In 1984 Fides Baldesberger designed the first Rubis cosmetic tweezers in a timelessly beautiful, classic design. Straightforward, simple and unpretentious. She expected people to choose everyday items that are attractive and practical at the same time. She created a design icon, travelled the world to display her tweezers, and managed to turn the stricken company into a globally successful manufacturer of precision tweezers. Today, years later, the Rubis cosmetic tweezers are considered the “best of the best” (Vogue) and the “Ferrari of cosmetic tweezers” (Bobbi Brown).
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
It began in 1961 with the production of precision tweezers which were initially mainly used by the Swiss watch manufacturers. The name Rubis refers to the rubies that are used as bearing jewels in high-quality watch movements with the help of the finest tweezers. In the 1970s, during the crisis in the watch industry, Rubis succeeded in opening up a new market in the emerging semiconductor industry. In the early 1980s, I took over and found a new market who could benefit from our tweezers.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
After the death of my father, I stepped in to run Rubis. With great passion and dedication, I did a thousand different things that I had never tried before: in a short time, I had to set up a sales and marketing department, win new customers, develop new products, improve the company’s efficiency, build a new factory and find new markets.
In doing so, I quickly identified a neglected target group: women. At that time, there were no quality tweezers in the cosmetics sector. The company’s know-how made it possible to launch a product that finally matched what women were looking for. Steel – this hard, industrial material – should take on a feminine touch and precision should play a role in the cosmetics and beauty world.
How did you achieve awareness?
It was a lot of hard work, but the most efficient thing we had to do was let people try the product. It was incredibly difficult to reach all customers, but after taking this step we saw a lot of interest. Also doing trade shows allowed us to expose the product to newer markets, and we gained devoted sitributors that we’ve been working with for years now. Of course now social media is the biggest platform to raise awareness with consumers, and a way to keep communication open.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I reinvested our earnings slowly and safety and this has managed to work in our favour throughout the years.
What are the key successes?
In 1988, I was awarded the Veuve Clicquot Prize for Businesswoman of the Year. This was followed in 2001 by the prestigious Ernst&Young business award.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
I had to develop and design new, attractive products, build up a brand and promote it without the help of the usual marketing agencies of global players with huge budgets
What are your plans now/for the future?
Rubis is a typical Swiss company with over 90% of exports. We only serve the high-end market since Rubis is the best you can get. The world is enormous, and we still have plenty of room to conquer new markets. From Iceland, where Rubis is already known to Congo where we just started to sell. Now more than ever, people are looking for more reliable and high-quality products. The environmental trend can be felt here as well. As long as a company remains innovative, has interesting product developments as well as a lively, contemporary communication, a company will always grow.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
The Beauty market is not an easy one and is dominated by big global beauty brands, yet there are always possibilities. If you have enthusiasm and endurance in your backpack, you will make it. Choose the right people to work with, and don’t give up even if there are drawbacks. Stay focused and do what you like to do – follow your dreams!
Can you share you top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Be yourself and follow your intuition. Stay focused, work hard and enjoy yourself
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Hadrian, the Roman emperor, born into a fabulous time when people were civilised and educated and laws not yet in place.
Benazir Bhutto, she was murdered for her courage
Theresa of Calcutta, for her selflessness
Churchill, because of his strength in adversity
People who dare fight in resistance during war
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau
“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” Langston Coleman
“Never be afraid to sit a while and think.” Lorraine Hansberry
“Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude.” Colleen C. Barrett
“Imagination is more than knowledge.” Albert Einstein
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?