Furlesse offers a line of non-latex, hypoallergenic patches that can be applied to facial skin to help minimize the appearance of fine lines. The patches are worn at night to reduce wrinkles from forming and train the muscles to relax, resulting in a more refreshed face. Furlesse is an alternative to Botox providing a non-invasive, pain-free and affordable alternative to diminish wrinkles.
Cathy Tousley, founder of Furlesse, was looking for a way to manage her own wrinkles and heard about people using scotch tape and bandages at night. She first tried the concept with medical tape to see if it worked on her wrinkles – and it did. She then altered the design by having shapes cut specifically for the frown lines so that she wouldn’t have to use several pieces of tape. Medical tape was also gentler on the skin and created less irritation than the scotch tape that women were currently using.
When she began to make her prototype, she wasn’t aware of any other type of product like this and wanted to be first to the market. She was pleased with the initial product, but in a rush to be first, she didn’t appropriately brand her company. In hindsight, the packaging design and low price point hampered her debut as initial sales lagged behind her expectations.
In 2010, Cathy reached her first customers through blogging on beauty web sites – mostly concerning how Furlesse had helped minimize her wrinkles. This strategic blogging provided traffic to her website. After gaining traction on her website sales, she began selling the product through Amazon and received very positive reviews. However, Furlesse was often compared to a product called Frownies, which has been around since 1880. Frownies is a similar product, but unlike Furlesse, the product consists of an inexpensive craft-like paper that isn’t specifically designed for the skin. Online reviews of Furlesse were positive about the product results; however, some consumers complained that it was more expensive than its competitor, Frownies. To counter this, Cathy decided to redesign her packaging with a fresher, sleeker brand that helped differentiate herself from her main competitor. Consumers now perceived it as a higher-end product than Frownies and were also willing to pay more for the product. Cathy was then able to tap into her primary target market – a medium to high-income female between thirty-five and fifty-five years old. Not only was she able to charge more after re-branding, but also her saw her sales increased dramatically. Cathy said that branding was the biggest part of her success – and that the anti-wrinkling concept was secondary to her strong branding.
Cathy’s products are based on testimonials from her actual customers. She listens to what they want and whether they are happy with the results. She learned that some inventive customers were cutting up their Furlesse patches to use on different areas of their face. In 2012, she decided to enhance her product line based on these reviews and requests. Riding on the success of her debut product, which smoothed frown lines between the eyes, she launched additional products to serve her growing customer and industry demand. Furlesse now offers its original product, Elevens™ for the vertical lines between your eyes and three new products: Crows™ for eye lines, Lip-Sticks™ for lip lines and Rows™ for horizontal forehead lines™.
She debuted her new branding and the added product lines at a product expo in New York in the Fall of 2012. She received a positive reception and it proved to be a powerful PR experience, as Furlesse began to be mentioned in popular blogs, magazines and television shows.
Cathy is on her way to profitability. She has already made 600 sales this year, which is double the amount from last year. All of the money she has made, she has put back into her company and stocking up on her inventory. The debut of Elevens™, Crows™, Rows™ and Lip-Sticks™, establishes Furlesse as an industry leader in a growing trend that shuns injectables for more natural skin care and beauty routines. The complete range of products from Furlesse can be found online at Furlesse.com, Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, Beauty.com, and select independent retailers and spas.