Slovak organic beauty cosmetics Noili plans to expand
At the beginning, Dr. Zuzana Gyárfášová started to produce its organic cosmetics only for her own use. Her oil-based products soon became very popular. In 2018, she introduced her first 5 facial oils to the world under the brand Noili. Thanks to the initial investment from CB Investment Management, the company managed to expand into the Czech market and broaden its product portfolio. One of Noili's loyal customers is top model Daniela Peštová, who was attracted by the brand's minimalism and decided to work closely with the brand. The brand is planning to grow further, which should be boosted by the investment raised in an investment campaign on the Crowdberry platform.
What were the beginnings of Noili? What did the brand use the funding from its first investment for and what are its future plans? Find out in the following interview.
So why did you start with organic cosmetics in the first place?
I was wondering what is the best skin care in terms of slowing down the aging process. After researching the market and the options it offered, I created a detailed review of studies that addressed this topic and used them to choose the essential ingredients for my own cosmetics. I was initially making it just for myself. But over time, interest in it grew in my area, and so I fine-tuned formulas to be functional, easily absorbed into the skin, and non-comedogenic (didn't clog pores). My team and I then worked for two to three years to develop Noili products, and in 2018 we launched the brand's first products. And because I really enjoy cosmetics, I am continuing to educate myself in this area.
What philosophy is the Noili brand built on?
Our philosophy is based on the beauty of minimalism. Thus, on the use of only a few products with a simple but very effective ingredients and without the use of synthetic preservatives. This is achieved by using the ideal ratio of active ingredients and oils that are quickly absorbed into the skin and do not clog pores.
Who are Noili products primarily intended for?
They are suitable for all people who want to take care of their skin in a sophisticated way and do not spend a lot of time looking for the ideal facial skin care. Based on studies, we know that the active ingredients we use are the best that the beauty industry has to offer when it comes to maintaining a long-lasting youthful appearance. That's why we target customers looking for more premium products and who don't feel the need to try every new product that comes on the market. They want one product that works, and stay with it.
Are the facial oils suitable for oily skin, for example?
Anyone who has tried our products finds they don't block pores and definitely don't leave the skin oily after use. This is related to our important marketing tool, our product samples. We offer them free of charge not only on our e-shop, but also in our partner stores, where the sellers include them with any purchase. In addition, I have noticed that facial oils are a global trend at the moment. People are generally more interested in them and more informed about them than they used to be. I therefore think that the myths about skin oils are gradually and successfully being debunked by Noili.
Had you been clear from the beginning that the name of your brand would be Noili?
Not at all. Finding a suitable name was very difficult. We spent about three months, I think, comparing hundreds of different words. We want to keep our brand name simple and have the same pronunciation in other languages. In the end, we got help from the owner of the studio who created the branding for us, including a logo in the shape of a stylized safflower, from which one of our most popular cosmetic oils comes. It was him who suggested the name Noili.
Well, how do you remember the beginnings of the brand now?
The beginnings were challenging but very satisfying. We were courageous and impulsive, we had great products and we were a bit naive at the same time. All the initial costs for the brand were funded from our own resources, which were very modest. Looking back at Noili now, I would probably put more emphasis on the coherency of the business plan. On the other hand, I don't think everything has to be perfectly planned from the beginning.
Is there a certain period you can say was a turning point for the brand?
I definitely consider 2020 to be a game changer, when we launched our revolutionary Bakuchiol & Squalane Oil Serum, which contained bakuchiol. This ingredient was a complete innovation in the cosmetics industry at the time and we managed to gain a lot of traction in the beauty segment in particular. Still today, the Bakuchiol & Squalane Serum is our bestseller and we receive complimentary reviews from our customers almost daily. But 2021 was also a crucial year for Noili, when we received an investment from CB Investment Management. The investment opened up more opportunities for the company and the brand to grow. We were able to standardize our corporate processes, enter the Czech market and establish cooperation with top model Daniela Pestova, which gave us more credibility.
What is the current scope of Noili's product portfolio and how is it distributed?
Currently, we have a total of six products with 11 variations of basic cosmetic oils and anti-aging serums. Another three to four should be added this year in cooperation with Daniela Pestova. The oils are produced for us by a family-owned pharmaceutical factory in Nitra, where all the products are also packaged. Distribution is then done through fulfillment partner isklad. Our main sales channel is a branded e-shop and a network of partner stores, which we are constantly expanding.
How many people are currently working in the Noili team?
At the moment we have four permanent team members. Me, of course, and then there's Oliver Fodor - our business development manager, who I was connected with through Crowdberry. Klaudia Benkovská, who has many years of experience in advertising agencies, works with us as a brand manager. The last part of the Noili team is Silvia Kadlečíková, who takes care of customer service and office management. Other positions are outsourced according to current needs.
Why did you choose these three people to join you?
It was important to me to have smart, sophisticated, experienced, mature and trustworthy colleagues, to radiate positive energy and to be able to jump on the bandwagon with enthusiasm. Another essential criteria was to have the ability to think creatively and to have original ideas. When people understand each other, I think they can translate their energy into fantastic results. I follow the same criteria when working with external collaborators, and I feel the same about the people at Crowdberry.
What are your future plans for the Noili brand?
Definitely big. We want to expand our portfolio with other fantastic products, expand into other markets, increase the customer base and continue to develop our collaboration with Daniela Pestova. In addition, we want to raise funding on Crowdberry's investment platform, as Oliver and I have had good experiences with the people at Crowdberry. They are true professionals who can raise capital to develop and grow local companies. We also appreciate the fact that, in addition to funding, they are able to provide companies with their expertise and know-how also after the investment.