KITTY VAN DER SLUIS

Kitty van der Sluis, managing director of Babor Cosmetics Netherlands, has entrepreneurship in her blood. With a large family of an enterprising father, five brothers and a sister, she was taught how to tackle things from an early age. We will talk to Kitty about Babor. Text: Bart-Jan Brouwer
Image: John van Helvert
Online editing: Mical Joseph

Creativity

“My parents had an electrical installation company. And my father, including his five brothers and sister, all had their own business. So I learned entrepreneurship from home. And technology is in our DNA. There were only engineers around us and I helped my father with chores. If there was a problem at a customer during the weekend, my father would sometimes take me with him: with my small hands I could easily turn on the spotlights. Because I also wanted to see something of the world, the three elements of international, entrepreneurship and independence were the motivation for me to work at an IT company. It wasn't yet set in stone how that business worked at the time, so if you liked to get things done, there was a job for you. After twenty-five years in IT, I opted for something completely different. Technology is a world of ones and zeros, I wanted to work in a very creative environment for a change. That became the cosmetics industry. After all, I am a girl... That is also the biggest difference: I went from a working environment with 99,9 percent men to one with 99,9 percent women. Working with men I have learned to act soberly. This now comes in handy in a business that works more from emotion. Why Babor? If anyone is creative and innovative and has been looking ahead for so many years, it is our CEO Michael Schummert. I was on the same page with him about how to realize Babor's growth in the Netherlands and how to contribute to this with my creativity. My immediate order is essentially to double sales. I like that challenge.”

One plus one equals three

“As a specialist in the field of skin improvement, Babor supplies products, services, solutions and training to beauticians. In professional skincare, the German brand is known for being reliable and of high quality. Our products have been sold through beauticians for years, now we want to invite consumers to get acquainted with the brand themselves. I found Masters of LXRY to be the best way to do that. What we experienced there exceeded our expectations. We were very pleasantly surprised. Many consumers know the name Babor, but do not know exactly what it stands for. We were given the opportunity to tell our story. What is that? Especially that we do everything in-house: from idea to product and packaging to distribution. We determine our own course, have our own financial resources, and do not look at what our competitors are doing. Last October we opened the first flagship store in Amsterdam, on Sint Luciënsteeg. You can have a skin analysis made there - we prefer to do this for everyone who comes in here. We can provide personalized advice based on a skin scan. We do not just sell a product, but the combination of a treatment and the product. That makes the result one plus one equals three. In our cabins we use powerful ingredients that we are not allowed to put in a consumer product. We add products tailored to your skin for home use. It is best to visit us every six weeks. This has to do with the regeneration of the skin. Give it to yourself, because you will enjoy it so much. A woman who feels beautiful and good in her own skin, dares more and is more positive, more active and happier.”

Hero products

“The ampoules are our hero products. We produce 50 million of them annually. The big advantage of an ampoule is the airtight packaging: it contains a power explosion of ingredients. The moment air comes into contact with something, whether it is fresh orange juice or a serum, its potency decreases. You use an ampoule once, so you get the most out of it. For Easter we made an ampoule treatment for 14 days. This way you can experience a different one for every day. They sell like hot cakes. Babor is really the expert in ampoules. Some have an instant effect. For example, I quickly did a Lift Express for the VIP Night of Masters of LXRY, which works immediately. Others need to be left on overnight or used for 28 days straight for a more permanent change. Once you've used ampoules, you'll be a fan. We are there for everyone, our products are unisex and available in all price ranges. In addition to skin products, we also have a spa line and a complete make-up range. We are a total brand. So even if you are looking for something nice for the shower or a body shampoo for the sports bag, you have come to the right place.”

The current period

The family business has increased the production of disinfectant hand gels (own production in Germany, Aachen), which have always been used in salons, and now donates them to healthcare institutions in various countries in Europe. “In this way we also want to contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Hygiene/disinfection is an important part of our profession, so we know what it takes to work safely.”