Brand Interview – Dawn Catherine, La Bella Vita Cosmetico & La Bella Vino
How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
I created La Bella Vita Cosmetico a little over two years ago so everyone could savor a taste of the Italian lifestyle, the lifestyle of truly living beautifully. La Bella Vita Cosmetico is my vision, come to life, where I am able to share a part of my heritage, my passion and experiences of my travels in Italy. I explore Italy’s rich history, art, food, and wine by providing products and goods that represent the quintessential superior quality of Italian craftsmanship.
Inspired to fill the void in natural and organic cosmetics, I set out to create products with superior standards of efficacy and quality. I chose an Italian manufacturer whose cosmetic artisans handcraft and package each and every product on a batch by batch basis. Undeniable product integrity, using only certified all natural and organic phyto-pharmeceuticals, the purest concentrations of plant and botanical extracts, known for their soothing and anti-aging properties, Bella Vino and Bella Organico luxury lines combine age defying science and luxury something rarely seen in the industry. Bella Vino is an award winning luxury organic Vino Therapy skin care line. Simply stated, Vino Therapy is skin care infused with the botanical power of the grapevine. Vino Therapy, transforms skin with powerful, age defying anti-oxidants harvested from the by-products of the wine making process. Bello Organico is a luxury organic line made in exclusive cooperation from the Tuscan farm Montagnano in Arezzo, Italy. The line includes facial and body lotions, body oils and shampoos infused with honey, goat milk, lavender & wine , mint & chamomile, olive oil all cultivated organically and ethically from the farm. Spring of 2012, will bring the launch of the Bella Vino Make-up line, bath and body collection and I am currently working on creating a signature fragrance.
Having infused the Bella Vino line with the by-products of the wine making process is where I truly learned in depth about the actual wine making process. It was then I developed more than just a taste for wine, wanting to be part of the process and having my own brand of wine was something I thought was just a dream. Partnering with Fattoria La Striscia Vineyard in the Chianti region of Arezzo, Tuscany, I developed my own line of wines called “La Bella Vino”. Three different red wines will bare the “La Bella Vino” label; Chianti, Toscana and Merlot and white wines will be coming soon as well. The wines were created to be used in various treatments in conjunction with my Bella Vino skin care and spa line. La Bella Vino will also be available in wine stores around the country. To be involved in the process of wine making is an amazing experience. I honestly don’t think anyone has any idea what kind of passion one must have to make just one bottle of wine.
I possess a love of Italian traditions, and it was during my extensive travels through Italy that I developed an appreciation for those craftsmen who painstakingly continued to create goods – despite advances in technology that could clearly make it easier or faster. There is no comparison when you go into a maschere (mask) shop in Venezia, where Carnivale maschere are made as they were hundreds of years ago as opposed to those mass produced. These craftsmen of woodworking, paper making, pottery, and ceramics among many others should be embraced and celebrated. It is this reverence of Italian old-world techniques which inspire a passion for traditional craftsmanship. “Bella di Lusso” my luxury goods line, will include a collection of Gifts, Collectibles and Home Decor. Bella di Lusso honors Italian artisan heritage unlike any other.
If that doesn’t keep me busy enough in May of this year- I launched my own weekly radio talk show “Living La Bella Vita.” I talk about a myriad of topics, beauty, fashion, wine, luxury lifestyle and more all with an Italian flair! You can listen in on Wednesdays nights at midnight eastern time and nine pacific or download the podcast from Itunes. www.toginet.com/shows/labellavita
Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
My main charity is the San Damiano Foundation. La Bella Vita Cosmetico donates 10% of its sales to the foundation. It is an amazing foundation that recognizes the power of film and social media to touch and inspire people, making it a perfect medium to communicate Franciscan spirituality and concern for the poor, social justice, peace and nonviolence. The vision for San Damiano films is twofold: to raise funds for charities aiding the world’s poor, and to awaken the hearts and minds to the plight of the poor, hopefully inspiring viewers to serve those in need through acts of compassion and mercy.
To show you that San Damiano’s vision and how the power of social media works – it was this very video that inspired me to align myself & company with this foundation. I ask to anyone who watches this video, if it moves you please consider making a donation to the foundation.
We also contribute to the American Cancer Society and several conservation societies.
I donate to charities because I believe that mankind has an obligation to do so. If you cannot contribute monetarily, do it with your time and talents. Everyone can make a difference in changing this world for the better!
How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
I think the font we choose gave me everything I was looking for, flowy and elegant. We use golden grapes in our logo which represents our “gold standard” and the use of wine in our products.
How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
My color palette happens to be one of my favorite colors, royal purple and color combination, royal purple & gold. The colors represent royalty, luxury and richness. This is exactly how I want my customers to feel when they see and use my products.
After I had chosen my palette, I read an article regarding branding through color. It said that royal purple was one of the colors that consumers most indentified as being associated with a luxury brand. Also, those same consumers tended to trust brands using royal purple almost immediately and historically were found to be the most loyal consumers. I am very glad that my favorite colors translated so perfectly into the world of color branding and loyal consumers!
How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
I am a highly creative and artistic person and I will admit to being a little bit of a control freak! I designed my company logo, product logo and my entire web site design layout. My graphic and web designer was able to execute my vision.
In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
I officially launched my product lines and web site in tandem at an industry trade show a year ago.
How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
So I will admit that I am not perfect with social media! I am learning more everyday and trying to make it more of a priority.
Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
Yes, I did a lot of research and took many webinars and tele-classes. I still participate, as I am always open to learning new ideas of marketing and how to utilize them to grow my business.
Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
Not at this time, although I am hoping to place one in a national magazine the near future.
Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
I am just starting to use Google and Facebook and it’s too soon to tell their effectiveness.
When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
I used a printing company from my home state of Rhode Island for my labels. www.quicklabel.com and I have used a local New York City company for my business cards and marketing materials.
Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
Yes, I was aware and made certain that we took the most eco-friendly approach.
Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
La Bella Vita Cosmetico is very eco-friendly and uses recycled paper and packaging whenever possible.
If you sell products, are they produced in the USA or abroad?
All of my skin care products are handmade and packaged by cosmetic artisans in the heart of Tuscany, Italy.
Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
I’m planning to go live in Italy for a couple of months to write a book about “Living La Bella Vita”. A coffee table sized book, full of photographs and anecdotes of the quintessential Italian lifestyle.
Then of course there is the continuous tackling- to building my brand into an empire and refusing to sell my soul in the process!
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
To learn more about Dawn Catherine and La Bella Vita Cosmetico, and La Bella Vino, visit the links below: