Everyone enjoys wearing a cult beauty product. But the experience only gets better when you receive that product wrapped in craft paper, decorated with little flowers, along with a handwritten note from the founder. This is because, for many of us, a personal touch is of immense importance, as it makes one feel directly connected to the brand.
This is where small batch beauty brands enter the market. Unlike the conventional idea of mass production, these brands meet your needs in small batches not only to save the environment but also to ensure that the pleasure of using their products is holistic and effective.
To better understand this, we spoke with four small-batch, self-produced brands to decode their working model, their products and benefits, the downsides of minimally producing, and how sustainable it is in the long run.
Oleum Cottage, which produces around 100 units per batch, has a team of just six people. “They not only source the raw material and mix it, but they also package the final product, label and package it,” say founders Kasturi Sen and Vidhi Dave. For them, one of the main reasons for producing small products is because “they believe in perfecting their craft with each passing unit and they want to fuse the essence of handmade products.”
It’s no different for Kamini Patel, founder of Nature Therapy, who works with a team of just three members, including herself. “As a small batch producer, in any industry, we have the opportunity to speak with suppliers one-on-one and purchase premium ingredients. If I have a large-scale production, I may not be able to continue with those sources and have to turn to the main suppliers, ”he says. indianexpress.com.
Similarly, for Tamra Botanicals, which currently sells just one product and has a team of five, what matters most is immediate feedback and direct connection with customers. Founder Ankit Suchal says “a beauty brand that produces small batches means quality and guarantee. It also helps us to collaborate with the idea of the market and make the necessary changes as soon as possible. “
What does it mean to produce small?
For Secret Alchemist, a brand run by a mother-daughter duo, “the best part is the personalization.” “We pack our products by hand knowing and understanding the customers. Producing in small batches allows you to innovate and go to market in the shortest time possible, ”shares Ankita Thadani, co-founder, adding that they have been producing in small batches for two decades.
Creating little bottles of concoctions is almost like wrapping a gift for loved ones, an emotion that lays the foundation for these beauty brands. “Consideration in the trade and the artisan definitely adds to this,” says Kasturi.
But not everything is rosy. There is also a portion of the drops, ranging from shipping costs that eat up your margins to high production costs.
“Sometimes we are stuck in one situation or the other because we are labor intensive and we also have space limitations. Shipping costs are also a major disadvantage, ”says Patel.
Other obstacles include attention problems. “While a small team works more efficiently when it comes to branding and marketing activities, but for operations we need all hands on deck, that’s where things get challenging. Personalization is definitely an advantage when competing with automated production lines, but at the end of the day, it sometimes slows us down compared to our competitors, ”says Thadani.
Expensive but worth the money
Producing fewer units invariably means that they are sustainable and have more flexibility. with supply. “We use ppackage that does not contain plastic and is recyclable. Instead of using toxic ink, we used a water-soluble variant, ”explains Suchal. Their products are sourced locally “so that we can use them locally. At the same time, the brand also makes sure to donate three percent of our annual income to various social concerns and plant a tree for each product sold. “
For the supply, Kasturi works closely with oil producers. “It also gives us better control of our formulations. If a certain ingredient becomes unsustainable for environmental reasons, we can go back to our formulation journals and find a good replacement. Mass production, by the very nature of the method, does not allow much flexibility, although it offers lower costs. “
With direct contact with suppliers, brands strive to use natural ingredients with effective results. “This, however, means more labor, which increases the price of raw materials. But by buying cheaper mass-produced products, with higher doses of preservatives and other chemicals, consumers pay an invisible price. That is the price of compromised health, the price of repairing lower skin immunity in the long term, ”he adds.