NEW YORK – Nutrafol co-founder and CEO Giorgos Tsetis is a model turned engineer who worked to create a safe and effective alternative to hair drugs after experiencing thinning hair in his early 20's and finding the sexual side effects of the drugs outweighed the benefits. He spoke on the Glossy Beauty Podcast about “changing the company’s sales vehicle in a matter of weeks” in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of treating hair loss during such stressful times.
Tsetis, on the Nutrafol website, explains how the company was founded, “It started with three people experiencing the same thinning hair stories as millions of others. Each of us had been through the existing ‘solutions’ and were dissatisfied. Well, it's more truthful to say that we were freaking out. On one hand, there were harsh drugs with scary side effects. On the other, generic vitamins with little quantifiable research. We knew that we could create a natural solution that would strike a balance between safety and efficacy.”
Nutrafol “works with more than 1,500 specialists, using them as their frontline to reach consumers with their clinically tested products,” the Glossy reported.
“We started to sell in doctors’ offices, we started to sell in salons, because people trust their stylist,” Tsetis said on the Glossy Beauty Podcast. “Their stylist is never going to recommend something that they truly don’t believe in. They’re not salespeople.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and was followed by lockdowns across the globe, Nutrafol “reacted by creating a platform for those experts on its DTC [direct-to-consumer] site,” the Glossy reported.
Tsetis continued on the podcast, “We always believed: let’s focus on the thought leaders, the hair experts, the dermatologists and the plastic surgeons, and educate them and share the science and knowledge that we have. That’s how we built our brand foundation. In the meantime, in parallel, we started to sell e-comm [via e-commerce]. The majority is direct-to-consumer, because that relationship, between us and the customer is incredibly important. When COVID-19 hit, what we saw is that obviously the doctors’ offices and the salons started to close. We saw that coming after some of these announcements, very quickly we saw that dip happen. Now, the good news is that the majority of our business is direct-to-consumer.”
He told the Glossy, “We have a great e-comm and tech team. We pivoted quickly, building a direct-to-consumer platform for physicians and stylists. We did this in about three weeks. And this platform really enabled product sales in the professional channel while salons and offices are closed. It’s a typical drop-ship model. But most importantly, we don’t want to own that relationship because this is a relationship earned by the doctors and the stylists. Maintaining that, and truly being a partner for them to facilitate that was incredibly important. We were able to do that, and we’ve seen some great results, so far.”
Of the company, Tsetis told the Glossy, “We are a growth company, so there’s a lot of expenses within the P&L [profit and loss statement] that are ‘nice to haves,’ that are not necessarily mission critical. For example, a growth budget is X. By reducing your growth budget, you can still acquire a similar amount of customers or even exceed the number of new customers. There’s some changes that we made there, just overall expenses. If you start being more efficient in every single department, then the results really show. That’s what we have been doing. We really reduced our opex [operating expenses] burn by about 55% in a matter of six weeks.”
More information about Nutrafol is available online: https://nutrafol.com.