Skincare Guru Dr Naomi Talks the Power of Brand Extension

Skincare founder and entrepreneur Dr Naomi McCallum reveals her plans for 2023 and how the introduction of her at-home devices are extending clients’ beauty regimes. By Anita Quade.

Anita Quade: Tell us about your plans for 2023.

Dr Naomi McCallum: “We have a BIG 2023 planned.  We have a lot of new products in development, including a neck and dec cream coming out in Feb 2023. We also have a super-rich and luxe moisturiser launching in mid 2023. With my personal history of melanoma and other skin cancers, our most exciting products for 2023 for me are the sunscreens which we’ve been working on for years. We’re launching several sunscreens in late 2023 and we’re trying to get them just right! We want them to be exceptional and addictive to use and that is a formulation challenge.  I want women and men to love using sunscreen rather than feeling it’s a chore.”

You have such a huge following in Australia – any plans to expand globally?

“I’m planning to spend more time in the USA in 2023 as we’ve been working on growing the brand there. No Aussie cosmeceutical brand has ever cracked the US market so we want to be the first to do it. Obviously we understand that it’s a huge challenge, but we’re ambitious and will dream no other way than big. I’m fortunate to have a clever and motivated team and we will do the work it takes. Our next step in the plan for the brand has always been physical store retailing, so please watch this space.

Our products have won several awards, but my personal highlight of 2022 was winning the People En Español magazine’s Beauty Star products award for Catfish eye cream. I would love to win another award for Vitamin Amen or Let’s C in their 2023 awards.”

What are some of the favourite parts of your job?

  • Transformation of patient’s skin, beauty and mindset. I want to help our customers get the most out of life, whatever that means to them. It is the best feeling watching that mindset change happen. As a provider, that has been my drug for decades.
  • Getting high performance teams together is one of the best parts of the journey. It’s rewarding to improve my leadership skills and help others on the team do the same. I love seeing my team members succeed and grow. The great thing for an entrepreneur is to have incredible implementers by your side. It has taken time, but I have achieved that, which is an incredible opportunity and feels like a business luxury.
  • I love the learning aspect, the formulating, the marketing, the people and culture, the platform backend. It’s just nonstop learning.
  • The challenge of having a start-up and attempting to scale is a wild ride. I think it must be my nature to “enjoy” this risky and stressful journey.
  • I get a kick out of the fun and random creative decisions I get to make. eg last week I pictured one of our Superoils in a new colour packaging in my mind, so I just sent an email and now my awesome implementers on the team make my idea come to life. To me something little like that is really cool and fun.”

This is PB’s Australian Made issue and it’s great to see business women like you proudly flying the Australian flag – how important has it been for you to be Australian Made and use Australian ingredients?

“I’m finding the manufacturing part of this business very challenging. It’s quite new to me and I had no idea it would be this difficult. Keeping it Australian-made is a big call and there are a lot of cons, but we’re committed to it, currently.”

What are the benefits of being local?

“Australian standards are very high. We are required to meet some of the world’s strictest labour, business, safety and quality control standards. It has been interesting to see this in relation to sunscreens. Buying Australian made products helps to reduce the energy consumption used to transport products, this reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Lead times and delivery costs may also be reduced. I think another thing is the personal side too – it’s great to watch the local businesses we partner with grow and become more successful.”

Have you come across any drawbacks?

“Extra cost, sometimes less reliability with regards to timing of supply. Australia is so small so another issue is not enough sources of supply.”

How do you think it effects a consumer’s choice to buy your brand knowing its Australian made?

“The environmental aspect is really important to some consumers, which is fantastic. It’s also about a level of trust due to Australia’s strict regulations. I think for some consumers there’s an aspect of pride too, especially when the products are world class. The fact that people want to support local products is something I wasn’t expecting before creating my skincare. Seeing how it has been embraced locally has been the best surprise.”

In 2022 you extended your offering from skincare to some great at home devices for clients – tell us about why that was important?

“That comes probably from my decades of being in a treatment room, serving beauty achievers who have high expectations.

These consumers want the best and most efficient results in-clinic, and they have the same expectations for their home care. We owe it to them to do everything we can with products and devices to meet these high expectations.”

How have you found the response?

“Incredible. Our brand has become well known for the quality of our devices, and our sales reflect that. We need to keep working to keep creating and delivering the best home-care options though, which is a big job, but we’re on it!”

What makes your LED face mask a stand-out from others on the market?

“We have 156 lights. It’s very powerful, and our irradiance is 40mw/cm2. The mask is light-weight and comfortable with full face coverage and the design is super cute on top of it all.”

It was great to see the launch of Big Dec Energy – for the décolletage – how long was this in the making?

“New product development takes such a long time. So much more than expected. Mostly, like with BDE, it takes years. Sunscreens take the longest.”

Where do you come up with the fabulous names for your products?

“That is my fun job to choose the names. However with BDE, that was an Instagram competition we did with our followers, who are responsible. Our followers are creative and funny and we love involving them. They really understood the assignment when they came up with the name ‘Big Dec Energy’.”

Share with us your favourites in the range…

“I have a few. I just love Pore Relation. Consumers are sleeping on it. It’s such a great product and should be a hero of the range. It’s a hydrating toner, which is a pleasure to use. It’s by far the best value product in the range. At $89 it has the effects of a serum and for many customers it lasts a year! Another slept-on product is our retinol, Vitamin Amen. I also love Plump Fiction moisturiser (which is a best seller) and one of the sunscreens in development. For devices, I love LED it Glow, obviously. It just calms me down skin-wise and mentally when I wear it. It’s so self-nourishing.”

Last year you made your foray into New York – can you share with us any international plans for 2023?

“We have a US warehouse and website and need to optimise both. Our service to our US customers needs to improve. I also want to partner with some US online retailers, so we’re working on that. We are working on a lot of regulatory aspects for our international plans, which is very time-consuming and expensive.”

What new treatments can we look forward to on your menu?

“Bioremodeller was the best new addition for the menu in 2022, but for 2023 we are finding a lot of wonderful new areas and ways to use it. We are hopefully getting a body version of it in 2023.”

Any skincare trends you can predict?

“I think the focus will be aiming to achieve in-clinic results at home. Things like our product, “One Night Stand” which is a powerful overnight facial. Consumers love seeing a result after one application of a product.”

This article first appeared in the January-February 2023 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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