After injecting beauty into an otherwise mundane category, women’s insoles, Margarita Floris is at it again.
Floris and longtime friend and business partner Tina Aldatz built Foot Petals into a thriving business they sold in 2011. The duo is now trying to do the same for another category — wipes — with a company called Savvy Travelers.
“We felt we had another company in us,” said Floris. “We’ve always been obsessed and intrigued with the concept of wipes.” The idea of beauty wipes emerged after Floris was constantly wiping makeup off her phone. The frequent travelers also were on a quest for airport security-approved beauty items that didn’t require water.
These aren’t any typical wipes. Savvy Travelers is more akin to portable designer beauty in a towelette. They tackle everything from removing makeup with a facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer in one called Take Offz, nail polish remover wipes called Lift Offz that are infused with cuticle moisturizer and essential oils, to pH-balanced Bottomz Up, “booty bidet” wipes.
“We didn’t invent insoles, but we knew there had to be a cooler way,” said Floris. “We also didn’t invent wipes; we just wanted to make them better.”
Wipes as a delivery form of beauty products are an emerging business, with Euromonitor projecting growth will exceed 3 percent per year through 2019. That outstrips traditional skin care, which was held to under 2 percent gains last year according to NPD. Then, too, there’s tremendous potential since wipes currently produce less than 12 percent of the $32 billion U.S. beauty and wellness cleanser business.
“We don’t see ourselves as just a wipe company. We could sell a 50-cent wipe that isn’t going to remove makeup properly. We have created specific applications and formulas for women’s needs,” explained Floris.
For example, one nail polish remover wipe can do all 10 fingers. There’s a special cloth to wipe teeth and lips while freshening breath in a dentist-approved product called Speak Easy. There are eight wipes in total, which are also sold in a variety of kits, including a “wipez wallet,” with each option. Prices range from two packs for $2.50, 10 packs for $10, convenient kits like the “Jet Set Kit” for $15, and the “Wipeaholics” monthly subscription of 30 wipes priced at $20 per month. Each wipe is individually wrapped for convenience and to preserve freshness.
The array of price points opens up multiple distribution opportunities for Savvy Travelers. Currently they are stocked in myriad outlets including airports, stationery stores, hospital gift shops and online. Savvy Travelers is also sold at Ricky’s, Paper Source and C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries. The company has also seen an uptick in interest from international markets, especially the U.K. and Australia.
Floris said the top sellers include Speak Easy mouth wipes, Take Offz facial cleanser with aloe vera and No Sweat antiperspirant wipes. Floris and Aldatz have more problem-solving solutions in the pipeline. “We are so over dry shampoo so we love the idea of hair cleansers. We also see opportunity in sunblocks and insect repellants, especially for campers and music festivals,” Floris said.
The company even received a nod from Gretchen Rossi, the Real Housewives of OC alum and creative director of The Gretchen Christine Collection, who has taken to social media to share her love for the brand. “I’m the type of person who is always prepared for any type of red carpet event. I keep a stash of goodies in my car and in my clutch, so I’m always prepared when doing media events. Savvy Travelers beauty wipes save me time and time again,” Rossi said.