After A Rebrand, Luxe Botanics Invites Consumers To Travel The World With Its Products
Luxe Botanics, which was developed by a South African based in Singapore with ingredients from Kenya, Malawi and Brazil, is taking customers on a global journey with its packaging.
The high-end skincare brand has undergone a revamp that’s resulted in weighty bottles housed in boxes illustrated with lush photographs of the environments where the botanicals it sources thrive. Conceived with design firm Smack Bang Designs and executed with assistance from branding shop By Ninja, the upgrade is meant to separate its eight products on retail shelves in a competitive prestige beauty segment.
“We are a brand that represents exploration into the world out there and parts unknown. We appeal to the traveler in you that’s imagining different places, cultures and lives,” says Jené Roestorf, the South African founder and director of Luxe Botanics. “We want to export you to the places the products start to give you a real connection to nature.”
Roestorf has operated Luxe Botanics with an adapt-as-you-go philosophy. A scientist who spent 10 years in pharmaceuticals prior to entering the beauty industry, Roestorf initially considered incorporating nine botanicals into Luxe Botanics’ products, but narrowed the formulas at the outset to three core botanicals that have been studied extensively: Brazilian camu camu anchors a brightening line, Malawaian kigelia drives a corrective line and Kenyan marula fuels a hydrating line. Future products could extend Luxe Botanics to further botanicals.
“We are a brand that represents exploration into the world out there and parts unknown. We appeal to the traveler in you that’s imagining different places, cultures and lives.”
“I would never use a botanical that doesn’t have rigorous scientific research or that doesn’t support the community in the way that it’s harvested,” says Roestorf, pointing out Luxe Botanics’ charitable component with Buy1Give1. “The idea behind Luxe Botanics is not to create products that don’t suit the benefits of the core botanicals. For example, kigelia is a very strong anti-bacterial ingredient. Why would you put that in an eye cream? I’m never going to do that. What I’m going to do is products that suit the core botanicals.”
In late 2015, Roestorf launched Luxe Botanics by sending 100 discovery kits to beauty editors to determine if she was on the right track. They applauded Roestorf’s efforts, and Luxe Botanics was off and running. “That was a really great way to begin because I made connections in the industry before the brand was even really out there. It helped me generate press without having a press office,” she says. The press coverage was critical to securing store distribution. Within its first 18 months, Luxe Botanics picked up nearly 20 retailers, including Neiman Marcus.
Despite the impressive milestones, Roestorf wasn’t thrilled with Luxe Botanics’ design. She received feedback from influencers and buyers that its relatively plain exteriors didn’t powerfully communicate the brand’s story. Early last year, she set out to rectify that problem. To cover the costs of the packaging renovation, Luxe Botanics received a boost from closing a seed round led by investment group Ladies Investment Club. Roestorf declined to disclose the amount raised and the names of other investors.
“When you start a small indie brand, you do the best you can. You are new to everything about starting a business. The best way to build a brand is to constantly pivot to meet the needs of the customer.”
“When you start a small indie brand, you do the best you can. You are new to everything about starting a business. The best way to build a brand is to constantly pivot to meet the needs of the customer,” says Roestorf, adding, “Also, as a person, I like change.”
With the rebrand, Luxe Botanics’ prices have gone up around 30% to between $45 and $115. Roestorf explains the higher prices are due to the price of camu camu tripling—the ingredient in the brightening products is now certified organic and wasn’t previously—and a greater understanding of Luxe Botanics’ clientele. “As you grow your business, your customers tell you who they are a little bit more,” she says. “I am serving people that are more educated than I thought, and much more of a luxury and prestige skincare buyer than I thought.”
The prices are intended to position Luxe Botanics amid upscale assortments at premium retailers. At the moment, its products, notably bestsellers Marula Hydrating Serum, Camu Brightening Moisturizer, Kigelia Corrective Moisturizer and Kigelia Corrective Serum, are available in 27 retailers across seven countries. By March, Roestorf shares the number of retailers is expected to jump to around 35. The United States is Luxe Botanics’ main focus currently, but the brand is bullish on Europe, too. Roestorf believes Australia could be a good market for it as well.
No matter where Luxe Botanics goes, Roestorf is adamant it wins at retail because of its commitment to training. As much as possible, she tries to do face-to-face training sessions with store associates, but turns to training via Skype if she can’t physically be at a retail location. Retailers receive videos and presentations for ongoing education. “The way we do our training is engaging and apparently much more in-depth than many brands. That speaks to me as a scientist. I like to tell people all the details,” says Roestorf. “People [selling our products inside stores] have quite scientific conservations with customers when they talk about a product of ours rather than just saying, ‘It smells nice.’”