Behind the Brand IDEO

Introducing IDEO, a groundbreaking serum that goes right to the source of aging: the brain. A revolutionary formula of Resveratrol, Malate and Antioxidants, IDEO’s proprietary R.M.A Complex ™ crosses the blood-brain barrier to effectively mitigate the effects of an aging brain on skin decline and visible signs of aging.

Dr. Blass of IDEO has reinvented skincare to acknowledge and tend to the aging brain as a vital process for repairing and maintaining youthful, healthy skin. Shen Beauty founder Jessica Richards says, “While skincare brands seem to launch daily, they are rarely backed by hard, dependable science. This is not the case for IDEO. Coincidentally, the day I was introduced to IDEO’s groundbreaking serum, I had just read an article on Alzheimer’s direct neurological and cellular effects on the aging processes of the skin. In reading the research behind this serum, I had no doubts that our customers would appreciate and love a “lighting in a bottle” product like this!"

Read on to learn more about this amazing brand. 

 

What was the first product you developed and why did you create it?

Our first product was the Skin Memory Serum. We thought a serum is the way to go, as our key ingredient, the RMA Complextm can be delivered most efficiently as a deeply penetrating serum. It was created to bring the promise of a profound biochemical discovery from brain science into the domain of skin.

 

What was the inspiration for the line?

Our brand takes life from the Alzheimer’s research of Dr. John Blass. When his wife Gitte had surgical scaring, he hypothesized that the way his recent discovery for the treatment of aging-related brain diseases worked, would also work on the skin. It worked wonders for Gitte’s scar and the formula was further developed as a premium skincare product and the line was born.

 

What is the brand philosophy?

The one thing that Dr. Blass’s wife, Gitte, has said over and over, is that they want to use the power of John’s great discovery to “help people.” I think that is the core philosophy that drives our brand. Skincare may appear to be about vanity, but we think it’s really about self-care and healing. Time causes aging, and our Skin Memory Serum heals the effects of time and the environmental and biochemical damage that time brings.

 

What makes the brand unique?

This is the first brand ever developed out of neurological research as far as I know, and for sure the first one to be directly linked to Alzheimer’s research.

 

 

What's one surprising thing people might not know about the brand?

The co-founders are in their 80’s! I think it’s tremendously inspiring that they’ve continued to put so much effort into making the brand a reality in their ninth decade! This brand is around today because Gitte Blass would not give up on sharing her husband’s scientific discoveries with the world. It was her nagging that got him to finish the skincare formulation alongside his busy schedule as a professor and researcher. And her dedication to never letting go of the brand’s promise that has got us to the launch we are at today. John was born in Vienna in 1937 and fled the Nazis to America in 1939. I think we should all be grateful for his contributions to science that he was able to bring to this country and Gitte’s persistence that made sure the science came to benefit more and more people.

 

What do you want people to think of when they think of your brand?

If people are thinking, they’re already thinking about our brand, because they’re using their brain and that’s where we start! The name IDEO comes from the Greek origin that gives us the word “idea.” This brand is about the power of ideas and a way of connecting the brain to the skin.

 

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?

We were delayed for a number of months due to the pandemic. Even post pandemic, there were delays due to the problems in supply chains and various shortages. But I think the pandemic wasn’t all negative for us. It became much easier to work with partners over video chat. As a new brand, it helped us in some ways because of there is a much lower barrier to entry to chat with potential collaborators via video than having to schedule meetings in person.

 

How did you know you'd made it as a brand?

I had tremendous confidence in the product from the start. But a good product is not enough. We had to reach the market with a great brand story and visual identity. The team at School House did tremendous work in that regard, creating the brand story and visual identity from scratch. I knew it would give us a huge advantage to be communicated so beautifully and clearly as that. I knew we made it when SHEN Beauty agreed to carry us. I had anticipated we’d need a year or more to get the attention of retailers, but SHEN saw the potential and believed in us after just a couple meetings and we’re fortunate to have them as our exclusive retail launch partner. SHEN only picks great brands they believe in, so I knew we’d make it when they liked what we have to offer!

 

What is your proudest moment as a founder?

My proudest moment was when School House presented their work on the brand identity and brand story. They perfectly nailed the maverick and genius work that Dr. John Blass did as a neuroscientist and the way his vision for the brain was translated to the skin. He truly has a brilliant mind and seeing that integrated into the brand and then presenting School House’s work to John and Gitte, they had tears in their eyes.

 

What can we expect from the brand in the future? Any exciting news you can share?

We definitely have big plans for the future. I’m sure we’ll expand the line beyond our initial flagship Skin Memory Serum in due time. We’re already working on something. Anecdotally, we’ve also had people tell us they’ve had incredible results with scars, burns, and stretchmarks with this serum, so that is a thing we’ll be looking into. And at the end of the day, we really care a lot about Alzheimer’s research. Raising awareness and supporting Alzheimer’s research is part of our mission. Dr. Blass’s 30+ years of research has further to go, and we hope the brand can raise awareness of a line of research we think will be important to millions of people.

 

What made you want to be in the beauty industry?

I came to the beauty industry for one sole and simple purpose: I believe in this product. After I had become friends with Dr. and Mrs. Blass, they insisted I try the formula that John had invented. In less than two weeks, I saw my face go from mid-30’s to the late 20-something face that I’d recently been missing. I couldn’t believe something this powerful wasn’t widely available. The Blasses had had a variety of stops and starts with various business partners, so eventually I said, I will get this to the market for you and we’ll do it right. I come from the world of film production, where I always felt I was solving brand new problems with each project, and there was always pressure with time and budget and little margin for error—so I took on the challenge of entering the beauty industry like another new problem to solve. I knew that the key was to find good and competent people to work with and I’ve been very lucky in that regard. The beauty industry is full of creative people, but also has elements of manufacturing, so it feels more grounded than the film industry. The people we’ve been working with have been incredibly competent and supportive and believe in this formula as much as I do.

 

What has been your biggest struggle as a founder?

Everything takes a little longer than you hope it would! In the film world I come from, if the shoot is on Wednesday, you don’t have the option for the camera to get picked up on Thursday! But when a shipment must clear customs, you have no choice but to wait. We’ve had upwards of 50 people working with us on legal, branding, marketing, PR, formulating, manufacturing, and that’s a lot of cats to herd as a founder! But I think the film world prepared me well for that. The pandemic added to those delays, but it all worked out and I think that now is the perfect time for us to launch

 

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"Beauty is self care. And self care makes us feel beautiful."

-Athena Calderone