EsteticaExport has interviewed Massimo Feliziani founder and CEO of Wal Toush. Manufacturer of high-end brand MAXXelle since 2011 and more recently Sikha (2022), this young and dynamic Italian company is growing at a fast pace thanks to exports and its newly launched Private Label department.

Please introduce your company.
We are a family company started by my father in the Sixties. At the beginning, we acted as Italian distributors for a number of imported brands. That went on until 2010, when we felt ready to evolve our activity and start producing our own brand. In 2011, we started manufacturing MAXXelle, a professional luxury hair brand. Thanks to a cooperation with Camerino University, we designed this brand making sure it could respond to higher international standards. In 2022, we obtained an important ICEA certification for Galenica, a specific range within the MAXXelle brand. This certifies the 98% organic origin of the products – an appreciated feature by our customers all over the world.
We have our own laboratories that develop all our formulations and guarantee that the products respect the hair with natural and non-aggressive elements and are, above all, aimed at the health and wellness of the hair”.

Massimo Feliziani founder and CEO of Wal Toush

More recently you have launched another brand…
Yes, it is called Sikha. It was launched at Cosmoprof Bologna in 2022. This brand targets a completely different clientele including Millennials and Gen Z-ers. Therefore, the price level is more affordable than MAXXelle, but at the same time shares the same principles – high organic production, dedicated research and sustainability, with green energy self-produced with our photovoltaic plant”.

It sounds like you pay great attention to production.
Absolutely. As I’ve already said, we are a family company and we put all our effort into all phases of manufacturing. ‘Le Marche’, the region where we live and work, is renowned for small, artisan industries and has seen success all over the world for its dedication and attention to detail”.

Has this given your products recognition?
“Indeed. In 2018, we won the CosmoTrends award with a biOTHERAPY product based on Hyluronic Acid. In 2019, we were a finalist at the Cosmoprof Awards coming fourth. This proves that our products offer high quality and are innovative”.

MAXXelle

Do you do private label production?
Yes, we do. We started in 2022. We believe that we have a wide, high-performance range of formulas for professional hair salons. In these first two years, we have supplied some important clients in many countries with positive results, so we believe our private label service should grow steadily in the future”.

MAXXelle

Do you take part in international trade fairs?
Yes. Since 2018, we have exhibited in quite a few places starting with Cosmoprof Bologna, Mumbai, Las Vegas and Bangkok. We also appreciate the cooperation with associations like Cosmetica Italia for export support. Recently, I also went to Hong Kong as a visitor at Cosmoprof Asia. Before becoming an exhibitor there, I wanted to have a close look at the event. It was my first experience in Hong Kong and I was very impressed by the organization of the fair and the number of professional visitors, so I will be booking my booth for next year. The only drawback is that the two locations of the events are far from each other and this is not very convenient for those who want to visit both Cosmoprof and Cosmopack”.

How is your sales network organised?
We have a network of direct salesmen for the Marche and Umbria Regions and a team of sales managers for the rest of Italy. In the rest of Italy as well as abroad, we sell through distributors”.

How important is export for your company?
I believe that internationalisation is a vital ingredient for a business like ours. Of course, we care about the Italian market where we have 60 distributors, but to achieve ongoing growth we need to keep conquering new markets. That is why we are putting a great effort into brand export”.

Where do you already export to and where would you like to go next?
We are working well in India, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Benelux, Portugal, Ukraine, Georgia, Baltic countries and Singapore. We have just started distribution in Russia and will soon start distributing in parts of in China and in Australia. The markets we would like to reach in the near future are Germany, France, Spain, more regions of China, Japan and the USA”.

MAXXelle

Do you do e-commerce?
We do sell MAXXelle online mostly for the Italian market, while in other countries distributors organise themselves accordingly. We havent yet started selling Sikha online, but that will happen in 2024”.

Are there any important events taking place in 2024?
“In addition to our participation in Cosmoprof Bologna 2024 we are organising our first global Convention in April 2024. It is called MAXXelle Experience and all our distributors will be invited to see a special show in Tolentino (MC), the town close to our headquarter. Theyll have the chance to discover our new collection with the support of all our educators and ambassadors and to be a part of the brand-new international community”.