· By Olga Ringquist
Why We're Leaving the Offline
Dear Oquist Cosmetics Community,
As we embark on this exciting journey with Oquist Cosmetics, we want to share a pivotal decision that we've made to better align with our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. After careful consideration, we have decided to transition away from offline sales in mainstream stores, embracing the online realm as the primary avenue for connecting with our valued customers. This decision reflects our dedication to waterless and sustainable skincare, embodied in our innovative terracotta sculptures packaging.
The Price of Sustainability:
At Oquist, we've always believed that true beauty should not come at the expense of the planet. Crafting waterless cosmetics involves a meticulous process that is, admittedly, more costly compared to traditional water-based alternatives. Waterless formulations eliminate the need for preservatives and contribute to a reduction in carbon footprint. However, this commitment to sustainability comes with its own set of challenges, particularly in terms of production costs.
Our choice of terracotta packaging, while aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly, also incurs higher production costs compared to conventional materials. Terracotta not only embodies our commitment to sustainability but also serves as a beautiful keepsake long after the product has been used.
Navigating the Distribution Landscape:
Traditional cosmetic distribution models often demand a high Gross Margin, typically around 90%. This stringent requirement is a hurdle for brands like ours that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. The inherent costliness of waterless formulations and terracotta packaging makes fitting into the standard distribution model challenging, pushing prices to levels that we believe are not in line with our commitment to accessibility.
In the end, we were faced with two options: either raise our prices by 50% to align with industry standards or opt to forego that route and concentrate on our own online community.
This is why you can't find Oquist and other similar niche beauty brands in big retail chains. It breaks my heart when I hear people say that if a brand has managed to enter a big chain it equal success. In reality it only means that the product that you purchase at €50 took about €2 to produce (which in our opinion can't be sustainable).
Empowering Our Community:
By choosing to focus on online sales, we can maintain our dedication to sustainability without compromising the accessibility of our products. This decision allows us to bypass the traditional retail markup and offer our community the best possible prices for our waterless skincare in pieces of art.
A Vision for a Sustainable Future:
Our decision to shift away from mainstream offline sales is a bold step towards a future where beauty is synonymous with sustainability. Embracing the online realm empowers us to directly engage with our community, share our values, and make a positive impact on the planet without sacrificing the quality and beauty that defines Oquist Cosmetics.
Nurturing Niche Relationships:
While we bid farewell to the conventional distribution model, we remain committed to working with niche stores, boutique hotels, and those outside the standard distribution channels. This strategic approach ensures that our products reach individuals who share our values without the involvement of excessive intermediaries. We value the authenticity and unique charm that niche partnerships bring to Oquist Cosmetics.
Stepping Away from Fairs and Distributors:
In our pursuit of sustainability, we have also chosen not to participate in fairs and spend time negotiating with distributors. This allows us to direct our energy and resources towards what matters most – crafting exceptional, eco-friendly products and fostering genuine connections with our community.
Thank you for being an integral part of our journey towards a more sustainable and beautiful world.
With love and terracotta elegance,
Olga Ringquist Co-Founder, Oquist Cosmetics