Bumpcology Is Building Sales By Going After Body Hair That’s Gone Awry
In more than 13 years as a waxing specialist, Tiffany Piggee has become familiar with hair in every crevice of the human body. When one is twisted in the wrong direction, the self-proclaimed jedi waxstar whips out her handy ingrown serum Bumpcology to set it straight – and customers nationwide have been increasingly doing so, too.
“I truly believe that honesty is the best policy. I’m also someone who knows how to get the best possible results in the shortest amount of time by using the good stuff when it comes to the skincare game,” she says in a video for her brand Bumpcology. “I don’t play when it comes to my skincare. I’m all about results.”
Piggee entered the beauty industry as a licensed aesthetician and opened Detroit area waxing studio Me Beauty in 2011. She describes Me Beauty as the antithesis of a traditional, tranquil spa. “We call it the ‘unspa,’” says Piggee. “We have music going, and we’re always laughing.”
In 1994, Piggee serendipitously met an aesthetician named Calla Victoria who had a makeup line at the time. Their encounter inspired Piggee to consider making her own beauty products. “I thought, ‘I need to be doing what she’s doing.’ If anybody can resolve beauty issues, it’s someone who works in the beauty industry,” says Piggee. In 2014, she introduced a numbing cream to service her spa’s clientele.
For her next product, Piggee explored private labeling before deciding that custom formulation was the preferred way to give her clients desired results. In 2015, she launched Bumpcology with a paraben-free, vegan serum to treat ingrown hairs. The serum is priced at $30 for a 1-oz. size. Piggee details an ingrown hair or hair bump rises from a hair curling back into or growing sideways into the skin.
Due to the serum’s performance, Bumpcology’s manufacturer and clients convinced Piggee to think bigger and expand the product beyond her spa. Expansion came with hurdles. Piggee went through a number product label tweaks, and each tweak set her back around $400. Trademarking was another challenge. It took two years and $7,000, but Pigee says it was worth the wait and investment.
Bumpcology’s formula contains lactic acid, glycolic acid, willow bark extract and peptides chosen to exfoliate and soothe hair bump-prone skin. Piggee recommends users apply the serum once daily after cleansing and dry the affected area to prevent ingrown bumps, and twice daily to treat existing ones. The product can be applied anywhere people shave or wax, including arms, legs, face, chest, back and pubic region.
To make the product appeal to men and women, Piggee opted for a black and clear bottle. “Everything in my studio is bright pink and springy colors, but I wanted the packaging to be gender-friendly. I do have a large male clientele. They tend to be shyer about receiving beauty services, but they buy a lot of product,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine one of my business men clients having to go through TSA with a bright pink bottle.”
While Bumpcology is suitable for men and women, Piggee is proud to have teamed up with woman-owned companies to bring its ingrown hair serum to life. She worked solely with female-owned manufacturers, graphic designers, packaging companies and trademark attorneys to launch the product. She adds that the ideal Bumpcology customer is a “woman that has struggled with ingrown hairs, has tried other solutions that haven’t worked for her, and is looking to partner with someone who understands where she’s at.”
Piggee projects 75,000 Bumpcology units will sell over the next 12- to 18-months through her spa and the brand’s e-commerce site. At this moment, she’s not out to put her product in stores. “I’m not on board with the traditional retail to consumer track. It leaves a lot of room for error and customers misunderstanding how to properly use the product,” says Piggee.
She’s dreaming up a distribution solution that emphasizes product education. She plans to dive into “researching alternative solutions, building solid relationships with likeminded people, and creating strategic partnerships.” She’s also enlarging Bumpcology’s product portfolio, and is current developing body scrubs and butters.