How did you get started?
Jao Brand was ideally conceived as a product that travelers would use and as an international brand. We built our distribution on our own by doing NYNOW (New York Now) for 17 years, every show. The buyers are always an interesting group coming from the continental USA but also a few from Europe. I was able to pick up a few European stores this way.
Your first M&O was in January 2016 then again in September, how did you get to M&O Paris?
With the travel bug nipping at my soul I asked my associate how much of our sales are currently from the EU and was pleasantly surprised when she said close to 20%. That was more than enough for me to realize that now was the time to point our marketing direction towards the EU to garner those sales for our future growth.
That must have been quite a challenge considering the competition within the cosmetics market.
It certainly was. In fact we had already been working to get our products certified for the EU and I wanted us to be one of the first independent beauty brands to show at M&O. We also decided that we would need to do M&O at least three consecutive times so that we could push our visibility
And what is your experience of the show so far?
At the show we build contacts by letting the buyers lead. We do not aggressively court anyone. I have found that buyers in NY need to take the lead on their interest in us. This seems to be the case with the buyers at M&O also. Our products and our tiny booth seem interesting, with our graphics and unconventional “branded not branded” look.
Ahhhh, yes! Very blue! A peaceful and soothing colour?
Exactly! The clients that “get us” always seem to stop, linger and then ask about us. We give out a beautiful sample pack with our blue logo and info on the brand. We follow up with all of our EU contacts, and hope to build from there. After being in the business for 20 years we finally have the confidence to know that our products are incredible and they will find the right buyer on their own.
So M&O is the right fit for your products?
I think we fit with M&O because we love good design and have tried to put that passion into not only the look of our product but also more importantly into the actual product itself by focusing on the quality inside the tube. It’s not just about a cute looking gifty thing, it is about a really great product that once you use them, you will most likely be hooked for life. I think M&O is the perfect stage for us, as they are highlighting beautiful goods and design from all over the world and we are happy to be there because of this commitment to the best in style, art, craft, and design.
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