At Averr Aglow, it all started with Cami’s story and a line of natural-based products to help heal troubled skin. But that’s not where our story ended.
Since our inception, Averr Aglow has always pushed the envelope and sought new ways to serve our clients. Now our catalog of life-changing products continues to grow year by year, driven by a passionate staff that’s second to none.
But how do we bring these products to life?
Today, we’re giving you a peek behind the curtain. Meet our staff and learn how new products join the Averr Aglow family, from the first glimmer of an idea to their final departure to your doorstep.
1. Creating the Concept
Before a new Averr Aglow product gets off the ground, our team must begin by bringing the product vision into focus. But this isn’t just our vision — it’s the vision of our clients.
“What are they looking for? What do they want? What are they talking about?” says consumer insight analyst Sherry Pantano. “It’s just really doing a lot of research. Not only on our current clients but consumers in general. We’re branching out with the Forever Radiant line, [but] we also have to be sensitive to staying true to our original mission for a clean product with acne-prone skin.”
Sherry’s research and recommendations are then presented to a group of Averr Aglow decision-makers, including innovative co-founder Camille Chulick.
Co-founder and CEO Camille Chulick began Averr Aglow after her 16-year struggle with acne.
After much discussion, a newly conceived product will only move forward once the whole team feels confident that it will provide a high-quality skincare solution for clients’ needs.
“We have to be sure of the direction we’re going in because we’re about to invest, at minimum, six months into something. So we have to make sure that research at the very beginning is right,” says Allen Donaldson, president of research and development.
But the research doesn’t conclude with consumer analysis. With the product concept now given the green light, the focus shifts to scientific research as the project is handed off to R&D.
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2. Developing the Formula
Once a new product’s client-based vision is firmly in place, the chemists get to have some fun.
“We get to take their ideas from pen and paper to finished formulas,” says Allen. “You want to capture what experience the consumer’s going to get. How it’s going to smell, feel, the texture. Is it a light and fresh skin feel that we’re going for? Is it rich and caring?”
Working closely with purchasing manager Brittany Koretski, the R&D team begins by selecting ingredients. For Averr Aglow products, only the best will do.
“It’s very specific. All things are not equal. I can’t always go out and source, like, ‘Oh, this is vitamin E!’ Because it’s not the same,” Brittany says. “We are very, very picky about our ingredients. It is beyond all-natural.”
With an abundance of high-quality minerals and botanicals to play with, the chemists can begin building formulas from scratch. Some become instant hits among the staff, while others may take some patience to finesse.
Asked if he’s ever had a formula fail on day one, Allen laughs. “Of course! Absolutely. You learn, and you move on, but failure’s a big part of R&D. It’s one thing we ask a lot in our junior chemists. You want to gauge how they cope with failure.”
Chemist Erica Tuttle is quick to agree. “It’s part of the job to keep tweaking. In anything with a science background, you’re used to failure being a part. Every time it doesn’t work just gives you more knowledge for the next time, so you’re more successful. Everything’s a learning experience.”
Fortunately, we have a whole team to help take any setbacks in stride and keep projects moving quickly. During development, each of Averr Aglow’s four chemists will independently create a unique version of the new product — or sometimes, more than one.
“The first draft of the formula will be multiples,” Allen explains. “Some work, some don’t. If they don’t, you go back to the drawing board, restructure the formula, and try to go from there.”
Averr Aglow chemist Erica Tuttle (center) with junior chemists Sarah Ledogar (left) and Jennifer Miller (right).
During product formulation, feedback can help guide the chemists’ progress.
“Sometimes we get to see [the products] beforehand,” confides Caryn Price, client services manager. “The chemists have trial-and-error products that come up to us to try. Sometimes we’re kind of like — I don’t want to say guinea pigs. [laughs] They make tweaks and adjustments based on feedback. It’s so cool.”
Each chemist submits their best formulas for approval, and Cami works with other committee members to pick an all-around favorite. “Camille is a tremendous visionary for the business,” says Allen. “She has a real barometer for what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. What the client will like, what the client won’t like.”
The winning formula then undergoes a final series of stress and stability tests. “I’m talking a minimum of two weeks at 45 or 50 degrees Celsius [113-122 degrees Fahrenheit],” says Allen. “It’s pretty aggressive.”
Their goal? Perfecting a product that will arrive to customers fresh, pristine, and satisfying to use. As Erica succinctly puts it, “I think that’s what our consumers deserve.”
Reaching for the Sky
Between projects, the chemists are also able to invest time in blue-sky projects. “Blue sky is just innovation, so we have no guidance at all,” Erica explains. “It’s just your idea. Sometimes it’s nice when [a project is] more direct, so you don’t waste time, but creatively, it’s more fun if it’s not.”
“It’s not something that was asked for us to create,” Allen throws in. “It’s just us being fun chemists and trying to make weird things go together.”
Erica sums it up with a proud smile. “We’re all working on something cool.”
3. Crafting the Product
As the final formula comes together in R&D, other departments begin swinging into action. Project manager Brittney Williams often acts as a liaison. “I touch everyone’s department because that’s how you make a project launch successful — by getting everyone on the same page, everyone’s input, communicating with everyone,” she says.
One of the first considerations is the packaging. “I usually work with the lab, get their input on what would be best for the product,” Brittney explains. “Say, if it’s going to dry out quickly, then maybe we don’t want to use a jar, maybe we do an airless component, something like that.”
With the practical considerations cared for, the next step is aesthetic design. Creative director Lauren Myers describes her design goals as, “Something aspirational, inspirational, and beautiful. Not only functional but also something you’re proud to have sitting on your counter.”
“I always think of sustainability being a key component,” she goes on. “We are a little more luxurious; we’re very feminine. I always like to say there’s a Parisian boutique feel. Almost apothecary.”
Lauren will prepare several design concepts and present them to Camille for selection. The content team also begins updating the website and creating photos and videos to tease the launch online, letting our Glowgetters know that something special is on the horizon.
“We want people to experience the product visually, so you can see and feel how it would touch,” says Lauren. “I like to say it’s imagery that is kind of sensory.”
Meanwhile, the production team also begins familiarizing themselves with the launch. Responsible for the physical mixing and batching of all products, they’ll prepare the product for bottling.
“Erica gives us a sample ahead of time, so we know the consistency, the feel, the look, the way it smells, everything,” explains production manager Joanna Suh. Her team regularly consults with the chemists to achieve a thorough understanding of new products.
Before a launch, the production team also builds a stockpile of current favorites. This way, they can commit their undivided energy to the new product when the time comes.
“It is quite a balancing act,” says Joanna. “We have our great legacy products, and they’re the best sellers. So maintaining that inventory of the legacy products helps us focus on new products.”
“I use all our products,” she admits, describing how the sense of anticipation spreads throughout her team. “I get excited for the clients. Then I try it, and I get excited as well!”
4. Perfecting the Customer Experience
All wrapped up and tied in a bow, the new product is now ready to be unveiled to the world. Once the orders start rolling in, each box is lovingly packed by our in-house fulfillment team, who have been eagerly awaiting launch day.
“We sneak over and check [the new products] out sometimes,” confesses fulfillment supervisor Stephanie Ferguson. “I love watching the lab girls and seeing them create new products. It’s super awesome to watch it go from the ground up, go from the lab to someone’s front door.”
She adds how her team loves getting their first glimpse of a new launch. “‘They’re so pretty!’” she reenacts, laughing.
At long last, the new products complete their Averr Aglow journey and ship out to eager customers. Now, the final touch is left to Caryn Price and her client services team. As packages begin arriving to clients, Caryn's team is ready to answer any queries about the new product.
To provide knowledgeable answers, the client services team consults directly with the chemists. Before each launch, they receive a master class on the product's formula, benefits, and key ingredients.
“We put our mindset in the mind of the consumer,” says Caryn, explaining how they prepare. “What are some questions that we would ask if we were to purchase this product?”
As the bridge between clients and staff, it helps that the client services team members are, themselves, avid skincare consumers.
“Everyone in our team has had their struggles or challenges or skin concerns,” Caryn says. “All of our client service reps have a skincare journey, whether that be acne, rosacea, dermatitis, or hyperpigmentation. It puts us in a place to be more empathetic and understand where the client is coming from.”
“We’re very interested in client satisfaction,” emphasizes consumer insight analyst Sherry Pantano. “They can rest assured, we do listen.”
Why Our Team Loves New Product Launches
Averr Aglow fans are always excited for a new product, and that hype is just as thrilling among the staff, despite all the effort and logistics involved. Each product launch is a symphony of hard work and dedication played through every department in Averr Aglow.
So what makes all this hard work worth it?
"I enjoy having new products, even though it gets kind of crazy with the schedules. My whole team gets excited because they all use the products, too!" laughs production manager Joanna Suh.
“We’re growing fast, and we’re trying to make new things that we haven’t done before,” says chemist Erica Tuttle, then teases one of her pet projects, which she hopes will launch later in 2021. “I’m excited for the [secret product] launch. Excited and nervous because it’s a really big feat. I’m wearing it today!”
“We have a lot of things coming down the pipeline,” adds project manager Brittney Williams, hinting at additional launches on the horizon. “This is go-time, in a way, showing what else we can do for our clients. ‘Okay, we can do lip care! Okay, we can do [secret product]!’ We can do it all. It’s exciting, and I think we should all be super proud of what we’re accomplishing right now.”
Client services manager Caryn Price agrees. “We do have a very ambitious product launch calendar, but I think that only makes us more innovative. We’re willing to challenge ourselves and what we can do, and I think that’s very exciting as a brand and as a company.”
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What’s the most important part of a product launch?
Brittney, project manager: “Doing your research on the product. Because if your customers don’t want it, it’s all a waste. It comes before the whole branding experience, I think.”
Erica, chemist: “Product testing is extremely important to me. I just want our consumers to have the best!”
Joanna, production manager: “It’s all about the client, especially in production. Making sure that the product is up to the standards of the clients. They get very excited. We want to make sure that we maintain that.”
Stephanie, fulfillment supervisor: “Having the heads-up, so we can be prepared and get ready for mass amounts of chaos. [laughs]”
Caryn, client services manager: “Being knowledgeable about what we’re launching and why we’re launching it. Understanding that we launch a product because there’s a need, and we want to fulfill that need for the client.”