LisaLise vs Snooty Manufacturer

I'm looking for a manufacturer. After years of doing exclusively hand-crafted cosmetics, I'm (trying to) take the next step and get a couple of things produced.

Mind you, this first production will have to be as small as is humanly possible. We're talking baby steps.

Little tiny ones.

Oldie, Yet Newbie

Talking with cosmetics manufacturers is educational – in a not very fun sort of way. As soon as they learn you are a newbie at mass producing and aren't calling from a company the size of France, the tone changes instantly.

Some halfway snicker through condescending replies; others are more polite and actually let you finish talking before 'instructing' you that they would require their in-house formulators to 'improve' your formula before they would even consider starting up a production.

Almost every single one has a minimum start-up requirement that is enough to knock a serious hole into any budget.

But that's not even the worst part.

The Worst Part

Being 'enlightened' with incorrect information by a condescending person that is so misinformed you can't help wonder what else they get wrong during the course of a day – that's the worst part. It is enough to get my knickers in a complete and utter twist.

My husband, who was within earshot, had to calm me down after this phone conversation. I will politely not name this manufacturer (but reserve the right to shake my fist at them whenever I think of them).

The Conversation

We'll jump past the initial hellos to the part where they have just been told that mass-producing is a new area for me.

There is a short pause, then the tone changes.

Snooty Manufacturer: "I see. And what kinds of products are you thinking of? We have a huge minimum amount, you know. We produce for the biggest chains."

Me: "It's a couple of hair care products."

Snooty Manufacturer: "And we have rules about which ingredients we allow. We do safe, natural cosmetics."

Me: "That's actually one of the main reasons I chose to contact you. The ingredients in my products are plant-based and most of them are organic."

Snooty Manufacturer: "And we also have rules about what kinds of preservatives because we make products that qualify for the Nordic Swan label. For example, no parabens are allowed'.

Me: "There are no parabens in these products, so that won't be an issue. But it is actually possible to include some parabens in products carrying the Nordic Swan la--."

Snooty Manufacturer (cutting in): "No parabens have ever been allowed in products with the Nordic Swan label, and they never will be."

Me (hairs on back of neck raising): "Actually you are incorrect about that. I have b---"

Snooty Manufacturer (cutting in again): "so if anyone even tried to bring parabens into our production facility, they would be thrown out."

Me (controlling my voice): "If you check the Nordic Swan label requiremen--"

Snooty Manufacturer (cutting in again): "I think I know what the Nordic Swan label requirements are. Now, would you like me to send you a non-disclosure agreement so we can check out whether or not your formula will even pass our initial inspection?"

To my own astonishment – I finished the conversation in a polite and civil manner.


Would I ever even consider using these folks to make my products?

As soon as I get these knickers untwisted, I'll let you know.


Rikke said…
Sådan en klaphat Lise. Det var da utroligt! Mon ikke han liiige brugte 2 minutter på at slå op i Svanemærkemanualen og fik sig en ubehagelig overraskelse. Ha!
LisaLise said…
Rikke, - ja, hvis det da bare var en mand. Jeg syntes det er på en måde endnu mere skuffende når man skal udsættes for sådan en attitude fra en kvinde. Faktisk har jeg haft meget bedre og mere sober svar og behandling fra mændene i denne sag.
Frannie said…
Hi - I have a new website where I am selling natural skin care and hair care products. I would be happy to sell your line of products, whether you get them mass produced or not. Please let me know if you would be interested.

LisaLise said…
Hey there Frannie,

Thanks so much for your kind offer. I would love to hear more.. could you send me a link? My contact email is on the right of the blog. I look forward to hearing more from you. :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Rachel,

I will most definitely be contacting you. Thank you for this!