NATULIQUE has been around for many years now, continuously pursuing their mission and gaining valuable family members from all around the world along the way.
Since 1998 we have strived to convince more professionals, more clients and more partners of the benefits of our low-tox, naturally derived products. And in January of 2010, exactly 10 years ago, NATULIQUE successfully introduced this idea to the British market.
This month we celebrate 10 years of growing, learning and connecting.
10 years of creativity and 10 years of hard work.
We celebrate 10 years of NATULIQUE in the UK!
Destiny – “The perfect product at the right time”. That’s how Craig Rucastle, head distributor for NATULIQUE in the UK, recalls the early beginnings of this partnership.
The philosophy and mission behind what our brand stands for hit close to home for many local hair enthusiasts and festered in the minds of the people we now consider family members.
Craig remembers: “We were starting to talk about PPD-free, or low levels of PPD, no ammonia, no parabens – all the amazing things we still talk about today and this was a long time ago before people really knew what parabens really were, before we even completely understood how important it was and is to do these things”.
To this day, we continue to work on improving our understanding of hair care and take the process of adapting to changes in the industry, and changes in our hairdressers’ and clients’ needs very serious.
Since teaming up with the Vegan Society in 2017, for example, we’ve made completely transitioning to all Vegan friendly products a priority for the development of NATULIQUE as a conscious brand example and wholesome hair care provider.
We want to be able to look back in another 10 years and say once more; we know so much more now, than we did then – That’s progress!
And with that mentality and drive we started our journey in the United Kingdom in 2010. But for the idea to manifest into something real that clients would be drawn to and hairdressers could relate to on a personal level it took a lot of hard work. “Full of enthusiasm, we did a bunch of research and we hit the ground running… and it was really hard”, Craig recalls.
From the very beginning creativity was flowing and ideas were abundant.
The first draft of what is now known as “Earth Salon” was even thrown around. But Tony Byrne, one of NATULIQUE’S finest hair professionals and entrepreneurs, knew he had to wait for the right time.
That same patience and passion that every NATULIQUE family member brings to the table persisted even throughout the hardest of times; “We had a mass of highs and a mass of lows. I think our first month our turnover was 7.99pounds, we sold one tube of colour and needless to say it didn’t bode well for the future”, Craig remembers.
Eventually, it just clicked and NATULIQUE was soon not only spreading further across the British market but also growing in the hearts of our family members.
Fellow hair enthusiasts, clients and hairdressers were all part of our development as a brand, but more importantly our growth as a community.
And soon we weren’t just accepted into the UK but actively supported.
Every launch, training, event and product was welcomed with open arms: “It exceeded our expectations, every product that came out was just amazing. […] And the responses from the salons and the people we were dealing with was always positive”, Craig reminisces.
Since then we have had many trials and errors, many lessons to learn and successes to celebrate. And if those 10 years of NATULIQUE in the UK have taught us anything at all, it’s the following four principles;
#1 The Importance of Constant Education and Further Training in a Dynamic and Evolving Industry
The passion and drive of the hair professionals in the NATULIQUE family alone is enough to bring rise to the importance of educating each other.
We hold ourselves and each other to the highest standards not only because we are ambitious but because as a family we do best when we all do well individually.
In trying to not just keep up but stay ahead of the market and our clients’ needs we introduced training courses and events into NATULIQUE’S DNA and the British market very early.
Through spreading our philosophy and sharing tips and tricks for the best use of our products we can help the community grow closer, smarter and faster.
In fact, the UK is one of our most popular recipients of training courses and together with our amazing local team we were able to establish “A Natural Vision” – our introductory class – and “Colour Footprint” – our master class.
Hairdressers can take online classes in our training academy, visit events, sign up for local training sessions, review training videos on our website and more.
Additionally we use blogs as a medium to help educate our family whilst entertaining them and recently released a blog on how specifically independent hairdressers can stay educated and on top of things.
#2 Keep Striving for Higher Standards of Sustainability
One important philosophy that sets us apart from other brands in the hair care industry is our constant and continuous strive for sustainability.
A milestone in this pursuit is the opening of our very first sustainable concept salon, from “Ruby B” to the official Earth Salon.
It’s only right that Ruby Byrne’s salon is not only the new standard of how we want to bring our philosophy closer to our clients and partners but also that this outstanding salon becomes our UK flagship.
Tony, Ruby’s father, recalls when it was finally time to launch the big business idea: “We are so proud of it. The idea is to grow it more next year and the year after and get maybe 20-25 Earth Salons around the UK. NATULIQUE is on another level for ethics and the planet itself and […] I do believe it.”
And so do we! A second Earth Salon has already been opened in the UK and we hope to add many more salons and hair professionals to that list. It is a statement and paradigm for sustainable initiatives in modern hair salons everywhere and we couldn’t be more proud.
#3 The Importance of and Ways to protect the Salon Environment
Salons are a hairdressers second home and it should be for their clients too. It’s not only you that determines how well you can perform your craft, but your salon and the environment you work in day in, day out has a crucial influence on this too.
Over the years we learned more about salon pollution and how it affects hairdressers and clients alike. We learned there are many small and big things hairdressers can do to reduce waste, save water and be more environmentally friendly.
We learned about easy ways to recycle in a salon, new and innovative ways to modernise your salon to put less of a burden on our planet. And it was our hairdressers that were front runners in asking, learning and adapting.
Your salon environment affects the experiences clients have when they visit, it affects your mood and energy, but most importantly your health. NATULIQUE was built on the foundation of wanting to do better for the planet as well as ourselves.
So that in taking better care of our earth, we’d take better care of ourselves and could therefore also take better care of our clients.
This is something we didn’t just discover over the course of 10 years but something we are continuously trying to master, with the utmost dedication!
#4 Community Pushes Innovation and Creativity
Our NATULIQUE family is full of talented hair professionals with great ideas and a passion for sharing. As a brand we try to facilitate the relations between our hairdressers so that they can benefit from each others knowledge and build stronger connections over the thing we love the most.
We do this because we realise how important the social aspect is in our industry, because connecting with people, sharing ideas and moments and eventually memories separates services from experiences and partners from family.
Over the past ten years the outcomes and successes of events we have organised for the sake of community and education are a testament to the fact that community pushes innovation and creativity every time.
“Our clients really love doing it. Coming on board, preparing models, going to the shows, sharing ideas… and that’s what it’s about: sharing ideas”, says Tony.
The Innovation Awards have been a major success and yearly highlight since 2013. We have learned to build NATULIQUE around what our hairdressers need and want, around the problems they face in their daily work life and strive to make life easier and working better for each and every one of them.
NATULIQUE’s journey to and through the UK has been a bumpy one at times, but one that we have always stuck to.
The community and people we’ve met and the connections we’ve made, the things we’ve learned, the successes and failures all add up to a one beautiful story, that is a long way from being finished.
To sum it up in the words of Anthony Byrne: “For us, for me it’s been a growth. I think it’s been really hard, but it’s been worth it… really worth it!”