Freire invested in research and technology to develop the first machine in the world able to manufacture custom nail polish instantly. "Esmalte Machine is the most modern, simple and clean way to create thousands of nail polish colours on the spot," says Cesar Jansen, expansion manager of Esmalte Machine, which was founded in 2011, in the Brazilian state of Paraiba.
Over 100,000 shades available
With a clean and futuristic look, the patented device is a portable and automated feeder that uses pre-made basic colours to create new colour combinations.
Customers can choose from a catalogue of over 100,000 shades available in different versions, including creamy, shimmering and metallic - with or without glitter. The “5Free” version is free of the five top substances that may cause allergies: toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin and camphor. The empty bottle is then positioned inside the machine, the operator enters the number corresponding to the selected colour on the touchscreen display and, after three minutes, the nail polish is ready to go.
Despite working with chemical components in high-traffic public spaces such as mall corridors, Jansen ensures there are no safety risks. “There is no handling of chemicals. What happens during the process is a mixture of nail polish colors inside the machine. Neither the customers nor the machine operators have physical contact with any of the components.”
60 new franchises by December 2015
"Initially, our idea was to supply only the machine and its ingredients, but the business model has been so successful that we decided to turn it into a franchise network,” says Jansen. Today, Esmalte Machine has 12 franchises operating in nine Brazilian states: Para (Belem), Paraiba (Joao Pessoa), Parana (Foz do Iguaçu), Pernambuco (Recife), Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi) Rio Grande do Norte (Fortaleza), Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, Pelotas and Santa Maria), Santa Catarina (Lages) and Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo).
"We are currently implementing four new franchises and our forecast is to inaugurate another 60 by December 2015,” says Jansen.
The initial investment to open a franchise ranges from R$ 70,000 to R$ 135,000 depending on the point of sale selected (from 4 m2 micro-kiosks to 25 m2 stores). Monthly sales are estimated between R$ 12,000 and R$ 30,000.
One of the main advantages for the franchisees is the ability to deal directly with the market demand - there is no need to stock products or invest in colours that may not be sold. They also have the possibility to work as direct sales consultants by selling Esmalte Machine products to their customers via catalogue and delivering straight to their place.
Nail polish prices range from R$ 12 to R$ 18 in the traditional version, which are sold in 8 ml containers. Slightly larger, 5Free products are available in 10ml containers and cost R$ 25. There are also gift package options with two, four and six bottles of nail polish.
The nail polish category recorded sales of nearly R$ 600 million (EUR 197 million) in Brazil in 2013 according to Euromonitor - a 16% share of the global market, which totals US$ 5.9 billion.