How hard is it to create a global award-winning spa product house? Very difficult - if not impossible - I hear you cry. We agree. But there are some key points in the growth of any business that can increase success rates if you get them right. For Natura Bissé those key points are the five principles embraced by Ricardo Fisas when he founded the company in 1979.
1. Be observant - and curious
Serendipity, something good happening by chance, is one of our favourite words. And serendipity applies to the founding of Natura Bissé, which began with an accidental discovery. When Ricardo Fisas Mulleras noticed that workers in his factory handling certain dairy products had especially soft skin, he could have simply ignored it. And he did, for a while, but when he was made redundant in 1979 (at the age of 50 with four small children) the thought came back to him. And that, along with his natural curiosity, led him to create Natura Bissé.
2. Be scientific - and test
The key was realising that collagen, elastin and keratin-rich protein chains cannot be absorbed through the skin - but that amino acids making up those proteins are much smaller, and can. Working with a dermatologist and a cosmetic chemist, Ricardo created the first of his creams. He then asked 500 people to use the cream on one side of their face and a similar cream (but without the amino acids) on the other. This they (very bravely) did for six months. When Ricardo saw the results, his dermatologist immediately recommended that he start making - and selling - his product.
3. Be focussed - and plan
Natura Bissé began with just five different creams and sold them through spas – after all, women in Spain frequently visited the same skin spa-based specialist. Ricardo and team resisted the temptation to expand into other product ranges to begin with. It was only later - as their knowledge grew and markets expanded - that they began to produce versions of their ranges to be used at home. By the 1980s Natura Bissé had developed a range of face and skincare products throughout Spain. During the 1990s - bolstered by many celebrities who used the brand (including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow) – they expanded into the US.
4. Be cutting edge - and experiment
The Natura Bissé team are always developing new products and have come up with some significant developments in their time, including:
The Pure Air Bubble facial: a facial delivered in a white fabric bubble filled with 99 per cent pure air making you feel energetic and refreshed.
A peel that can be used at home: peels have traditionally been rather harsh and only used by therapists - the Natura Bissé Diamond Glyco Extreme Peel contains high concentrations of exfoliating acids which remove dead skin cells without causing irritation.
The hi-tech Mindful Touch: an AR headset designed to achieve a deep state of wellbeing and relaxation prior to a facial.
5. Be caring - and take action
The family then set up the Ricardo Fisas Natura Bissé Foundation, a non-profit organization that focusses on social development and outreach. The Foundation’s Oncology Skin Care Program offers free treatments for those living with cancer, as well as specialist courses in oncology skin care for therapists. Project Difference trains and supports teachers to work with children with learning difficulties. To fund these projects, Natura Bissé commits a percentage of their profits each and every year.