As a television and film hair stylist and a proud father of two, I've always wanted to own a kids’ hair care line. I was 100% certain I could make a better, and more affordable hair care line for children than what is currently in the marketplace. It took me three years, a lot of sweat equality and sleepless nights to bring Bonsai Kids Hair Care to retailers.
My first attempt was in 2010. I mistakenly went to a hair product broker/middleman who represented himself as the manufacture. I was naive. He influenced me to believe that if I wanted to produce my own line, I would need a minimum order of 10,000 units for every product, plus the cost of research and development. Needless to say, I didn’t have $60,000 to invest and I was discouraged. I remained optimistic, however. I knew somehow that I would figure out how to produce a kids hair care line of products.
About 4 years ago, I ran into a fellow hairstylist at Target. He had his own hair care line. I was impressed. He said, “Call Carole. She’ll give you a good deal and get you started.” I called her the next day. We met over the next four weeks discussing my business plans and goals. By the fifth week, I realized she wasn’t what I needed – her pricing was too expensive and I couldn’t customize the artwork they way I envisioned. I didn’t know at the time that she, too, was a broker. I thought to myself, “I’m going about this wrong.” I set out to find the manufacturers directly.
I must have spoken to every product manufacturer along the West Coast, looking for a compatible manufacturer. Unlike the broker’s, I wanted a manufacture who would listen to my goals and create a plan that was financially affordable. Months later, I did eventually find a manufacturer here in Los Angeles County. My manufacturer and my sales representative are awesome. She makes sure my products are made perfectly and she gives me the best customer service. She always makes me feel that Bonsai Kids needs come first. And I didn’t need 10,000 units or $60,000 to start!
I applied the same due diligence to finding a great graphic designer. My product label is the second most important feature of the brand. The label is a call to action for the consumer and it has to make the brand memorable. I needed the right person to make Bonsai Kids special. I got samples from at least forty graphic designers. Really good graphic artists charge a lot of money and they aren’t necessarily interested in small jobs for unknown brands. I finally found a super-talented designer. I loved his style. His portfolio consists of top brands name such as Coke, Apple, Ford, Samsung etc. He did an incredible job. I’m so appreciative.
I spent nine months searching for a graphic artist, a printing company and figuring out which fonts, colors and bottle sizes to use. I was testing different products on friends, family, my clients, and salon owners. It was quite challenging because I still worked 60 hours a week on television shows. Lunch breaks, after work and weekends were spent developing Bonsai Kids. Sometimes I even visited kids salons, pretending to look for products. The truth was, I wanted to see what products they sold and the look of the packaging. I was a one-man, non-stop operation, but the brand finally came together.There are a lot of kid’s hair care products available, some are too expensive for the average family. Others are less expensive, but lack the quality children deserve. I want Bonsai Kids Hair Care to be the best and I can proudly say that our products offer both quality and affordability.