Wrinkles Schminkles takes on sharks

Wrinkle Schminkles founder Gabrielle Requena on Shark Tank

Three years after launching its wrinkle-fighting silicone pads onto the Australian market, Wrinkles Schminkles has taken on everyone’s favourite sharks – the stars of Network Ten’s Shark Tank.

Although company founder Gabrielle Requena didn’t garner any investment from the five sharks (Steve Baxter, Janine Allis, Andrew Banks, Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards), her appearance on the TV show last month, attracted 500 online sales within two days – and 40 new salon stockists within a week.

Requena said she primarily went on the show to secure an investment from entrepreneur Andrew Banks who she thought would be able to help Wrinkle Schminkles gain mass distribution in the US.

Although Banks said ‘no’ to investing in the business, largely due to concerns that others would “copy the product”,  Baxter offered $300,000 for a 40-something percent stake but Requena said ‘no’ as she was only willing to give a stake of up to 18 percent for such a sum.

Despite the lack of investment, Requena said she is “grateful” for the experience as “there was a lot of positivity” from the sharks about her business.

However, she explained that as the series was edited before airing some of her presentation, that was particularly relevant for the beauty industry, was omitted.

For example, she says that the brand’s repeat purchase rate of 19 percent was “heavily discussed” but the discussion was not aired fully and the metric was “perhaps inaccurately” interpreted as “poor”.

“One of the sharks [Dr Glen Richards] strongly felt that our repeat purchase rate should be higher as our products last a month (if used nightly) but not everyone uses the product nightly…Some people just use the products a few nights a week and some just use them before a special occasion.

“In addition some of our other products last much longer than a month (the cleaning solution lasts for around two years and the Morning After Glow Serum lasts for around five months) and bring the entire metric down.

“However most importantly 19 percent of our entire database repeat purchases every month – if 19 percent of all customers of Mecca or Chanel or any skincare brand purchased every month it’ would be considered a strong repeat purchase metric and a highly sustainable business.

“And even more notably the repeat purchase metrics of our most popular product is extremely high – around 80 percent of all our Chest Smoothing Kit customers re-purchase within two months.

“It’s a massive metric and what’s continues to drive the strength of our business.”

Launched in 2015, Wrinkle Schminkles’ medical-grade silicone pads” were created “to treat and prevent the formation of lines, creases and wrinkles”.

According to Gabrielle, the reusable pads “generate hydration and stimulate collagen production from the inside out”.

“When a pad is placed onto the skin, it creates a micro-climate environment between the skin and the silicone. This helps the skin heal itself as hydration is drawn up from the lower layers of the skin to the dermis, causing it to plump and smooth itself.”

Gabrielle says the pads, which are left on the skin while the user sleeps, produce “immediate results after the first use” as well as “cumulative results over time”.

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