Adee Phelan is one of the UK's leading hairdressers, working with major brands and celebrities. Now he's releasing a new range - SKNHEAD, revolutionary products that combine skincare with haircare. SKNHEAD has raised over £100,000 in investment on crowdfunding platform Seedrs. Here Adee talks to us about the SKNHEAD journey.
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The idea for creating SKNHEAD - a range of hair products that could be used both on the hair and the skin - had been in my head for seventeen years. I had been in the hairdressing industry for a long time, working with major brands and celebrities. In 2000 I won the British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year award, and went on to create David Beckham’s iconic 2002 mohawk hairstyle, saw my electrical product ranges sold on the high street, and landed my first primetime TV series - The Salon - in 2003.
Everyone was encouraging me to create my own product range, and I was determined to make SKNHEAD reality, combing haircare and skincare to create something that there was a big gap in the market for. Yet manufacturers said creating a product that would act as both a hair styling product and a skincare product couldn’t be done. However, after five years of experimenting and developing, we got the formulas right. We knew it was totally unique and something that had never been done before. So what next?
We decided to launch a Seedrs campaign in order to gain funding, as well as a Start Up Loan, and we chose this route for several reasons. I’ve always funded my own projects so that I can stay true to my vision, and Seedrs allows you to get funding from a variety of angel investors, rather than one major investor, where they might want to take too much control.
Another benefit is that more investors means more interest and buzz, and it looks good for the brand to be able to raise money in this way - it shows that people are excited about what you’re doing, and if multiple people are putting their hand in their pocket for your product it’s a sure-fire endorsement of market demand. And it’s great that, no matter the amount you put in, investors can feel part of the brand - it’s such a positive thing to feel that you’re contributing to the success of a product you care about, and helping to make something happen.
However it’s important to do your groundwork. A lot of work goes into this, and all your figures and numbers need to be in place. You need to have a very firm idea of your unique brand proposition; you can have a great business plan and everything else, but without a unique selling point that grabs people, a different angle on what’s come before, your chance of success is limited.
I’ve learnt a lot along the way. For example, whatever timescale you have planned, multiply it by three. Make sure your business plan is watertight and visually engaging, and that your sums have been done and done again - even if you’re slightly out on your figures, you’ll look unprofessional. If in doubt, get a lawyer. And above all else, poor preparation equals poor performance.
We're very excited about the future for SKINHEAD. Things have gone a bit bananas: major distributors have signed it up, as well as 100 salons nationwide, and we’re in talks with America too. We’ve seen a massive response pre-launch from beauty bloggers and industry professionals, and a lot of love on social media, as well as interviews and press attention. It’s great to be able to launch this product that I’ve dreamed about and to do it with the support of the people who really matter, the customers - by funding it in this way, we can bring everyone along for the ride.
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