Thanks to the support from the Enterprise Europe Network, Sunday Brush, a Dutch cosmetic company, has been able to reach new markets around Europe, while becoming a thriving international success.
Sunday Brush’s story begins when the business founder, Nicole Vermeer, noticed a gap in the cosmetic industry. Her husband, Remko, is suffering from skin cancer and could not tolerate existing UV protectors, partly due to the addition of chemicals. That is when Nicole, who has worked for more than 20 years as an e-commerce professional, decided to create something new to launch to the market: Sunday Brush.
Sunday Brush is an easy-to-apply mineral sunscreen powder, 100% natural, produced without chemicals, unique in the market, with SPF 50. It is specifically developed for people with sensitive skin and people who experience skin damage and need daily UV protection.
After the launch of the product, Nicole had bigger ambitions and started realising that the Netherlands could not be the only market for Sunday Brush. She looked everywhere for opportunities to get in touch with potential partners who could distribute her product elsewhere in Europe and in Asia.
Thanks to an international trade mission to Indonesia, Nicole got in touch with the Dutch Network Partner KVK and the Adviser René de Groot. The Network was able to offer a bespoke solution to Nicole’s internationalisation aspirations by finding potential partners in Europe. In particular, a Swiss company started to distribute Sunday Brush to beauty salons throughout Switzerland and to its network of skin therapists.
The Network opened more doors to other international markets, giving Nicole the knowledge and the tools to succeed. She is now also in talks with potential partners in different countries, and thanks to the Network’s support, she is also determined to enter the French market.
"How nice would it be if Sunday Brush is sold in France, the country of cosmetics? The collaboration with René de Groot is great. We have a video meeting every week and have now drawn up a plan for the French market. Without the Enterprise Europe Network all of this would not have been possible", she said.
There are still plenty of challenges ahead. "Our goal is to be on the shelves of thousands of beauty salons in Europe that believe in our product. These beauty experts are our best ambassadors".
Another challenge is awareness: many people look at sunscreen, and therefore Sunday Brush, as a seasonal product, while you should actually protect your skin against UV radiation all year round. Research shows that the importance of UV protection is underestimated. To prevent skin damage, we really need to use sunscreen more often as part of our daily routine.
Sunday Brush is now being sold in more than 350 beauty salons in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and of course also through their own webshop that delivers throughout Europe.
"We have experienced a really nice growth since our launch. It was very exciting to see how the pandemic would turn out for us and especially when the beauty salons had to close their shop twice during the lockdown. But it worked. While we were initially focused on the B2C market, thus selling directly to consumers, the demand from B2B is increasing exponentially. Moreover, with the plans for France, things are looking good", Nicole concluded.
The original success story has been published on the national Dutch Enterprise Europe Network website.