By  on September 5, 2008

DoshaCare builds upon centur­ies-old Ayurvedic traditions to appeal to modern-day consumers yearning for a holistic approach to skin care.

“I believe our medical system is at a tipping point, and the way we take care of ourselves is crucial,” said Patty Schmucker, DoshaCare’s chief executive officer and president of consultancy Performance Branding Services in Torrance, Calif. “Ayurveda has fundamental principles that have been proven to enhance our health. It makes sense that it will really take off in the marketplace.”

DoshaCare is being launched with 17 stockkeeping units that are divided by dosha — the worldly elements that, according to Ayurvedic science, define a person’s well-being. As explained by Schmucker, the three main doshas are Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth). Imbalance in Vata is believed to create dry and irritated skin, in Pitta sensitive skin and in Kapha lethargic and congested skin.

“Our objective is to make Ayurveda [understandable] to the Western consumer,” said Schmucker. “If someone is engrossed in Deepak Chopra, the word dosha will resonate with them. If they are not, the word ‘care’ will beg the question, ‘What is a dosha?’”

DoshaCare consumers identify their primary and secondary doshas by answering an eight-question form that covers their overall welfare. Members of DoshaCare’s eight-person advisory board, which boasts experts from the health, beauty and branding fields, counseled Schmucker on the development of the questionnaire. Two examples of questions are: “How would you best describe your body type?” and “How well do you sleep?” Depending on the time of year, a person’s doshas may change and the recommended products will likewise shift.

There are four items — a cleanser, masque, moisturizer and elixir — in each of the main dosha groupings, and five including an eye and neck balm, an environmental shield and exfoliant designated Sakala for users across the various doshas. The entire line is made from 98 percent botanical ingredients, notably those with long Ayurvedic histories such as amla, neem and bhrigraj.

DoshaCare products range at retail from $34 to $58, and will launch this month in Apothia at Fred Segal in Los Angeles; Chopin Chemists in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Glendale, N.Y.; select spas and salons, and online at doshacare.com. Industry sources estimate the line could generate as much as $12 million in first-year sales.

Schmucker’s beauty career started in 1975 when she enrolled in beauty school before working as an aesthetician in Tucson, Ariz. She met Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher in the early Eighties, which led to positions as vice president of sales, education and marketing for Caesar’s Beauty, a wholesale Aveda distributor, and the national director of sales-West for Aveda. She sold her interest in the Aveda distributor in 1997 and established Performance Branding Services in 2000. The firm has helped develop lines for the Chopra Center for Well Being, Rudy’s Barbershop and Sheila Stotts.

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