as well as the technicalities that follow within this highly specialized beauty care industry. Certainly, there were the obvious logistic challenges that come with starting a product system. This includes the preliminary financial aspects, especially finding core funding. There are many obstacles that entrepreneurial beauty care professionals may not know to expect. Finding the best chemist may be as difficult as finding the correct manufacturing resource. Plus, it is important to coordinate the entire process between these two primary necessities.
To give you an example of the many unforeseen challenges we went through in the beginning, consider that the first manufacturing plant we planned to use was acquired by new owners soon after we signed on with them. The new owner decided to cut all of the acquired small business accounts and to focus on the larger more established accounts to expand their future business. Needless to say, we were among the accounts that were cut. This can be a tricky obstacle for small start-up brands as it can be challenging to compete financially with the larger, more established brands even in this aspect of production.
Another example of the many challenges any beauty care start-up brand may face is when they begin production of their first few products. I had just begun production of the containers for our new shampoos and conditioners, when I received a call from the production line. They informed me that in order to get bottle caps that fit we would need to retool the entire bottle design—an extremely costly procedure! It taught me a lesson that everyone must understand. You must have every single small and large detail determined before you go into production or the set-backs will be costly in time and investments.
While starting out, you have two options when it comes to your professional hair care or beauty care system formulations. You can certainly pick from a library of pre-designed private label product formulas or you can find a respected chemist to start a signature namesake brand from scratch that will meet all of your special desires, benefits, features and needs. While the latter tends to be more time consuming and costly, it can be very rewarding in the end, should the product make it big. I chose to work with a chemist, so that I could use my expertise as a hairstylist to custom tailor my own special formulas. Knowing the needs of other hair designers and their clients alike, were as critically important for me then as they are today.
I must stress to anyone interested in embarking on the journey of starting your own professional signature beauty care product system is to clearly identify your specific target market, stay within your industry and market directly to that industry. Sometimes you may really be surprised where your products take you. What led me to develop my particular product niche, was a bit by chance. I started out with one group in mind and before I knew it, it appealed to another. I was surprised that my products were favored by mature women, especially those with thin and thinning hair. Even though my Austin Kyle Hair Care System can be used by the entire family, my signature products appeal most directly to women who desire more volume, body, shine and bounce within a versatile multi-purpose hair care system.
My last bit of advice to offer others interested in taking on this great entrepreneurial opportunity remains to do your research! I quickly went at it head first. In hindsight, I really now know that I should have taken more time to do the research on everything from specialized chemical designs, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, warehousing, distribution, marketing, advertising, merchandising, media relations, education and more. The moment you start a professional beauty care company, you will have a lot of people come to you for investment opportunities as well as to become valuable resources. Just know that you don’t have to take out your checkbook to the first person who comes up to you. More importantly, don’t let yourself become discouraged. Starting a successful hair care product system or any product for that matter, will not happen overnight. It will usually take at least two to three years to successfully launch any new professional brand. Follow your mission, vision and inspiration. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with the best experts you can find. There will be many challenges, yet it won’t happen unless you just go ahead and do it!
About the Author
Austin Kyleis a nationally respected hair designer and founder of Austin Kyle Hair Care. Austin Kyle Hair Care Products are sold exclusively in salons and day spas to protect the challenges of diversion. Austin Kyle Professional Hair Care products may directly order through the website, www.AustinKyle.com. More info: Austin Kyle Professional Haircare Products at 888-91-STYLE, 862-397-3938, via email at info@AustinKyle.com