February 8, 2022
For Sarah Fotis, co-founder and CEO of Collective Laboratories, creating hair loss products started with her own hair loss struggles.
“My co-founders and I started Collective Laboratories with the mission to shed the shame of hair loss,” Sarah said. “As a society now, we’re talking a lot about things like infertility and weight loss, but rarely do you see people talk about hair loss in a non-ashamed way, and it’s something that affects 89% of the world’s population.”
Sarah’s personal struggle with hair loss began after having two kids.
“Postpartum hair loss is a real thing that affects many new moms, so initially I felt like that was normal,” Sarah said. “But even years later, my hair didn’t grow back how it used to be.”
Then, about three years ago, Sarah had a stroke that caused her to lose even more hair. During her stay in the hospital, Sarah’s family would visit and use traditional Pakistani scalp recipes like mustard seed oil, turmeric, and ginger on her scalp.
“What occurred to me at that time was that there was something around natural remedies and secrets from my motherland,” Sarah said. “Once I got out of the hospital, I hooked up with my co-founders who both had their own stories with hair loss as well.”
Co-founder Peter Brack worked and lived in China for 20 years and is knowledgeable of traditional Chinese medicine. Meanwhile, Co-founder Kuldeep Singh brought his background of traditional Indian medicine to the table. By combining each co-founder’s unique background, Collective Laboratories was born.
Currently, Collective Laboratories sells an Activating Serum as a monthly subscription through their Shopify store. The serum took nearly two years to create and was carefully formulated with ethically sourced ingredients.
“When you look at the hair loss category, it’s extremely dated, it’s full of drugs and chemicals, and it’s really like a hair club for men,” Sarah said. “You’re sort of embarrassed to have it on your countertop. We wanted something that worked, that looked really beautiful on your countertop, and that’s actually a nice ritual for you to do.”
Sarah said that she and her co-founders love seeing customer results and when customers send them before and after photos.
“Just when you think you’re having a bad day, you get this wonderful email from a customer,” Sarah said. “What’s also amazing is that when you look at our customers, it’s about 60% men and 40% women, so it’s almost split.”
Sarah said that COVID-19 has actually had a positive impact on Collective Laboratories.
“Despite the pandemic, we have grown tremendously,” Sarah said. “I think it’s because we’re on Zoom meetings and video calls all day. We’re looking at ourselves all day, and so want for skincare is going up.”
In September, Collective Laboratories will launch a shampoo and conditioner. Other products to come in the future include an apple cider vinegar rinse, a scalp massager, towels, silk pillowcases, and other accessories to go along with the conversation of scalp health.
“For us, it’s all about taking care of your scalp because that’s the root of everything,” Sarah said.
When it comes to Soapbox, Sarah is looking forward to the overall accuracy of the platform.
“When I go into Soapbox, the interface is super easy to use and I can see what products my 3PL needs to pull to create a bundle,” Sarah said. “The other thing I love about Soapbox is the ability to pick which carrier is the best. The rates are really wonderful as well.”
Click here to check out the Collective Laboratories website. Use code SOAPBOX20 for 20% off of your first month’s Collective Laboratories subscription.