Legendary Apothecary Looks Back In Time To Develop An Organic Foot Treatment For Customers Today
If the tales of our forebears aren’t exaggerated, people were forced to walk miles and miles in the old days to get anywhere. They endured without Uber or Lyft because they had excellent remedies for their weary and worn feet, at least that’s the finding of Legendary Apothecary, which depends on a time-tested formula for the extremities of contemporary consumers.
Smooth Feet, a blend of USDA-certified organic vegetable glycerin, lavender oil and grain alcohol, is the debut product from the brand developed by Sara Saidy and Todd Douphner, beauty industry veterans who helped build Glamglow’s business. Its three-ingredient recipe was passed down from generation to generation in Iranian immigrant Saidy’s family after her great grandmother was handed it by a roving apothecarist in Tehran promising it would heal the dry, cracked and bleeding feet of her daughter, Saidy’s grandmother Masy.
“My great grandmother was like, ‘Whatever, it’s not going to work,’ but she took the recipe, made it, used it on my grandmother’s feet and, within a week, her feet got better. She never got dry feet again. This recipe has been in my family since then, almost a century,” says Saidy. “Everyone has used it, and we can’t live without it.”
Despite the effectiveness of the foot solution, she didn’t consider selling it until her grandmother told her and Douphner to do so shortly before she succumbed to cancer. Saidy recounts, “She said, ‘You both are in this business, why don’t you put it in a bottle and share it with the world?’ That’s how it became our calling.” Saidy and Douphner, her partner professionally and personally, started preparing the recipe for the market in 2014 while Saidy was production and supply chain manager at Glamglow.
“My great grandmother was like, ‘Whatever, it’s not going to work,’ but she took the recipe, made it, used it on my grandmother’s feet and, within a week, her feet got better. She never got dry feet again. This recipe has been in my family since then, almost a century. Everyone has used it, and we can’t live without it.”
“It’s a really slow process when you have another job. There was a lot of saving money, working extra hours consulting on the side, grinding and late nights,” she says. “About a year ago, we were ready to launch, but I didn’t want to launch a product that wasn’t the best it could be. I know how unregulated the industry is and how difficult it can be to find a clean product. We stopped everything to go for USDA certification, and that pushed us back a year, but we felt it was worth it. We are vegan. We try to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and I always buy organic products. We wanted to put our money where our mouth is.”
The design process was arduous, too. Saidy estimates Smooth Feet’s label went through 50 revisions. The idea is for it to look aged, and Legendary Apothecary employed customized dye to make the label appear distressed. The product comes in an amber Boston round glass bottle with a dropper inside and is priced at $35 for an ounce, an amount intended to last two to three months.
In total, Saidy figures it cost $20,000 to bring Legendary Apothecary to fruition, and her aim is for the brand to generate $75,000 in sales for 2018. It’s sticking to a single product at the outset partially due to the expense outlays multiple items entail. Saidy says, “At the same time, I feel like it’s a good way to test out the waters, see what the market and consumers want, and go from there.”
“We stopped everything to go for USDA certification, and that pushed us back a year, but we felt it was worth it. We are vegan. We try to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and I always buy organic products. We wanted to put our money where our mouth is.”
In her assessment of the foot-care product segment prior to Legendary Apothecary’s premeire, Saidy ran across balms, masks and peels, but didn’t spot a product that replicated Smooth Feet. “There’s nothing that’s a treatment, something that you put on, leave on for hours at night and, by the time you wake up, your feet are better than they were the night before,” she says. “The simplicity of it will resonate with the consumers. There doesn’t need to be fillers, preservatives and toxic chemicals in products for them to work.”
A hurdle for Legendary Apothecary is that consumers may require education to understand Smooth Feet’s approach. Saidy says, “A lot of people expect that, if you put it on once or twice, it will work great and forever, but it’s just like your face cream. You have to put it on every day at the beginning and, then, two to three times [a week] for it to work.” Smooth Feet is beneficial for areas of the body that aren’t feet. However, Saidy believes it might be a little sticky for them, and Legendary Apothecary is creating versions of the Smooth Feet formula more suited to the rest of the body.
Early on, Los Angeles-based Legendary Apothecary is largely focusing its distribution efforts on California and Nevada. Spas are target distribution partners, and Saidy points out Smooth Feet can be incorporated into spa services. The brand is also interested in placing the product at small e-tailers and retailers. “We really want to have steady growth this year,” says Saidy. “We want to make sure we can handle it, build great relationships with our customers and, hopefully, a cult following.”