By Shannon Pearce
By their second year of business, Foil Me was bringing in $75,000, then “doubled pretty much every year after,” according to Emily Ciardiello.
Now stocked internationally in New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and the United States, the brand’s overseas market has grown to make up approx. $200,000 of their revenue.
Foil Me has made raising money for national charities and non-profits a key part of their business. The brand has managed to raise over $120,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over $7000 for The Equality Project and more than $5000 for the Wheen Bee Foundation through various collections over the last four years.
“What we do is we spend a lot of time invest a lot of our time in either designing the foil or setting up campaigns where we can have the whole industry involved and then they can have their clients involved too,” Ciardiello said.
Prior to Foil Me, Iliano was already working in the pre-cut foil business selling foils to the food industry for burritos, burgers, and the like. After seeing the foils in Emily’s hair at the hairdresser it was an easy step to move towards selling pre-cut foils for the hairdressing industry.
“I could see his cogs turning and I’m like … “You’re thinking pre-cut foils for hairdressers?” and he’s like “yep”,” Ciardiello said.
“I saw how much they [hairdressers] struggled in the industry and also the way society sort of saw them as well and I thought ‘well, how cool would it be if we could create something that’s easier for them?’”
The couple spent months consulting local hairdressers to develop their product and took the next five years to get it right.
“We asked them ‘what are you missing in a foil?’, ‘what would you like in a foil if you had the perfect foil?’, ‘what would it look like how would it be used?’,” Ciardiello said.
“We then collated all that info, went to our manufacturer and said ‘can you create something that has all of these sorts of benefits on there?’”
Offering an upgrade to supermarket foils, Foil Me has seen many similar brands follow in their footsteps, but Emily maintains that they are the innovators in the hair foil market.
“There weren’t many pre-cut foils out there at all, and if they were pre-cut, they were really, really thick, unmanageable, and smooth. So, we came along with the tissue box style as well as our signature embossing which makes the foil really elasticised and easy to rip out of the box without it actually ripping or tearing,” she said.
“We were the first to bring out that kind of embossing in a hair foil, and then we were also the first to bring out a really beautiful pastel pink foil that we then used to raise funds for charity.
“We were also the first to actually do designs and make foils into art for artists to create their art with, because we believe hairdressers are artists.
“We need[ed] to make it a luxury item. We need[ed] to make it something hairdressers are proud to have around them.”
Foil Me have grown to manufacture over 200,000 packets of foils each year, becoming popular in the hairdressing industry thanks to the benefits of their “asphalt feel” embossing.
“When we were evolving the foil and hairdressers were coming back with their feedback on the foil, a lot of them were saying it was speeding up the processing time,” Ciardiello said.
“Air circulates around those little bubbles, so then the processing time is sped up because the air can circulate around the hair cuticles better than if it was flat foil on flat foil.”