Oat Cosmetics is a truly international business with customers on every continent. Key to our success is our global network of hardworking, proactive and well-connected distributors. These “oat ambassadors” are essential in delivering the values of the Oat Cosmetics brand as well as promoting our ingredient portfolio.
One of the privileges of my role is working with our distributors in their territories, either accompanying them on customers visits or supporting them at trade shows or conferences. These visits are useful in helping to understand the nuances of each sales territory, they enable me to provide training for technologists and sales personnel and help underpin Oat Cosmetics’ relationship with our distributors.
My travels for the year started with a trip to the South of France with Cornelius France. I was hoping for some warmer weather than that in the UK, however I soon discovered that even there it can be cold enough to snow in January.
February and March saw me undertake something of a mini-world tour. Starting in California, with our US distributor Charkit, where I attended a meeting of the West Coast chapter of the SCC and visited lots of customers in Los Angeles and the San Francisco area. This was followed by a week in Mexico meeting with Droguería Cosmopolita’s customers.
From Mexico I took a flight to Australia, where I spent some time in Melbourne and then Sydney visiting some key accounts of Cee Chem. In the Australian sunshine, the UK winter and the snow in France seemed a distant memory.
Before I returned home there was a one more thing to do, appoint a new distribution partner in South Korea. We were delighted to add Biogenics to our network of distributors.
April saw months of preparation and hard work by the Oat Cosmetics marketing team, culminate in three hectic days of back to back appointments with existing customers and a steady flow of new prospects, at In Cosmetics in Paris. The show was an amazing success, which resulted in over 200 leads being generated.
The month of May saw me back in the US, this time on the East Coast for the NYSCC Supplier’s Day, followed by a few days in the Mid-West. Whilst in Minneapolis I took out some time to visit Paisley Park to admire the tributes to musician Prince who had died a few days before, it was very moving to see how many people’s lives had been touched by his work. A few days in Toronto with our Canadian distributor, Perc Essentials ended another busy three weeks.
June was punctuated by a seminar in Poland and a trade show in Germany. Both events provided opportunities to engage with key customers in two important European markets who are looked after by ProTec Ingredia Polska and ProTec Ingredia GMBH.
The second In-Cosmetics of 2016 was in South Korea. This provided an opportunity to support Biogenics on their stand, meet some of their customers and give some product training.
By August I needed a break. There is no jetting off for a vacation for me. The last thing I want to do when I am not working is go to an airport and get on a plane. I do however, have a hard time convincing my children that the UK is the best place in the world to go on holiday.
In September I spent a couple of days in the North of England with Protec Ingredia UK, followed by a few days visiting customers in Belgium with Cornelius, a quiet month preceding two very busy ones.
In October I was invited to present a paper at the PCAR conference at Moscow State University “A Natural Secret to Beautiful Skin” which discussed how Oat Ingredients tick all the boxes that formulators are looking for in the ongoing natural skin care trend. This gave me an opportunity to meet with some of the GEM Group’s (Our Russian Distributor) customers.
The beginning of November saw me flying to the Philippines. I arrived on my 50th Birthday and enjoyed some wonderful hospitality from Eurochemicals Inc. I can thoroughly recommend Manilla for a birthday bash!
The next week was In-Cosmetics Asia in Bangkok. This was another very successful show, with Oat Cosmetics exhibiting along with our distributor, Forecus, on a really innovative Cinema themed stand. The Oat marketing team really got behind this concept and designed some new posters for our ingredients that would seem spookily familiar to any regular film-goer. We used In-Cosmetics Asia to launch our Virgin Poppy Seed Oil, this new ingredient was very well received.
Within days of flying back from Thailand I was off to the exotic location of Coventry, England to give support to our UK distributor ProTec Ingedia. ProTec put together an impressive stand which attracted excellent footfall and generated a great deal of interest in Oat Ingredients.
The final show of 2016 was Making Cosmetics in Milan Italy. Res Pharma, our Italian distributor created a sensory room within the stand which included an aroma-therapy diffusor. Like all the shows this year, we saw a tremendous interest in oat ingredients.
I have now finished my travels for 2016. I am looking forward to a relaxing Christmas break with my family at home……..before it all starts again in January.