From its humble origins in 2021 with a 3D printer and an initial TikTok-driven sales strategy, Sydney ice facial startup Contour Cube has seen a solidification of its organic relationship with celebrity influencer Kendall Jenner, who just included the product in her recommendations for the Poosh holiday gift guide.
Poosh is a wellness media company owned by Kendall's half-sister Kourtney Kardashian, and its gift guide only includes 10 products chosen by the Kardashian and Jenner sisters and their mother Kris Jenner.
The announcement marks a continuation of Kendall's enthusiasm for the product after first posting about the Australian brand in August last year, which was picked up by international publications including Grazia Magazine.
"I’ve been using—and loving—this contour cube for a while now. You can customise it with different ice recipes, and I think it makes a great stocking stuffer," Kendall says in the Pooch guide published overnight.
Contour Cube was founded by Sarah Forrai and her partner Lewis Battersby while the former was still working full time for a large online retailer. During lockdowns she discovered TikTok and put her product development skills to work as a side hustle, inspired by her mum's tradition of skin icing.
"My mum swears by ice facials which is her best-kept secret for her youthful complexion. She recommended that I get into it and so I read up on all its amazing benefits," explains Forrai, who alongside Battersby were finalists in the recent 2023 Sydney Young Entrepreneur Awards.
"Taking her advice, I began my facial icing journey which quickly became my favourite way to de-puff in the mornings and lift my skin naturally.
"As ice facials started to become part of my everyday skincare routine, I realised it was uncomfortable holding cold, slippery ice cubes and wanted to create something that would protect my hands."
This problem with cold ice was exacerbated for Forrai who suffers from Raynaud's disease, which constricts blood flow to the extremities in cold conditions and can lead to numbness.
"After some research, I realised there was nothing out there that made facial icing easy or designed to fit the contours of the face," she says.
"So, I backed myself on the concept. If I needed it, I was sure someone else out there felt the same way. I immediately put pen to paper and started drawing out my designs for the world’s first ice facial tool."
The pair then put Battersby's 3D printer to good use, trialling different shapes over a few months to eventually print the very first prototype, and after launching on TikTok the product quickly sold out.
From their home office, the Contour Cube founders have developed a large following for the Contour Cube and all its auxiliary items, coming in different colours with various recipe and formulation recommendations for different applications.
"It's like a fun DIY at-home spa. So you can have fun with it, it doesn’t look ugly in your fridge, and it’s definitely something that people use every day," says Battersby.
In FY23 Contour Cube experienced rapid growth, signing up stockists including Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and Woolworths' (ASX: WOW) Everyday Market in Australia, BEAUTY BAY in the UK and Boozyshop in the Netherlands. In September the founders were featured on the hit TV show Shark Tank in Australia, and struck a deal with all four Sharks.
"Our distribution partnerships are expanding rapidly as we forge relationships with retailers globally," says Battersby.
"We're committed to enhancing our product range to meet the diverse needs of our customers. In addition to the original design, we have introduced five new colours, a mini range tailored for travel and freezing serums, and Contour Cloths for those with sensitive skin seeking a gentler ice facial experience.
"We take a holistic approach to the ice facial ecosystem, which is why we have developed our own head towels to secure hair during usage. Moreover, we are diligently working on new recipes that will allow customers to personalise their ice facial effortlessly."
Battersby says there has been a strong initial response to Pooch's gift guide, and he is hopeful the media organisation as well as the Kardashian and Jenner sisters will publish more posts about the product. He emphasises the company's global warehouse footprint is prepared to service any spike in demand in the during the holiday season.
"It’s been a really great start to see that people are engaging and wanting to purchase it, and to follow the recommendation of the article and go and buy that as a stocking filler for this Christmas," he says.
"It’s really exciting to see that, and we’re really looking forward to see what happens in the next days and weeks, and see how that translates."
Forrai explains the products highlighted and curated in the gift guide are all used by the Kardashians and Jenners themselves.
"It’s just crazy to have Poosh reach out to us a year later after that organic post, because it just shows she’s [Kendall] still using the product, she still loves the product and it’s really part of her everyday skincare routine," she says.
"How, out of all the products you could possibly choose, does she want this product that we 3D printed at home a couple of years ago?"
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