Cosmetic Chemist Ginger King Pays Homage To Renowned Business Figures With New Brand FanLoveBeauty
During a FUBU event last March at Century21 in New York, cosmetic chemist Ginger King, a superfan of the clothing label’s founder Daymond John from “Shark Tank,” spotted John applying lip balm. She took the opportunity to tell him, “Daymond, something that close to you –– in your pocket and on your lips––has to be from my brand.”
King immediately went to work on developing her brand, FanLoveBeauty, and it’s launching today with a cruelty-free, natural, vegan lip balm that John can swipe on in a pinch at upcoming events. The product is directed at people like him interested in nourished, camera-ready lips to boost their confidence for public speaking engagements, meetings, interviews, selfies and more.
“Regardless of gender, race and age, everyone uses lip balms, and they can be ingested,” says King. “That can have a direct impact on your health and, before FanLoveBeauty, I hadn’t really found a good lip balm that addressed that.”
Most lip balms contain petroleum, lanolin or beeswax in the base of their formulas. King avoided those ingredients in FanLoveBeauty’s formula in favor of sea asparagus, which she touts as being clinically tested to lift hydration up to 600% over 28 days. In addition to sea asparagus, the lip balm includes shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and flaxseed oil to condition chapped lips. To freshen breath, it has a dash of peppermint. The lip balms are housed in flat, oval-shaped recyclable plastic packaging to fit easily into pockets. External paper packaging is recyclable as well.
King, who’s worked for large beauty brands such as Avon, Joico and Arbonne, invested $50,000 to start self-funded FanLoveBeauty. She’s holding off on outside investment for now to retain full control of the brand. King says, “A lot of companies look for funding way too early, and it turns out to be a disaster. You don’t really look for investors until you really need them.”
Currently, FanLoveBeauty’s margins aren’t as high as investors and retailers would want them, according to King. She shares the cost of goods per lip balm is roughly $3.50, pricy for a product that’s typically a commodity purchase. Not for margin reasons, King opted for its retail prices to end in eights. She explains, “I like the number eight. It signifies prosperity and good luck. My single lip balm is $8.88 and the four pack is $28.88. You also save 18% when you buy the pack.” The lip balm is available in non-tinted and tinted varieties. The tinted variety imparts a red color.
“We are tired of marketers or people who don’t know products cranking out products one after another.”
King believes FanLoveBeauty could gain a following in department stores and beauty specialty retailers like Nordstrom, Target and Ulta Beauty from shoppers hunting for unique lip products. “My price point is a little bit of prestige. I definitely don’t want to compete with those $2.99 lip balms,” says King. “Ulta has everything, and their prices are reasonable. Target has a very prestigious market, and they are kind of dedicated to beauty now. I need FanLoveBeauty to stay affordable and keep people coming back to me.”
King joins a growing group of cosmetic chemists releasing beauty brands. Among her fellow cosmetic chemists-cum-beauty brand founders are Ron Robinson from BeautyStat, Paula Hayes from Hue Noir, Ee Ting Ng from Hop & Cotton, and Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu from Chemist Confessions. King argues cosmetic chemists bring expertise to beauty products that consumers crave. She says, “We are tired of marketers or people who don’t know products cranking out products one after another.”
Breaking out from behind the scenes isn’t always a simple transition for cosmetic chemists. They need marketing prowess to match their science backgrounds in order to move units. Acknowledging the importance of investing in marketing efforts, King says, “Products don’t sell. Salespeople do. It’s best to have a great product combined with superb marketing. If you have a great product, but do not know how to reach the market, your contribution to society is limited.”
King advises her cosmetic chemist peers interested in introducing brands to beef up their marketing skills. “Chemists can have very strong egos. Everybody thinks they build the best products, which is necessary, because, if you cannot do your own work, nobody else will,” she says. “But chemists, in particular, have this thing where they don’t listen to others. They have this vision where they appreciate [product] technology, but they aren’t able to translate what the benefits are to the customer. That’s the missing link that I see.”
Besides its formula and target audience of podcasters, professional speakers, teachers and sales specialists, FanLoveBeauty differentiates itself by connecting beauty offerings to renowned personalities consumers adore. John inspired the first product, and the next product––a moisturizing hand cream aimed at those gesticulating a lot with their hands while they talk––is being made with “The 10X Rule” author Grant Cardone, founder of Cardone Capital, in mind. King says, “He’s another dynamite speaker. He’s on the same level as Daymond. His impact is tremendous. He changes other people’s lives significantly.”