Work & study
A big business built on confidentiality
Jess Roberts | April 23, 2017
The manufacturer behind some of the world’s largest certified organic and therapeutic skin and body care brands is a mystery – even to the company’s long-standing staff.
Some of your favourite iconic sunscreens, baby products and skin care brands may all be made by the same company right here on the Gold Coast.
Cosmetic Manufacturers may not sound familiar but walk into any pharmacy in Australia and their products will be on the shelves, camouflaged under large well-known health and beauty brands.
Cosmetic Manufacturers is an Australian made contract manufacturing company that develops and produces a range of products for approximately 35 large companies, as well as a handful of smaller boutique style brands. Many of the company’s larger well-known brands are on pharmacy shelves, in beauty salons, day spas and health food shops all around the world.
Cosmetic Manufacturers Head of International Marketing and Product Development Julie Charanduk says their clients are strictly confidential to ensure their IP is protected.
“We have complete confidentiality within our business – our clients are under very strong non-disclosure agreements; before we even meet with a potential client we have them sign a confidentiality agreement,” says Charanduk.
“This isn’t so we can have our clients compete for the same market; it is purely to protect their products and business.
“The industry is very competitive and once a brand has established a unique product, they want to ensure it is protected and not replicated within the market.
“It’s because of this confidentiality we receive dozens of new enquiries a day, most of which we have to turn down if we feel there is a conflict of interest with one of our existing clients.”
This Australian business is privately owned and operated, founded by Val and Sandra Fittler in 1983. Their daughter Julie joined them in 1984 to launch their own beauty cosmetics brand, Grace Cosmetics that specialise in age-defying skin care, body care, makeup, aloe organics, sun care and therapeutics.
The family embarked on this business venture, Cosmetic Manufacturers, to ensure an extremely high quality in manufacturing was available to their own brand Grace Cosmetics as well as other reputable brands.
Each family member within the group of companies has individual roles and responsibilities to ensure confidentiality for each of their clients. Joe and Julie Charanduk run and operate Cosmetic Manufacturers and work directly with customers on international growth in manufacturing.
Julie Charanduk says their son Joel Borgeaud has now joined the business as Legal Counsel.
“Joel is the company’s third generation and brings a vast experience in international arbitration and litigation to the family business,” says Charanduk.
“He also brings fresh energy and expertise for international expansion within the company.”
Charanduk says as business owners themselves they understand the value of IP protection, which makes for a fantastic trust and working relationship.
“In most cases our clients have approached us to manufacturer for them due to the fact that we are brand owners ourselves and can fully appreciate the necessity of quality on every batch, as well as respect the confidentiality of their product,” she says.
“Once we start working with a client the secrecy continues all the way through to having separate systems for each client.
“In the past 30 years, we have never nor would ever compromise on this policy.”
Julie Charanduk says one of the company’s values is to produce high quality products that are natural, organic and Australian made.
Cosmetic Manufacturers operates under the strictest manufacturing standards outlined by the Australian Government Department of Health. They are registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and are cGMP certified.
“We have a chief chemist who has been with us since the very beginning. He develops many of the formulas and works closely with our team and independent research and development experts,” she says.
“Our biggest passion and largest investment of time, energy and funds has gone into research on natural botanical actives. We put a lot of focus into identifying the nasties in products that should be avoided and look for alternative natural ingredients.”
Last year alone, Cosmetic Manufacturers grew its team by 32 per cent and now the group of companies combined operate with a staff base of as many as 100 per day. Future plans include working towards doubling their output by running a second production shift overnight.
Charanduk adds there is a very strong overseas demand for anything Australian made, which is proven given approximately 75 per cent of their Australian clients now export globally.
“Many of our larger brand owners who we service from Cosmetic Manufacturers export to Europe, The Middle East, China, Canada, USA, Japan and Korea – Australian made products are extremely popular in these markets,” she says.
“We also have global clients looking to expand in Australia come to us to manufacture their products because they have found Australians prefer Aussie made local products, and can be quite picky when it comes to skin and body care, baby products and even sunscreen.
“Without saying too much we’ve recently had an American company approach us to make a sunscreen for their Australian and Asian markets, as they’ve found their customers prefer Australian made products,” says Charanduk.
“I can’t stress enough the high demand for anything Australian made, which is why we encourage other brand owners to do their due diligence when choosing a manufacturer. Brands must choose a manufacturer who has the accreditations and the ability to grow with the demand as the business expands.”