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Beauty Evolution

Strictly Professional, by Bellitas, is a beauty brand with 28 years of serving salons and mobile professionals under its belt. While it’s easy for any successful brand to coast for decades, Strictly Professional is making waves in the wholesale beauty market, being amongst the first (perhaps the first?) To reformulate its products for the vegan market. Here, we talk to Sales Director Jeremy Rogers, about why going vegan was so important, and why it makes sense.

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“I’d always wanted to work in beauty, since I was 14,” says Jeremy. “I was on holiday in Italy and I met this really cool guy who happened to work in beauty. To me it sounded so cool; beauty is constantly changing, evolving and growing. I started out at Bellitas and then went on to Original Additions before going freelance, but I was always really passionate about Bellitas as a brand, and I wanted to come back and make a difference, so I found my way back.”

Why vegan? 

Since rejoining the firm eight years ago, Jeremy has made many minor changes, but taking the Strictly Professional line vegan was a major decision. I ask him: why vegan – why now? 

“The SP skincare range had remained pretty much untouched over 28 years, apart from when we changed the packaging. I’ve been back with the brand for about eight years and I wanted to change things; it was time to do something.

"We looked at what the rest of the market was doing and also at future trends. We soon discovered how important a vegan range could be, especially considering that we are a wholesale, lower-priced range and no-one else is really delivering quality vegan products at a sensible price. We want our clients to be able to walk into a wholesaler and be able to buy a vegan-friendly, paraben-free, mineral oil-free, artificial fragrance-free range that can deliver at the right price. We wanted to be the first to deliver this quality in the wholesale environment."

"We also carried out a questionnaire with our wholesale clients, asking them what they would like to see more of; a vegan option turned out to be one of their highest priorities, so we knew it was time to do something about it."

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"We’re very much a family business, even though we’re not actually a family. The original founder passed away, but his wife is still a director on our board; in one of our meetings it turned out that her daughter is vegan. She's 18 years old, the same age of many beauty therapists who are just starting out. As an older generation it’s easy for us to ignore what’s going on, so we started to really consider bringing out a vegan product,” says Jeremy.

“Our skincare has always been based around four different skin types, so we had to formulate products that would cleanse, tone, moisturise, mask and exfoliate each different type, and of course, they needed to be stable (because we’re taking parabens out) and also have a vegan-friendly slant. So, there was a lot of testing! The products still had to work. We focused on getting the best formulations and the whole process took about two years, from the initial drawings to seeing the manufacturer.”

Positive Feedback

The revamped range has been available for the past year and the feedback has been great. Jeremy says: “Our customers trust that the products work, and industry experts that we have consulted with agree. Next up we’re looking at reformulating a few more key products, such as the eye cream and eye gel, as well as adding some new products, hopefully by the end of the year. Skincare has always been the main focus of the range, but the transformation could carry across to the mani/pedi products too.”

Why SP?

Dana Cooper, of Luscious Skincare, talks about why working with Strictly Professional is a no-brainer.

My favourite product from the revamped Strictly Professional line would be from the dry skin range; the new formulations are fantastic – I’m really impressed! It’s proving very popular with my clients, as are the exfoliants. 

Many of my clients have asked about vegan-friendly products, so SP offers real benefits. I’m happy to be able to offer vegan-friendly options; I see it as a really positive move that makes sense considering how much the industry is growing. 

For me, the major benefit of using Strictly Professional products is that they offer outstanding results for a reasonable price using great quality ingredients. What more do you need?

Originally published in Capital Hair & Beauty Summer Magazine 2017.
Words by Charisse Kenion.