EsteticaExport has interviewed Fernando Pellegrino who is owner of Hair Nature Group – the sole distributor of Artego in Australia and New Zealand.
Can you tell us how you started distributing Artego?
“I was born into the hair industry as my mum and dad had a successful hair salon in Sydney. My mother was also very much involved in hairstyling competitions. She won a number of important awards in Australia, as well as representing the Australian Team in international competitions. As a consequence, we were a well-known hairdressing family. Growing up, I studied Marketing and Business and on graduating I joined the family business. This had developed into a supplier for the hair professional industry in the country. In 2014, my parents sold out that business and it was also about the same time as I came across Artego and met Mr Francesco Bandiera. He introduced me to the company and I immediately believed in the brand. I therefore decided to venture into the distribution business with Artego in Australia”.
How did the business develop?
“We chose to only distribute Artego. We have been working with this brand for seven years and we have attracted some very good salons. Some are very big, while others are just single hairstylists working alone. What they have in common is that they all work to very high standards of excellence.
Why attracted you most about Artego?
“Primarily it was their business model – especially their Research & Development operation. The many advantages their products offer are excellent selling points. From a communication perspective, Artego is a brand that really suits the Australian market. It incorporates brands such as Good Society and Rain Dance, which I believe are very attractive names for countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
Another moment of truth was when I involved my mother in testing the products. We were blown away by the results. It’s also important to remember that they use certified natural ingredients and are able to find a fantastic balance between product performance and using ingredients that are kind to the environment”.
Your team must play an important role in the business.
“Absolutely. We have been able to attract some really good staff and we quickly expanded all over Australia. Now, we are starting in New Zealand as well. My goal is to become a fully national brand and we are getting there!
We have also attracted two amazing ambassadors. One is Lizzie Liros, who focuses on wedding updos and has a lot of followers. The other ambassador is Matthew Ashton, who became a member of the Australia F.A.M.E. Team in 2022 and enjoys prestige and recognition among young creative hairstylists”.
Is your mother still working with you?
“Certainly. She takes care of the educators and works alongside them. She also does product testing and general problem-solving”.
How would you summarise the winning points of Artego?
“We have a solution for each hairdresser. We also have many offers for home care between salon visits. There is a wide choice of colours ranges, and we benefit from the great work they do with branding and their strong digital presence. These are the advantages which set us apart from the competition”.
Did you have any trouble during the pandemic?
“We were affected by the lockdowns. It was a very tough time. We survived thanks to online activity. Lizzy Liros went live once a week proposing some of her work with Artego products. This was a way to keep up morale at a time when we were all being overwhelmed by bad news. We did our best to inspire our clients and keep them motivated and provide whatever they might need”.
Do you have online activities?
“I purely do promotion activities online, for example, we are about to publish a digital calendar with Lizzy and Matthew. But we do not do any sales online, as we want to supply directly our clients’ salons”.
Is there any special activity coming up soon?
“We will participate in the upcoming Fashion Week cooperating with stylist, Karla Spetic. We will provide a team of 25 hairdressers to do all the backstage hair. That is going to be good exposure for our brand in Australia”.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
“I want Artego to become one of the top brands in both Australia and New Zealand”.