PARIS — Talm — the premium French skin care brand for use before, during and after pregnancy — has raised its first round of funding to help bolster expansion.
Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, cofounders of Caudalie, took a minority stake in the high-end dermocosmetics brand for mothers-to-be and moms. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Talm is an acronym for “to all the mamas.” It was launched in September 2021 by Kenza Keller, a luxury beauty executive who recently served as Byredo’s international marketing director. Prior to that, she worked at Hermès International in Paris and Guerlain in London. Keller appeared on Forbes Frances’ “40 Women” list last year.
Her idea for Talm was spawned when she was first expecting.
“I discovered that women, when they are pregnant, want to conceive or have just given birth, are in a position where it’s really difficult to find products that are truly safe for them and their babies,” Keller said.
She was further shocked to find a dearth of such products with a high level of sensoriality and eco-friendly components.
“This idea started to grow — and grow — and actually became an obsession,” she said.
Keller set out to create a line 100 percent safe from the first day of pregnancy, through breastfeeding — even for the baby — and beyond.
“So it needed to be also organic, vegan,” Keller said. “The brief was super restrictive.”
Using naturals, product efficiency was key, too.
For Talm’s eco-friendly approach, she turned to glass for bottles and compostable corn byproduct for outer packaging. Products are made in France, and each natural and raw material is tracked, for transparency and quality control.
Keller created products to be pleasurable and multifunctional. She wants women using Talm to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Less is more — on many levels. At launch, Talm had three products, each of which mentioned pregnancy and postpartum on its labeling. There is Mega Oil, for body and facial hydration, now the bestseller; Mega Serum, with a roll-on applicator, and Mega Balm, a rich cream. Together, they comprise a skin care routine.
Mega Hair supplements, to reduce and prevent hair loss, came next and have become Talm’s second bestseller online. Product prices range from 34 euros to 39 euros.
“The idea is to capitalize on the existing, minimalist portfolio,” said Keller, who is now working on a facial skin care collection, due out in the second half of 2023.
Talm was initially launched in five countries, and in 2022 boasted 10 international markets, including Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. An 11th opened this year, and more are slated to come.
Prestige retailers, such as Oh My Cream, Smallable and Galeries Lafayette, as well as pharmacies, stock Talm.
About half of its sales, which are growing by triple digits, come from Talm’s e-shop servicing Europe and the U.S.
Mathilde Thomas said that what attracted her as an investor to the brand are its formulas’ high quality and efficacy, as well as Keller’s passion and aesthetic sense.
“The promising niche of pregnant women is underdeveloped,” Thomas continued. “Today, in this particular segment, only insufficiently clean and effective formulas exist.”
Among her goals is to widen Talm’s reach.
The Thomas family office invests inside and outside the world of beauty.
“We want to support young people in the key stages of building a cosmetics brand — help plan healthy, sustainable and profitable growth, as [we did],” Thomas said.
She explained another aim is to help them develop in Europe, as well as the rest of the world, in order to learn and possibly create synergies.
Keller said she’d long been interested in Thomas.
“I have always been very fascinated by the [Caudalie] brand story, but also her personal journey as an entrepreneur,” Keller said. “I really wanted to have them on board — her and her husband.”