label.m Professional Haircare is an award winning fashion-inspired haircare range developed by professional hairdressers under the creative eye of a dynamic international artistic team led by Toni Mascolo & Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck.
We met with label.m President and Global General Manager, Paul Bulman for Gimme-5, and he gave us the scoop on how they’ve managed to reach the top and keep expanding globally…
1) label.m is very strong and very big in the UK. When did label.m become concentrated on expanding and what were some of the steps you took? “label.m was born in 2005. In 2008 is when we focused on extending label.m’s presence out of the UK, and our first step was to distribute our products to our Toni&Guy salons in all countries. We started setting up a network of distributors located now in over 60 countries. We set our sights on keeping the brand for professional hairdressers and providing education. We also have 27 academies throughout the world.”
2) When did you start expanding to the US, what’s it been like? “We started three years ago as we knew it was essential to be based in America. There’s a main office in Miami and felt it was necessary to bring people from London to work across both our sales and hairdressing teams. A decision was made to bring over four of our best educators to help build the brand in America which is representative of many different cultures. In some ways it’s been a bit like dealing with 20 countries all at once. You can’t learn this by reading a book, you have to go and see it. I travel to America quite often, I go to different places, meet with different people and distributors. At the moment we have 14 distributors in North America. We do need more however and eventually we will get to about 20.”
3) What effects has the economy had for label.m and what have you done to stay on top? “What we found is very strange actually as in markets that have been economically challenged, often we have performed very well in. For us, we are still young. We always try to remain close to our long standing heritage. Our products are created by hairdressers, for hairdressers, and that’s our key selling point. We look at collections, we create collections, we create fashion for hair. Our teams represent this ethos which is a major advantage of label.m over anyone else in the industry presently.”
4) What do you think has made label.m so adaptable and what role do your artists play? “We are still a family company. We are always looking at ways to develop products and communicate constantly with one another so that it’s easy for us to create great products. I believe it’s a huge strength of our business. We can react to situations faster and more effectively. Our artists are everything. We wouldn’t have been able to create what we’ve brought to the market without them. Having travelled the world – I may be a bit biased, but I haven’t seen anything better than our artists and to prove the fact, many other product companies pay to use our people to present at seminars!”
5) What were some of the different reactions you’ve received globally about your products outside the UK? “We have 866 salons in the UK which is representative of Toni&Guy, essensuals and especially appointed label.m concept salon. Once we’d launched label.m in our salons – instantly our clients in the UK loved our products and it was great for our image. We know that hairdressers are very unique individuals and this is why it’s a wonderful industry. The global brand proposition for the range is very much about creating hair trends influenced by fashion from a hairdresser’s perspective. In the UK it was hard to explain this to hairdressers – that this brand was developed for them as well as clients. In other countries where there are not many Toni&Guy salons, it’s somewhat easier because professional stylists are more interested in knowing the product, what it does and what benefit it has for them.”