Marie Meskheli's tips on creating your own cosmetics line

Creating your own make-up brand is a very exciting, challenging and rewarding experience. In this article, I will try to introduce the most important aspects of the whole process.

Being prepared is one of the most important factors when creating your own make-up brand. It is essential that you are fully prepared and have set of clear objectives. You will need to dedicate a lot of your free time, undertake research and even attend training courses to achieve your goals. 

You also need to be able to answer the following questions: 

For whom are you creating the brand? Who is your target customer? 

What is your key selling point? Have you identified a gap in the market? What will you be offering that is ‘new' and ‘different' when you introduce your brand? Once you have defined these points, what will be the brands main concept e.g. ‘Professional make-up', ‘mineral make-up', ‘vegan cosmetics', ‘handmade cosmetics' or something else. 

Which market are you creating your product's portfolio for? 

What will be your distribution channel? Where will you sell your products (physical shops, online shops etc.)? What will be the price range for your products? 

Before you begin to create your own make-up brand, you need to undertake extensive research and analyse the current market. Where are you planning to undertake your activity? Who are your competitors? This is increasing year by year, the market is full of cosmetic and make-up products, ranging from budget to premium and niche brands. 

Creating your own make-up brand requires huge resources, you need to have the correct finance in place and to start building a dedicated team to grow the business. It is extremely challenging, especially when you first start trading and are competing against established international brands that have been operating around the globe for decades.  

The next stage is to organise the technical side of your activity:

Choosing a name for your brand: Ideally your brand's name will be easy to remember, easy to pronounce, connected with your activity and free from trademark registration.

Create a detailed business plan for your brand: This is a vital step for your business venture and covers all topics from marketing to financial projections. This will be crucial, especially if you need financing and you need to find an investor or sponsor for your brand. Try to define all the points in your business plan clearly, keep it concise and know your audience. 

Identify reputable suppliers: You will also need to identify reputable suppliers for your products' assortment that can offer high quality formulations, competitive prices, Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) and reliable delivery times. 

On average, product development takes between six months to a year. Once you have this data, you can provide a more detailed financial breakdown and analysis in your business plan. 

You will also need to produce a design and marketing plan, where you detail the step by step activity from product development to sales.

Always remember; try to avoid any extra fixed expenses in your activity, especially at the beginning and utilise your strengths. It can take up to one to two years to bring the first products to market. 

Each step, from the initial brand concept to bringing your product to market, will be full of different challenges, whether it is financial, design or technical issues. You will need to answer the following questions; ‘what to create?', ‘where to produce?', ‘how to produce?', ‘how to sell?', ‘where to sell?' to realise your dream. 

If you find your customer sales increase, you may need more funds to increase production, if your sales are slow you still have to cover your business' fixed expenses each month, so it is important you have strong financial resources to maintain your business. 

Marie Meskheli is a Beauty Entrepreneur and Founder and Creator of Delfy Cosmetics.