Even with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses around the world are estimated to have spent an aggregate of US$517 billion on advertising alone in 2020. While the mother-daughter team behind Lulu’s Holistics respects the marketing hustle, they urge business owners to realize that no amount of advertising spent can ever take the place of a solid business idea executed with careful precision.
Indeed, Janet “Lulu” Frederick and Deannee Santiago are living witnesses to the power of creating a product that sells itself, allowing the business owner to focus on manufacturing and making sure there’s enough supply to meet the demand.
“Lulu’s main marketing strategy is showing real people real results,”explains Deannee, the younger half of the duo, whose main task is to operate the warehouses for the products her mom makes in their own kitchen. “We make products that actually work, hence our continued growth.”
Possibly the best part about the skincare products offered by Lulu’s Holistics—apart, of course, from the fact that they are all-natural and vegan—is that they weren’t originally created for profit.
“My mom Janet, who is a vegan, created her own skincare line in the kitchen for personal use,”remembers Deannee. “I was inspired and posted her creations on Instagram, and by the end of the day, we already had 500 orders. Eight months later, we opened our first store in Florida.”
Because Lulu’s products were originally conceptualized and developed for personal use, they have a particular appeal to the needs of Black women.
“We are Black women, and we know what our community needs. In fact, my mother and I are the first customers for our products. I myself get acne, and razor bumps, so we definitely know how to cater to our customers’ needs,” says Deannee.
Now, Lulu’s Holistics prides itself on having a complete line of products catering to the skincare needs of the whole family, albeit still with a special focus on women’s needs. They have turmeric soaps that work well against skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, and even discoloration; they have shea butters that do the same; they have scrubs and serums that lighten dark spots and scars; and they have a balanced formula that helps women keep their pH levels stable, especially around their red days.
Looking back at everything they’ve accomplished since formally opening up shop in 2017, Frederick and Santiago still swear by doing things their own way: handmade, homegrown, and fueled by passion. They now have three store locations; they have two in NYC, and their flagship store in Florida.
Based on their own experience, Deannee and Janet believe most of the world’s businesses, especially homegrown brands like theirs, stand to benefit from spending more time and resources developing products that customers can find real value in, rather than launching elaborate marketing campaigns just to generate interest in a product or service that doesn’t really cater to the actual needs of real people.