How many people can boast that they inherited not one but two family businesses, and successfully turned them around and brought them into the 21st century? Alexis Cabanne did exactly that.
In 1865 the Feret family launched a company to import global beauty brands to France. In the process, they began manufacturing their own products based on the needs expressed by their customers, namely for simple and safe products that everyone in the family could use. Amongst those products were the Bloc Hyalin, the Hyalomiel Jelly and the famous Baume. 150 years later those products are still popular but the road has not always been smooth.
So, what exactly is the Bloc Hyalin and what is it used for ? This crystalline block has benefitted from a long and complex purification process, making it the most organic and soft of stone blocks. Being 100% alum potassium, it is not mixed with any chemical or synthetic products. It is ideal for the most porous parts of our bodies including underarms. Smoothed on the skin, it leaves an invisible film of mineral salts which prevent bacteria and odors. It is also ideal for both before and after shaving. Smoothed over hairs before, it softens the skin and provides a clean shave. After shaving it prevents rashes and other discomforts.
The Hyalomiel is another product that Feret introduced that went on to become a household name in France. The moisturizer is the original Hyalin jelly, and has both soothing and refreshing qualities while remaining 100% natural, and locking moisture into the skin. In was quickly recognized to be ideal for entire families and great for baby care.
By the 1930’s the Feret brand had become a worldwide sensation, popular in homes across the globe. They were employing more than 700 people in France and opened several overseas outlets and a popular boutique in Paris on the Faubourg Poissonnière.
In the 1970s, following the death of Mr Lucien Feret, contracts slipped and Feret Parfumeur reduced in size, even though the distribution of Bloc Hyalin and Hyalomiel. continued.
In 2012, Alexis Cabanne, one of the grandsons who carried a very special attachment to the brand and its history, took up the family tradition and relaunched Feret as a global brand. Using original imagery from the early days and honing in on the best and most pure ingredients, he has begun rebuilding the empire with a modern approach.
Today, Feret is a thriving modern business, staying true to their history, the quality of ingredients and looking toward the future as a modern global market turns back to the basics.
Oh yes, and if you’re wondering what was the other company that Cabanne inherited and turned around, it is a family company producing and distributing cognac ….. but that is a story for another day!