Business 29 July 2017
The meaning behind Skincare line Tu’el name is a quirky and creative one – it stands for “two L’s,” since its current co-founders are Lisa and Lori Nestore. In actuality, the brand was created over 30 years ago by the Nestores’ mother, Eva Friederichs. Friederich had created Eva’s Esthetics, and was one of the first American professional skincare lines used by estheticians at spas and salons across the world. Friederich was a legend in her industry, and founder of the first advanced training institute for estheticians in America. Her signature line contained natural and botanical ingredients, and set the bar for skincare products.
Lisa and Lori Nestore
After Friederich retired, her daughters Lisa and Lori took over, modernizing the brand and naming it Tu’el. Growing up with their renowned mother, the sisters know the ins and outs of the business, and inherited a healthy dose of their mother’s passion for beautiful skin. Tu’el uses high performance botanicals to treat all skin types and conditions. The products balance and improve skin health and overall appearance, with an emphasis on not just making you see the difference, but allowing you to feel it as well.
What makes Tu’el stand out from the litany of other skincare lines is their focus on pores and the integral role they serve in having healthy skin. “We like to refer to ourselves as The Pore Stars,” says Nestore. “For us, it’s all in the pores, and our mother showed us that determinijg skin types is the first step to setting the stage for healthy skin. She taught us to determine skin types by looking at your face in a mirror.” Since everyone has different pores, each skin type must be treated with differing botanical plant extracts to result in perfectly balanced and glowing skin.
The Nestore sisters reveal that the methodology behind the pore analysis was taught by their mother. “The skin along your jawline has no visible pores and looks relatively smooth with little texture. Compare the skin along your jawline to the skin next to your nose,” instructs Nestore. “Does the texture look the same or do you see larger pores next to your nose? Now look at your entire face excluding your nose and choose your skin type from the images on our website. Now you know your skin type!” By determining the exact skin type through pore analysis, they enable customers to effectively treat their skin condition. A lot of the frustration that customers might otherwise have from not knowing their skin type is then solved.
The family truly takes on business endeavors together. Not only is Tu’el birthed from the Nestore sisters’ mother, but there is also a related company, Youth to the People, that is run by Lisa Nestore’s son, Greg, and their nephew, Joe. Youth to the People is based on a similar concept as Tu’el, but combines superfoods and science. Working with family in such close quarters, however, doesn’t come without its share of conflict. However, their family dynamic is strong enough that petty arguments don’t last long.
“We get in one good argument about once a year that lasts about ten minutes and then we’re over it,” says Nestore. “We have such different roles in the company and have total respect for each other’s position. There is a lot of passion here at Tu’el.”
The Nestore sisters grew Tu’el mainly from profits, with an occasional mom loan. They were able to do so in part because it was an extension of their mother’s line, which had been used by professionals for over 30 years. Her name garnered some serious hype within the upper echelons of beauty. Their greatest challenge in launching the skincare line, remains to be capital requisition however - an inevitable obstacle for most lines in the saturated beauty industry.
“Being raised in beauty salons, we’ve worked in a female-dominated industry, so neither of us have had much gender discrimination at all,” explains Nestore. “We both feel that if women were to truly come together we could rule the world. We love empowering women.”
The most rewarding aspect of owning a successful skincare line isn’t the profit they pull in, but the reactions they get from their satisfied customers. “It’s the overwhelmingly positive reaction Tu’el products and its formulations, and our approach to treating skin that is most gratifying,” says Nestore. “It’s seeing what our mother originally created and seeing that evolution, while retaining what the core of the brand is.” And that core is central to Tu’el products and to its success: clean products without any fillers or harsh chemicals.
Deep Pore Cleansing System
The brand isn’t stagnant, however – the team already has its eyes set on the future, with plans for new products and different directions. Their ongoing goal is to improve their formulations by making them more natural. Tu’el recently launched two new acne products: Rehab Acne Serum and Make Amends Cream. These two new additions are supplements to their acne line and are targeted to help heal and clear up the skin, without damaging it. They are also delving into the realm of anti-aging products, since it is a burgeoning market.
Their success can be in part attributed to the fact that they always had a philanthropic cause they tried to achieve: to make everyone feel good about their skin. And with their emphasis on all-natural, specially formulated botanicals, it’s clear that they’ve achieved this objective.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.