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Sydney’s Yamco Skin made over $100k in its first week

WORDS BY GIULIA BRUGLIERA

You’ve got to admit, it’s impressive.

Most businesses that launch into the beauty space have a story.

Former beauty editor Zoë Foster Blake wanted simpler, better products. The Ordinary founder Brandon Truaxe wanted to provide targeted solutions at a low-cost. Dr Dennis Gross wanted to better address his patients’ specific skin concerns. 

Cronulla mates Tony Yammine and Daniel Saad, however, simply saw a business opportunity.

When I was first asked to write about their newly-launched venture, Yamco Skincare, I have to admit I was a little hesitant. I guessed they weren’t exactly passionate about beauty and it’s a saturated market, tough to break. Plus, skincare is a unique sector that demands both high-level scientific and marketing acumen.

Yet here were two men, with a finance and property background respectively, having entered the skincare market because they saw it as lucrative.

And you know what? They’ve done well. Daniel and Tony made over $100,000 in their first week of launching Yamco and now, two weeks in, already have repeat customers. They’re also yet to receive a negative review.

So how did two people with no experience in the die-hard world of skincare possibly cut through the beauty ‘noise’ to find success?

Through a hashtag, apparently.

Marketing first

“Essentially, how it started, last year we were looking at market trends and social media trends. We figured there was big traction around skincare and beauty,” says Tony. 

In particular, the pair came to notice a high-ranking hashtag in the beauty sector; one that was appearing regularly and which any person between the ages of 16 and 35 could have recited for you: #NoFilter.

“When you click on that hashtag, people can see the photos you have put up,” explains Tony. “So when you have big influencers that come on board, putting #NoFilter and explaining the products, you start to garner more followers.”

It was a lightbulb moment for the pair and a facepalm moment for the rest of us. By launching a beauty brand using one of the highest performing beauty hashtags of all time, they could reach millions of Instagram users, most of whom are already interested in beauty.

It reminds me a little of that joke about modern art that has since been turned into mugs, magnets and T-shirts. You know, the one that goes: “Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t.”

It’s brilliant in its simplicity, taking what most of us know intuitively and putting it to proof. The pair works with micro and macro influencers to ‘cut through’ the millions of #NoFilter tagged images, bringing users from the hashtag, to the influencer, to their product.

In short, they’ve proven the financial efficacy of #NoFilter and are reaping the return.

Product second

Where businesses traditionally build their product first and worry about marketing later, we’ve seen a spin in recent years thanks to social media. Increasingly, brands now build their audience first.

It’s a formula that works (ahem, Glossier) and not a far cry from what the pair has done, researching their market first and creating a product second.

Tony and Daniel knew they wanted to start a business, so began with research to identify what consumers are looking for.

“If you look at trends on Instagram and social media, the number one product being sold at the moment is in beauty, cosmetics or health,” explains Tony. “We already knew how scaleable skincare is; it’s accessible to the whole globe.”

Having identified a growth market through data over gut feel, the pair were already a step ahead of other small business owners. They then entered a year of research, where they conducted market audits, consulted with experts and their clients, and built databases to determine the most in-demand products within the sector. They landed on skincare – in particular, a clay mask and moisturiser.

For a year, we were simply databasing, asking questions, liaising with dermatologists and their clients,” says Tony.

“We were learning what products they buy, when we realised that clay masks and moisturiser – solely based on popularity – were the first products people would most use. So we wanted to inject that into the market first.”

The brand launched in April 2020 with two vegan products: the Yamco #NoFilter Detoxifying Clay Mask ($59.99) and #NoFilter Hydrating Moisturiser ($49.99). The mask features natural ingredients like kaolin clay, aloe vera, coconut, turmeric and matcha tea, designed to soothe dryness and draw out pollutants from the skin, preventing acne as a result.

The moisturiser is infused with jojoba oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut, shea butter and cacao, to hydrate and nourish the skin and promote its natural healing processes. It’s also been designed to prevent the appearance of acne and oily, dry and flaking skin.  

Next in line is a foaming cleanser, which was due to launch in six months’ time, but has since been fast-tracked to capitalise on Yamco’s success. It will be followed by a toner and a serum.

Tony and Daniel have worked in consultation with dermatologists and chemists to come up with Yamco’s formulas. Throughout the process, they have been savvy enough to keep the products’ scope broad, creating formulas that work across a variety of skin types to avoid alienating any corner of the market. It’s one of the approaches, Tony says, that sets Yamco apart.

“Certain companies would target certain skin types. Someone might have oily skin and open up a range for oily skin types; or acne-prone skin; or dry skin. We wanted to create something that wouldnt discriminate, but would target all skin types.”

Expansion third

All Yamco’s ingredients are grown from Australian soil, and the end product is manufactured locally in Sydney. It’s a proof point that impressed me and, as Tony tells me, is likely to make a similar impression globally. Apparently Australian skincare has a strong reputation abroad.

“Japan, Korea, America, they tend to have a high regard for Australian skincare products,” he explains.

“We want to go global, so are thinking ahead. If we do that, we have to maintain a high level of reputation and integrity. We want to ensure all our products are sourced from Australia and manufactured in Australia. Even if costs more, it doesn’t matter, because we believe in quality over quantity.”

The proof is in the pudding, however, so I ask Tony what the consumer response has been so far. He tells me Yamco is yet to receive a single complaint and already, within two weeks, has had repeat customers.

“Whatever the company is making, it doesn’t matter. We have a very, very high expectation, and we apply that to anything,” says Tony.

“We’re confident that one day, we are going to be competing with biggest skincare companies out there, it’s just a matter of time.

“We have the courage to say it out loud.”

yamcoskin.com

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