Q&A with Tony Rechtman

Professional Beauty chats to Tony Rechtman, CEO of Total Beauty Network about the acquisition of INIKA and his future business visions.

Tony RechtmanBriefly describe your path to where are you today
After living in LA and working at OPI as the Marketing Director, I wanted to come back to Australia to start a business. Staying in cosmetics was a priority for me as this was my background. I found a few unique brands that all had a point of difference and therefore launched DermaNew, Naked Kiss and White Sands Haircare in the Australian salon market to huge success. At the same time I also launched pharmacy brand Designer Brands Cosmetics. This was eleven years ago as a one man show and now I have over 60 staff.

Why did you choose the beauty industry?
The beauty industry is fun, vibrant and dynamic, and makes women feel great. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a new customer improving their life and getting happiness from one of our product offerings.

TBN acquired INIKA last year, what was the motivation behind this move?
We were searching for an acquisition to add to the portfolio and the key criteria was innovative/point of difference to what is currently on the market. INIKA fits all this criteria and more. INIKA has the highest certification of any cosmetic brand in the world and that is what sets us apart from any other brand. We are a vegan, halal, organic, mineral and natural makeup range with high performing products. INIKA also already had a global footprint with a loyal and devoted customer base and we continued to hear how incredible the range was from all over the world. With such positive and loyal followers we knew this was the right brand to support and grow.

TBN is now a mix of retail and professional brands, how did your retail cosmetic experience (Designer Brands) help with growing the INIKA brand?
My background is in marketing and development of cosmetics at all retail price points, however, the underlying constant theme in my work is products of incredibly high quality. Plus, using my 20 plus years’ experience in product development and ingredients allows me to ensure INIKA continues its original heritage.

What strategies have been put in place to further INIKA’s position in Australia?
INIKA already has a strong following in the salon market and we will further support our customers with a new dedicated salon team, plus an extensive marketing and awareness campaign including PR and advertising. We also have new exciting programs we are about to release to further support and drive consumers into salon which is our key strategy. As INIKA is only available in salons, consumers have to go into salon to buy it, and we’re therefore driving repeat purchase.

Have you changed/reformulated the products since acquisition? Why?
Our plan is to continue the current exceptionally high quality range and to launch new and exciting products that appeal to the INIKA consumer.

What business advice do you have for other companies looking into purchasing external brands?
It’s really important to work out what fits into your company’s overall strategy and expertise base. For us, INIKA made perfect sense as we feel we have the expertise to grow the brand and support the Australian salon market by driving customers into salons.

For more information visit http://www.tbn.com.au/

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