For a brand that reflects fun and more fun, it can have no better and sweeter Brand Manager than the always affable Marie Drago. This is Marie’s 3rd trip to Malaysia and hopefully there will be many more. She has been with Soap & Glory since March 2010 tasked with the international growth and expansion of the brand. Marie qualified as a pharmacist and has a fierce passion about beauty (just like a certain Juniper J, ahem!). Anyway, I was jumping over the moon when I was given the opportunity to interview Marie as I have wanted to interview her since the day I met her.
I know that Soap & Glory was started in 2006 by Marcia Kilgore, the founder of Bliss Spa in 1996. Please tell me more about the brand’s history.
Bliss was acquired by LVMH in 1999. Marcia is married to a Frenchman and has 2 children. During her 1st pregnancy, she was feeling a bit bored. She decided to start a nice, cute and fun cosmetics company where the products would be affordable. Soap & Glory products were first produced in 2006 in Marcia’s kitchen. Now we have a staff of 25 people and the brand has a presence in 15 countries. It’s huge in the UK and available in Harvey Nichols and Boots.
How did the brand get recognised in the beginning?
It was mainly through word of mouth. There was no advertising until 2011. Our Facebook has more than 80,000 fans. People just buy 1 product, they like it, come back and buy 10 more.
What would you recommend to someone who is new to the brand?
What are your bestsellers worldwide and in Malaysia?
In the UK, it’s The Righteous Butter.
In Singapore, it’s Sit Tight.
In the USA, it’s Sexy Mother Pucker.
In Malaysia, it’s the shower gels, Glow Lotion & Hand Food.
Are there any plans to bring in cosmetics?
We launched the cosmetics range in September 2011. They were sold out everywhere. There may be plans to bring them to Malaysia.
What is your favourite cosmetics item in the recently launched range?
I like the Kick Ass Concealer as it covers dark circles and skin imperfections. It has a sponge to apply the setting powder.
How many products are there in UK altogether?
We have 100 non-cosmetics products & 40 cosmetics products in Boots.
What are the best of the cosmetics range?
Eyeliners, concealers, mascaras, eye primer.
It was a delight to visit Sephora during Christmas season to see all the pink Soap & Glory sets. What was the response to those sets?
The Limited Edition sets sold very well. In the UK, there was a set called Big Splendour which was not available in Malaysia. It was GBP60. There was a vanity bag with drawstrings and contained skincare. bodycare and cosmetics. It was sold out so fast I couldn’t even buy one for myself.
What are your 2 most favourite/must-have products?
I like Flake Away as it is a nice scrub that wakes me up in the morning and Girlygo Body Moisturising Mist as I just need to spray it on.
What is your brand philosophy?
Don’t take yourself too seriously, having fun, using good products, feeling confident and beautiful. We don’t classify our customers by age, we appeal to anyone who has a sense of humour. We have people who write to us ranging from little girls who like our shower gels to grandmas who like our skincare.
What do you hope for your brand in Malaysia in 2012?
We are happy with the response of Malaysians and hopefully Sephora will open more stores.
Note : Merci beaucoup to Marie and Sephora PR for the interview. We look forward to seeing more exciting products from Soap & Glory this year.