Haielle Beauty, Which Is Starting With Two Haircare Products, Balances Natural And Synthetic Ingredients
Yoel Vaisberg, founder of Haielle Beauty, never intended to start a brand.
The industrial engineer turned entrepreneur grew up in Venezuela and spent a decade working behind the scenes in the beauty industry at cosmetics manufacturing plant Probelsa, eventually becoming COO. He came to America in 2014 in the hopes of expanding the business abroad.
“Our initial idea was to bring the same salon-quality hair and nail products that were already leaders in the market in Venezuela to the U.S.,” says Vaisberg. His strategy changed, however, after doing due diligence on the American beauty landscape. He explains, “When I came here, I learned about natural ingredients, about safe ingredients. These were new concepts for me, and I came to understand that you were able to achieve results and to develop effective products without using harmful ingredients.”
With Vaisberg’s eyes open to potential of natural ingredients, Haielle — or the germ of the idea for it — was born. The brand incorporates natural ingredients, but doesn’t only rely on them. It merges well-studied synthetic ones with natural compounds while remaining free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and other toxins.
“Everything is about balance. Sometimes people associate natural with safe and synthetic with harmful, and we’re trying to make very clear that one doesn’t have anything to do with the other. You can have natural ingredients that are harmful, and you can have synthetic ingredients that are safe.”
“Everything is about balance,” says Vaisberg. “Sometimes people associate natural with safe and synthetic with harmful, and we’re trying to make very clear that one doesn’t have anything to do with the other. You can have natural ingredients that are harmful, and you can have synthetic ingredients that are safe.”
Haielle has launched after three years of research and development. Vaisberg, a self-professed perfectionist, contends the two products it’s beginning with were worth the wait, and set the tone for Haielle’s yin-and-yang approach to nature and science. On the natural end of the spectrum, the $70 Active Botanical Concentrate has 29 plant extracts and oils, including baobab, marula, sea buckthorn, ungurahui and abyssinian, to help hydrate hair, repair damage and defend against oxidative stress that can lead to hair loss. On the more science-y side, $80 Complete Recovery Complex depends on the ingredients capixyl and phytocelltec to keep scalp stems cells healthy and create a fertile environment for hair growth.
There are plans for two additional Haielle collections, a volume range and hydrating line of shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are expected to roll out by the end of the year. Vaisberg is clear that, even though Haielle has made its debut in haircare, it’s not a haircare brand. “I want Haielle to be a holistic brand, a brand that motivates people to have a healthy lifestyle,” he maintains, noting many of the contributing factors to hair loss like stress and pollution are culprits in common skin and health concerns. “We started with hair care because that’s where I have 10 years of experience, but we would like to jump quickly to skincare and also to nutritional supplements.”
“We have 60 years of experience, so we know manufacturing. Bringing it back to Venezuela is a great way to increase the quality standard, to integrate vertically and also to lower some of the production costs, which can then be conveyed to the final user. Keeping the plant operative is also part of our social commitment to help people struggling with all that’s happening in the country.”
Vaisberg and his partners Gabriel and Robert Katz, who are not involved in the day-to-day operations of Haielle, have invested between $300,000 and $400,000 in the company. Vaisberg is optimistic his plans to expand the brand beyond haircare will pay off. “We already have our suppliers and already know who’s harvesting our natural ingredients,” he says. “For instance, we spent three days with a researcher who has been studying baobab, which is one of our ingredients, and she explained the beauty of this fruit is that the internal part [the seeds] can be used as an oil for the skin and hair. But, also, the external part of the fruit can be used as a nutritional supplement.”
At the moment, Haielle products are being manufactured in Miami, where Vaisberg is based, but a long-term goal is to fill at least some of the products at Probelsa. The Venezuelan plant, which was founded in 1956 and acquired by Gabriel Katz’s uncle Gonzalo Benaim-Pinto, a renowned pharmacist, in 1975, was the first salon-product factory in the country. The plant was rebuilt in 2013 as a pharmaceutical-grade facility. It currently employs about 50 people.
“We have 60 years of experience, so we know manufacturing,” says Vaisberg. “Bringing it back to Venezuela is a great way to increase the quality standard, to integrate vertically and also to lower some of the production costs, which can then be conveyed to the final user. Keeping the plant operative is also part of our social commitment to help people struggling with all that’s happening in the country.”
For now, the fledgling brand is focused on finding the right retail partners in America. The brand is currently sold on Amazon and its own website. “I know some retailers are absolutely aligned with natural ingredients and going all green,” says Vaisberg. “Our approach is to combine safe synthetic and safe natural ingredients. So, if we find some retailers that understand this same approach, those will be the retailers that we want to work with. Other than retailers, we are considering spas and salons as part of our sales strategy as well as direct to consumer.” Like all things at Haielle, the sales strategy is about striking the right balance.