How a plastic surgeon started a natural skincare brand
"You don't need to reinvent the wheel, but your wheel has to be different in order to get anyone's attention."
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nina Naidu. I am a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York City.
What is Anokha® Skin Care?
Anokha is a clinical-grade skincare line that sits at the junction of medicine and nature - it falls into the category of clean-clinical skincare as it uses environmental ingredients to achieve clinical results.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I launched Anokha in 2008 in response to multiple patient requests for clinically effective skincare which does not use harsh medical-grade ingredients.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Everything starts with research of the ingredients and their safety and efficacy profiles. Once these are selected, I start the formulation process and begin creating samples by hand in small batches.
These are tested out on volunteers - myself, my staff, and my VIP patients. I take all of the feedback very seriously and iterate until I'm excited about the product. If I'm not thrilled when I use it, I don't release it.
Describe the process of launching the business.
It took me about three years to create the brand and launch the business, as I was growing my surgical practice at the time, and there were so few resources for guidance.
I initially worked with manufacturers and most would not speak to me because my brand was so small. It took tremendous persistence and patience to launch.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Education has always been a mainstay of both my surgical practice and Anokha. We try to give people the information they need to make an informed decision, without the pressure to purchase.
We've found repeatedly that this generates an open dialogue and a loyal customer base.
What's the reason customers pick Anokha® Skin Care over your competitors?
The products simply work. The packaging is elevated and very considered, and the combination of something luxurious that makes you feel and look good is key.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are growing steadily and taking our time - rapid growth is not part of our plan and would adversely affect our quality.
Our goal is to reach our customers through both ecommerce and selected retail partners.
Since starting the business, what's the number 1 thing you have learned?
Branding is the most critical aspect of any business. If this isn't tight, it's very difficult to grow.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Shopify has been one of the most useful tools for streamlining the ecommerce side of our business.
Social media has been effective for displaying the brand message. Reading and learning all the time are essential.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The Luxury Strategy, by Jean-Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien - an essential book if you are in the luxury space. "How I Built This" is a wonderful podcast that digs into the messy side of being an entrepreneur.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Find your passion and don't let anyone talk you out of it. Have a significant point of differentiation. You don't need to reinvent the wheel, but your wheel has to be different in order to get anyone's attention.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Anokha® Skin Care
Are Anokha® Skin Care products PETA Cruelty-Free?
Anokha is certified by both PETA and Leaping Bunny as cruelty-free.
Why is Anokha® Skin Care the best?
Anokha recognizes that beauty is layered, and that these layers are different for every person.
Where is Anokha® Skin Care located?
Anokha is based in New York City.
How long does it take Anokha® Skin Care to ship?
Anokha ships within 1 business day when possible.
How long does it take Anokha® Skin Care to deliver?
Most products are delivered within 2-5 business days, even around the world.
Anokha® Skin Care - Customer Reviews
Anokha® Skin Care has a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 194 customer reviews.
High end quality ingredients. Glass jar. Great results. Perfect feeling. Wonderful overall. Everything they create is amazing.
Anokha is one of my favorite brands and every time I buy one of their products I am just so happy. This moisturizer is another amazing product! It is hydrating and refreshing and came beautifully packaged as always. It has a beautiful subtle scent and just feels so relaxing. I seriously can’t wait to buy more of their products! Highly recommend everything!
Just love the packaging and the fact that this product has been created by a doctor who clearly has a good taste and only believes in high quality ingredients. I love that it included few little cards with instructions, history and a night ritual that I started following religiously and my skin looks amazing. I love that it comes in glass bottle and not in plastic. Clearly a luxury item where every detail was executed flawlessly.
I loved the packaging when I first opened it! it had a personalized card with my name! this cream had a great subtle scent and felt amazing and refreshing on my skin. love how hydrated my skin felt after using it.
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