60% of the world’s population has textured hair, while 70% of hair products are for straight hair! Therefore, luxury brand Les Secrets de Loly set out to fill this void with natural hair products that give women confidence and allow them to wear their natural hair elevated and strong. A true benchmark in France, its turnover has grown exceptionally in recent years. The activity of this profitable company has a positive social impact with the dual aim of freeing people from poetic dictates and enhancing self-esteem, which is aimed at an engaged audience. A conversation between Christian Raziel and Kelly Massol, President and Founder of Les Secrets de Loly
How did this startup establish itself in the beauty industry?
Undiscovered area: In his kitchen, the self-taught stylist created a hair product in 2009 that answered a need traditional brands couldn’t satisfy: respect for textured hair and its true nature. Kelly Masol was inspired by her grandmother’s recipes in western India to design skin care formulations based on botanicals from the Pharmacopoeia and active ingredients of green chemistry. His desire was for an effective product with an easy-to-understand formula.
Today, Les Secrets de Loly markets a range of nineteen premium hair products with gourmet fragrances (shampoos, conditioners, styling products) intended for wavy, curly, curly, and frizzy hair. Its formula meets specific needs: the search for lightness, volume, hydration …
Over 98% of the ingredients used by the brand are of all-natural origin. Les Secrets de Loly also has three products certified Ecocert Greenlife (CosmosNatural Standard). Silicones, sulfates, dye, alcohol and mineral oils are prohibited.
Natural ingredients like shea butter, sweet almond, jojoba and coconut oil, or an infusion of West Indian hibiscus, with multiple benefits, hold no secrets for an entrepreneur.
The company developed gradually until 2015. The turnover ranged around 900,000 euros. 200 products were produced daily by hand!
In 2016, a factory manager in Belgium was excited about Kelly, the brand, and its concept. He agrees to produce a small series of 1,000 units knowing that normally, in industry, the minimum quantity required is between 5 and 10,000 units. His gamble was quickly crowned with success: this factory, to which Kelly wished to remain faithful, makes more than 1.5 million Les Secrets de Loly products every year!
2019 marks a milestone for Kelly Masol and her company, which is taking on a much larger dimension. She is recruiting to expand her team. Since then, nearly twenty new employees have joined the company, which has grown by 500% in three years. Little by little, the hair beauty startup for textured hair, which is built around its customers and their needs, has built itself in order to control the entire process related to products and their quality: design, ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, delivery, logistics, but also to accelerate the end-to-end channel. .
Coming out of confinement in 2020, the company, which continues to grow, benefits from the conjunction of several factors leading to the virtuous circle of hyperbolic growth: the explosion of online sales, and the evolution of natural and responsible consumption. Les Secrets de Loly, with its “alignment of the planets”, achieves explosive growth in its sales: 5.5 million in 2020, 9.5 million in 2021, 17 million in 2022. Double-digit growth is expected in 2023 (higher progress much more than in the market) with self-financed development.
Spread word of mouth
Born from word of mouth and recommendations from friends of friends of Kelly Massol, Les Secrets de Loly has naturally expressed itself from the very beginning on social networks. The founder and creator quickly united a very large community of digital friends around herself. They are all 100% organic, which is exceptional and very rare. how ? By developing an editorial line centered around the needs of the product’s users, by promoting her products and hairstyling procedures on Instagram, tutorials, and promoting female “empowerment”. Not only did Kelly want to sell shampoo, but she encouraged women, especially young women, to express themselves, reclaiming their freedom through the expressions of their hair. Her favorite theme is “self-love” and she promotes the idea of ”love your hair”.
To amplify its potential on Instagram, the company has teamed up with influencers who naturally share its routines and struggles, but with a different approach, very original and affinity.
In fact, the company made a complicated choice on Instagram by selecting unknown (about 15,000 subscribers) and unpaid influencers. The idea is that these content creators are really involved in developing the brand. They provide authentic feedback on the use and benefits of the products. And they witness it in this way without forcing themselves. Les Secrets de Loly’s community grew at the same time as their notoriety by creating honest bonds with customers. Les Secrets de Loly brand is ranked third on Instagram in terms of subscribers’ engagement with posts. Les Secrets de Loly beauty influencers’ engagement rate on Instagram is well above industry standards.
An unprecedented XXL media campaign in 2022 is designed to increase the visibility of woven hair in France and create a real movement. The hashtag #My Hair, My Power developed by Les Secrets de Loly, far from all commercial considerations, aims to encourage women to put up with their natural textured hair to accept themselves. Get out of the beauty rituals of straightening or straightening hair with toxic products. Kelly Massol has invested several million euros privately in television advertisements on a major national channel, in sponsorships, advertisements in two major metro stations in Paris, and gigantic shows on the Champs Elysees. The positive effect was immediate in the general population. Brand awareness has taken a huge leap.
Poster campaign on the Champs Elysees
The Secrets de Loly Instagram community has also grown rapidly, reaching 230,000 subscribers in 2022 (up from 15,000 in 2017). Enthusiasm for the brand transcends the world of beauty and hair care, as evidenced by the partnership with Nike on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023 to meet with athletes and show them how to care for their hair.
Les Secrets de Loly products are distributed in France in three directions: through a privileged network of partners (Monoprix, Marionnaud, Nocibé, etc.), in partner hairdressing salons (more than 1,000), and in pharmacies and parapharmacies, which represent more than From 3000 points of sale in France. Internationally, more than 10 distributors are already marketing the full range of products. From the end of 2023, the Chalhoub Luxury Group will ensure the collection’s distribution in the Middle East. At the same time, pop-up shops are set up regularly in order to develop customer experience, meet customers and share the “famous Loly’s secret, always with love”.
As for the site, which was the source of the brand, it accounts for 20% of the total turnover, which is much higher than that of the sector.
Standard financial partner
In 2022, the company opened its capital to Quilvest Capital Partners in order to support its exceptional growth. This financial process enabled validation of the concept, business model, value creation, and the entrepreneur’s ability to raise funds. The reference shareholder intends to support the acceleration of the company’s development and has already allowed experienced directors to join the newly formed board of directors.
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New production plant
In order to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible, Les Secrets de Loly has begun a process of opening other production sites closer to where they are consumed, in France and Europe. Since its inception, the company has preferred “Made in Europe” as much as possible for manufacturing. Wishing to be virtuous, it places innovation and corporate social responsibility at the heart of its requirements. The emergence of the brand will be accompanied by a stronger ambition in terms of environmental footprint.
Continue to transmit and educate
In the coming months, Les Secrets de Loly will open a hairdressing academy in order to emphasize education, in particular how to style and cut hair. Specialties that are largely ignored by traditional hair salons.
Allowing women to accept themselves and assert themselves naturally is the mission of Kelly Masol, a woman determined to change the world thanks to Lolly’s secrets.