After three years of product development and refinement, KELA was launched to the market in May 2017. We knew the unique KELA technology made our product superior to any other hair jewellery in the market and that it would revolutionise the hair industry, and it didn’t take long until people started to take notice. Our focus was to start local and then go global, and by the end of 2017 we had some of the most prominent names in the global fashion and hair industry working with and promoting KELA products.
Our launch strategy was heavily weighted toward social media to create brand awareness. Early on we identified that to get the greatest exposure and build brand awareness we needed to create social proof by maximising influencer marketing and nurturing relationships with brand ambassadors with A-list celebrity endorsements, as well as industry and fashion influencers. In addition, we planned to work alongside popular bloggers and develop our own social media channels to create hype and educate consumers.
“The first thing we had to do was show proof of performance,” says Janna Miccio, Marketing and PR Manager. “The best opportunity for KELA on a global scale is fashion weeks. Fashion weeks combine hair and fashion direct to trade and consumer and positioned us in the hair industry, giving credibility to the KELA product.”
In August 2017, we collaborated with New Zealand designer Andrea Moore for New Zealand Fashion Week. This collaboration put KELA on the fashion map with trade, consumers and media. It was a fantastic way to launch into Australasia,” says Janna. As Andrea was launching her latest collection, including her new fit wear range, we launched KELA to the world, proving what was now possible for the hair industry. Fashion industry guests and media witnessed the newly launched range of hair jewellery and the value they added to the luxe texture of Andrea Moore’s collection.
“We have had great success with creating ambassadors for the brand, firstly in Sydney and then globally. By the end of 2017 we had some of the most prominent names in the hair and fashion industry working with and promoting KELA products,” says Janna.
Natalie Anne, Australia’s largest hair industry digital influencer with a social following of 1.4 million, became a KELA ambassador. In addition to showcasing how she used KELA products in her own hair designs, Natalie Anne created a series of “how to” videos demonstrating how consumers can use our products in their own day-to-day or special occasion looks.
Australian celebrity hair stylist and KELA Ambassador, Renya Xydis (VALONZ salon owner and Global Wella Creative Artist) used KELA products at both the Wella Trend Visions award show in London and New York Fashion Week in September.
British celebrity hair stylist and KELA Ambassador, Eugene Souleiman (ranked in the top 1% of international hair artists, Wella Global Creative Director and ghd Ambassador) used KELA products in his looks for Paris Couture Week in October and the British Hairdresser of the Year Awards in November.
In October, celebrity hair and make-up artist Max May and Elle Ferguson, Cosmopolitan’s Digital Influencer of the Year with an Instagram following of 665,000, collaborated to create a “how to” series showing consumers the range of ways that KELA products can be used to create unique looks.
It wasn’t just the hair industry that was excited about our unique KELA products. Close to home, Australian model, actress and former Australian Bachelorette, Sophie Monk wore a full KELA look on television show The Project in October, posting her look on her Instagram account with 530,000 followers.
Alana Hadid (sister of supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid and “sharer of great finds”) wore and credited KELA on social media to her 215,000 followers, and is now an advocate for KELA.
In November 2017 we successfully raised AUD $1.5 million through seed funding investments. This allowed us to develop products and file patents for the unique KELA technology, establish strong sales channels in the Australian market and develop partnerships with salons, hair industries and influencers.
“We rounded out 2017 with some great press coverage,” says Janna. KELA was featured in editorial and style spreads for The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, OK Magazine, Pop Sugar and Grazia, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and Harpers Bazar.