The Care Co. takes ideas from molecules to market

Helen Playdon and Larry Gresham photographed at Coschem’s 2016 Wild Wild West themed gala dinnerA fresh face in the cosmetics industry, The Care Co. is a focused, specialist personal care ingredients’ supplier. The company has offices in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, and in Cape Town, and its revolutionary way of doing business and sustainable long-term solutions are grabbing the attention of manufacturers and brand owners in Southern Africa.

The company is the brainchild of Helen Playdon, a dynamic business woman who first started the venture in 2004 with a Wellness focus. In 2007, she diversified into business consulting with the launch of The Care Corp. The next step for the company was the distribution of cosmetics and personal care products and ingredients, which commenced in 2015 when Playdon established The Care Co. as a tribute to her friend and industry colleague, Ilana Liebenberg, who sadly passed away on 4 July 2015.

‘Ilana’s career in personal care began in marketing and sales in 1999,’ says Playdon. ‘During the 16 years she worked in the industry, Ilana become known and appreciated by a broad span of customers and manufacturers throughout South Africa and other parts of the world.

We at The Care Co. attribute the start of our company to Ilana, who had the passion and foresight to seek and establish a better way of doing things.’   

Flexible, quick and caring

The Care Co. is an innovative cosmetics company, which cares about the planet and people. Its solutions are applicable to most personal care industry segments, including skin care, anti-ageing, colour cosmetics, male grooming, hair care, bath and body care, sun care and self-tanning, and baby care. 

‘We nurture all of our relationships. We provide ideas and assist in implementing them, transforming trends into tangible end products,’ comments Playdon.

Strong global supplier network

The Care Co. is the appointed local distributor for various leading manufacturers of raw materials and ingredients.

For active ingredients, it represents:

  • Givaudan Active Beauty, which develops and produces green, marine and biological actives, functional ingredients, and visual and vectorised ingredients
  • Sollice Biotech, which develops and produces actives using marine, silk and plant sources
  • ID Bio, which specialises in active botanical and titrated extracts, as well as vegetable oils. 

For colour solutions:

  • Chroma-Durlin, which produces nail bases, colouring solutions, treatments, and finished bulk nail colour and treatments developed in line with the latest fashion trends
  • Chromavis, which produces bulk and packaged makeup and colour cosmetics
  • Huwell, the world leader in hair bleaching, and which also produces hair dyes
  • SiLi, which offers various glitters and pearlescents.

For excipients or inactive ingredients:

  • Rheolab, a producer of rheological modifiers, thickeners and conditioning agents
  • Temix, which develops fatty alcohols, fatty acids, esters and emulsifiers
  • Jarchem, which specialises in shea butters, surfactants, emulsifiers, esters, alcohols, alkanes and Amazonian oils
  • Naturochim, a producer of natural body butters, oils and scrubs.

The team and marketing offering

Beautiful woman, surrounded by chemical compounds, who is holding a tub of skin creamTo ensure the success of the company, Playdon has developed a formidable team, which embodies energy, passion, creativity and a willing attitude. 

Playdon is at the helm of The Care Co. as MD. Veronica Lintner, the company’s sales manager, works closely with product manager, Caroline Cochrane, and Nina Ngandewe in client services. Its Cape Town operations are overseen by Alexandra Burger while Natalie Britz handles marketing for the entire company. The Care Co.’s operations manager is Chipo Dzawoma who, along with an operations assistant, is responsible for warehousing, freight forwarding and compliance/systems management. All finance aspects of the business are handled by Jeff Dlamini.

‘While personal care ingredients sales and distribution are the main focus of The Care Co., we also offer marketing services via my husband, Larry Gresham’s global media business. We can organise brand activations and promotional events in high traffic areas, such as malls and airports. We can design the look of your brand, assist with formulating, provide marketing concepts, develop celebrity brand ambassadors and provide the music to represent your brand,’ Playdon explains.

For established brands needing a revamp, The Care Co. can reassess marketing strategies, find ways in which to save costs, help in engaging the right audience, and provide global reach via its database. The company can also oversee advertising on billboards or digital screens, and provide alternative channels to retail.

A local introduction

To launch its association with Givaudan Active Beauty in the South African market, The Care Co. hosted a showcase event in September 2016. Emilie Venera, technical and scientific support manager at Givaudan was there to discuss the company’s extensive portfolio of innovative cosmetics actives designed to bring beauty to the world.

Givaudan is one of the biggest fragrance and skin care ingredient producers in the world, and operates in 94 countries. Originally established as a fragrance producer, its newer Active Beauty business unit is the result of acquisitions of Soliance, Induchem and Quest over the past few years. Its beauty care offerings are inspired by the personal care needs of consumers worldwide, bringing award-winning products with an expanded range of benefits to its customers.

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