For decades, Vivant Skin Care has formulated creams, serums, cleansers and tonics to treat such dermatological conditions as acne, aging and hyperpigmentation.
Family owned and linked to Dr. James E. Fulton, who co-developed the anti-aging formula Retin-A, the company built its reputation with medically tested therapies aimed at improving skin.
Now, like a complexion that has undergone the metamorphosis of time, Vivant is altering its manufacturing and sales structure and adding products, emerging from the economic downturn with a new plan for the future.
“Now we’re stabilized and looking forward to growth,” said Fulton’s daughter, Chief Executive, Kelly Fulton-Kendrick.
Founded in 1990, Vivant produces a line of 30 skin care products, all formulated in-house, and priced from $15 to $100. The products target both females and males, ages 13 and up.
“Our target market is people who have serious skin care problems and need solutions,” Fulton-Kendrick said. “Vitamin A is the best for affecting change in the skin.”
The clinical skin care products, packaged simply in white bottles and amber glass containers, have remained the company’s mainstay, as the business has transformed.
In mid-2011, Vivant decided to adjust its sales structure, to sell, for the first time, to online retailers like DermStore.com, SkinCareRX.com and amazon.com, as well as to make its products available on its own website, vivantskincare.com. It was a major change in course after more than 20 years of having its products sold only at spas and doctors’ offices.
“So now, we’re a mix of wholesale to skin care professionals and Internet retailers, and we’re selling directly to consumers through our own website,” Fulton-Kendrick said.
Mike Nelson, marketing manager at SkinCareRx.com, said Vivant, which it has sold since November, has “done very well for a new brand to our site,” surpassing some brands that have been on its site for over a year. He declined to provide figures.
SkinCareRX took on only 5 percent of the brands that approached it last year, he said, and had undertaken a rigorous review of Vivant.
“They have a good loyalty base and get great reviews,” Nelson said.
Along with changes in its sales system, in January 2012, Vivant moved from Medley to Miami Lakes, doubling its space to 11,000 square feet to accommodate manufacturing, which it brought in house to reduce costs. It had outsourced manufacturing to a lab in Costa Mesa, Calif., that it had previously owned and later sold.
Inside its warehouse space in a commercial business complex, a small staff handles manufacturing, shipping and packaging. All orders are taken by customer service and fulfilled onsite. A room used as an educational center allows vendors and aestheticians to learn about the products.
Martina Echeveria, international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Miami U.S. Export Assistance Center, who is helping Vivant get a distributor in the Dominican Republic, said she recently nominated the company for a South Florida Manufacturer of the Year award. The awards are given by the South Florida Manufacturers Association.
“Their products are good and 100 percent U.S. made,” she said.
At Vivant’s offices, a lab area is used by Dr. Fulton for research and development. He also maintains a practice at Flores Dermatology in South Miami.