What You Need to Know About Clean Deodorant Brand Type: A
Bring some Type: A to your armpits.
What You Need to Know About Clean Deodorant Brand, Type: A
CEO and Founder of Type: A Allison Moss sits down with Women.com to discuss how she began a safe, clean, aluminum free, brand. Personally, I'm a fan of the sweat-activated deodorant as it leaves you feeling clean, instead of weird like a lot of other natural products tend to do.
If you're looking for a clean approach to a fresh new deodorant, look no further at this girl boss of a company.
Women.com: What moment in life did you realize you needed clean, safer deodorant? How did you come up with the type:A technology, scent, and overall product?
Allison Moss: The moment when I realized that I might want to switch to an aluminum-free deodorant was when I had just become pregnant with my first child. I happened to be working with a natural skin care brand at the time and I had already switched over to clean beauty products for my skin care, and around the house. So it seemed like deodorant would be the next product to tackle. I bought a well-regarded natural brand on a whim one day and gave it a try.
I wish I could say it worked, but unfortunately the next day I ran back to my traditional antiperspirant. However, that did plant the seed in my head that I should switch. And over the next few years, I tried dozens of ‘natural' deodorants, trying to see if I could uncover the one that ‘really' worked. But each and every one was a disappointment.
In 2016, I finally had enough of dealing with these disappointing deodorants. I actually had one of those ah-ha moments you so often read about. I started to see patterns in the way the different natural deodorants were formulated and what might be holding them back in terms of performance. Also, I felt the user experience could be dramatically improved – for example, digging paste out of a jar with your fingers (which then requires 5 minutes of scrubbing to get the paste off your skin and nails).
With a background in beauty marketing, and knowing what it takes to build a truly exceptional product both in terms of efficacy and user experience, I had a vision for what could be a game-changing safe, clean deodorant. That vision included mimicking a time-release effect for the odor protecting actives and allowing for superior wetness absorption. This turned into our sweat-activated formula that does both of those things. It also included things like absorbing instantly, feeling invisible on the skin, not leaving stains on clothes and not irritating skin.
So I took a leap of faith, and dedicated myself exclusively to the product concept that has become type:A deodorant. My hope and our company's mission is to offer a safe deodorant that's high performance and a joy to use, so more people can make the switch to a clean deodorant and (happily) stick with it.
As far as the scent goes, I asked my former beauty colleagues and friends for recommendations on a fragrance developer who understood the clean natural fragrance guidelines I required. The goal for the first scent – The Visionary - was to develop something that felt crisp and fresh, appealed to all genders, and was not overly sweet, musky or too strong. We landed on a well-rounded scent that everyone can love. It's interesting, because it's one of those scents where everyone interprets it differently. I've had people say it smells like rosemary, and other say they smell a whiff of key lime pie. (Neither rosemary nor limes are in the fragrance).
WDC: Okay, you have an idea... what's next? Labs? Scientists? How did the nitty-gritty stuff pan out?
AM: My next step was to treat this as I would have if I were still in-house at a beauty brand like L'Oreal. I did competitive, ingredient and formulation research, then wrote up a detailed 3-page product development brief. I engaged a freelance formulator and we were up and running. Immediately after the first submission, I knew we were onto something.
WDC: How did you rise above competitors and differentiate yourself in the beauty industry?
AM:At the end of the day, everything we're doing is built on the foundation of an exceptional product. Right now the market for ‘natural deodorant' is noisy, chaotic and crowded with a lot of little brands. But this is happening because the current offerings do not fully satisfy what consumers are looking for in an aluminum-free deodorant.
We rise above competitors by addressing the product benefits that most people find lacking in other ‘natural' deodorants, such as offering long-lasting odor and wetness protection, feeling soft and smooth when applied, not staining clothing or leaving white marks, and being fast and easy to apply.
We differentiate ourselves in the market place by not trying to be another natural deodorant.
First and foremost, we don't refer to ourselves as a ‘natural' deodorant – we are an ‘aluminum-free' deodorant that's 100% non-toxic and uses both natural + safe synthetic ingredients.
Perhaps most obviously, type:A comes in a tube. This is because after I developed the formula, I looked at over a hundred packages to find the one that made applying the dry-touch cream fast, easy and clean. Our unique tube with the button applicator was the one that did the best job by far. And it stands out, it's easy to remember.
Last but perhaps most important is that the formula offers sweat-activated technology™ for long-lasting odor and wetness protection. The patent-pending formula is triggered by moisture (i.e. your sweat). Each and every time you sweat, the formula absorbs that moisture and is triggered to release a complex of natural active ingredients to protect against odor.
WDC: Have you encountered any struggles or adversity being a woman in business? If so, what. If not, why do you think you avoided it?
AM: I feel extremely fortunate that when it has come to creating and launching the type:A deodorant business, I have had nothing but strong support, guidance and encouragement from my family, friends and colleagues. What has allowed me to perhaps avoid some of the known adversity that female entrepreneurs face, especially when it comes to raising funds, are a few things. I am constantly reading, seeking advice, educating myself on best practices for the aspects of the business I'm less familiar with (like raising capital, managing inventory, looking after warehousing and production, etc). I seek out best practices period (not what's best for women) and rely on my network for advice and insight. Really listening and taking in advice, then using what makes sense, has been invaluable.
Also, there is so much attention at the moment on the lack of support for female founders, and which many male and female investors and advisors are overtly looking to correct. I'm lucky in timing to be launching this company right now.
I love the larger ‘founders' network of which I find myself a part. Meeting many other entrepreneurs – men and women - to share insights, resources and ideas has been helpful for me and for the business. Women in particular are working hard to seek out and support female founders, given the conversations we're having as a society right now. I'm certainly benefiting from this.
WDC: What's next for the brand? What's on the horizon? Anything you want to tease?
AM: What's next for type:A is that we will to continue to work hard to make a healthy, no-sacrifice deodorant accessible to as many people as possible. That means continuing to invest our resources wisely to make more people aware of the brand and product, and to also make more widely available.
We can offer one teaser for Women.com that we have yet to share with anyone else. We know that scent is part of the experience, when you put on your deodorant a lovely fragrance can make you smile and lift your mood. Next year we'll be adding a few new scents to the line-up, complementing our current leafy citrus and fragrance-free offerings. Stay tuned!
Purchase your very own Type: A deodorant here.
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