Established in 2008 by Theresa Buenaflor, Ellana Mineral Cosmetics (“Ellana”) is a leading mineral cosmetics brand in the Philippines that formulates and distributes non-toxic, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic products that specifically cater to Filipina and Southeast Asian skin types. Ellana has successfully established its own niche in the clean beauty industry in the Philippines, traditionally dominated by international incumbents, through developing quality products, serving the growing demands for health benefit-themed cosmetics, and adopting agile go-to-market strategies. Ellana offers career-oriented women in the Philippines over 200 clean makeup products for eyes, faces, lips, skin, body and hair. Recently launched products include sanitizers, masks, and beauty balms.
The name Ellana means “illuminate” in Greek, conveying its founder’s conviction that makeup should be light and easy on the skin, giving its users a sheer and natural glow. Theresa has built the brand with a vision of “a world where the pursuit of beauty goes hand in hand with healthy skin” and a business mission “to be recognized as a high-quality natural makeup brand preferred by young, career-oriented Southeast Asian women.” Product formulations include skin protection qualities such as natural sun protection and anti-inflammatory properties for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
In addition to the use of clean ingredients in its products, Ellana has actively promoted the refilling practice whereby its clients only buy products-in-jar for the first time and re-use the jars to refill in subsequent purchases. Packaging materials used are environmentally friendly, consciously using the least plastic required and only if necessary.
Ellana has created a strong following among young consumers in their 30s that dominate the middle to high-income group with higher discretionary spending. Ellana has adopted an omni-channel sales approach and digital marketing strategies to effectively create a seamless customer experience. With effective interaction with their customers, new product introductions are quickly rolled out and rapid customer response used as a feedback mechanism for product development.
Ellana is distributed nationwide in 61 retail outlets and kiosks, e-commerce partners and through its company-owned website www.ellanacosmetics.com. Ellana is widely distributed in Watsons, a leading health and beauty retailer in the Philippines.
Ellana is a woman-founded and –led business with a culture of women’s empowerment: Founder and President Theresa Buenaflor launched Ellana as a single mother. The Company fills an unmet need for Southeast Asian (SEA) men and women. SEA women have limited color cosmetic options and contend with “close enough” shades catered towards Caucasian and East Asian skin tones.
Ellana invests in the training and development of its largely women workforce: Ellana currently employs 182 full-time employees, of which 58% are Beauty Consultants and 87% are women. Management strongly emphasizes providing employees with training and support for professional and personal development as well as excellent employee benefits. Beauty Consultants undergo the “4 Es of Ellana Training – Establish, Equip, Engage and Empower”, which entails providing employees with product and soft skills training and empowering them through incentives and recognition. Beauty Consultants who exhibit high potential also receive training on skills mastery, selling strategy, and personality development.
Ellana supports employees who wish to pursue self-initiated and continuous education through its Educational Assistance Program and allows them to adjust their work schedules to enroll in courses. Some employees have taken advantage of this benefit to pursue concurrent studies in pharmacy, music technology, and more.
Beauty Consultants and other employees participate in outreach programs such as a workshop held at the Jeremiah Foundation (Home for Abused Women) and wellness campaigns around mental health, occupational health, and stress management. Ellana’s Girl Boss Campaign also aims to develop Store Team Leaders into confident entrepreneurs.
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