How Victoria Health Filled The Gap Left By Phylia De M.’s Mysterious Disappearance – By Claire McCormack
It’s a true horror when beauty enthusiasts discover a beloved beauty product ceases to exist. For retailers, impacted financially by the disappearance of a cult offering they’ve depended on for sales, a discontinuation may be even worse.
Phylia de M.’s mysterious shuttering left Victoria Health, which had been churning through the brand’s hair loss prevention and growth items centered around fulvic acid, in a bind. But Shabir Daya, a pharmacist and co-founder of the United Kingdom-based e-commerce website, didn’t let the closure go unaddressed. He sensed an opportunity in it and took to the lab to create an updated version of Phylia de M. called Ful.Vic.Health.
“We used the best form of fulvic acid we could get our hands on and, then, coupled that, in the case of haircare products, with things that calm down underlying inflammation,” says Daya. He details that aloe vera, vitamin B, argan, chamomile, hops and silica-loaded equisetum for strand strengthening were added to heighten the formulas. Ful.Vic.Health’s product collection contains Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Fulvic Acid Conditioner, Fulvic Acid Mist and Fulvic Acid Elixir.
Daya reports the response to Ful.Vic.Health has been overwhelmingly positive and reciting an email from a customer describing the products as “truly amazing.” It appears to be filling the gap left by Phylia de M.’s loss. The defunct brand launched in 2012 and amassed an incredibly loyal following that snatched up its shampoo Clean, conditioner Condition, scalp treatment spray Connect and nutritional supplement Fulphyl at such a frenzied pace that retailers and e-tailers like Brooklyn’s Shen Beauty and Victoria Health could hardly keep up with demand. Victoria Health carried Phylia de M.’s complete selection.
Over time, apparent supply chain problems stymied Los Angeles brand Phylia de M.’s production. Last December, retailer and consumer comments started showing up on its final Instagram post dated May 29, 2017 inquiring about unfulfilled ordered and asking whether the company had folded. The comments remain unanswered. Phylia de M. couldn’t be reached for clarification.
In late June this year, Clean and Condition resurfaced on Victoria Health—and Victoria Health alone—for a brief period. Attempting to explain Phylia de M.’s ghosting and reemergence to customers, Victoria Health co-founder Gill Sinclair wrote on the site’s online newsletter, “It’s been a long time. A very, very long time. And after several apology letters from me, Phylia de M. has finally returned. And it has returned in brand new packaging. Just Clean and Condition in the new packaging for the moment. Please don’t ask me any more questions because I can’t answer them. There is a small ingredient tweak on Clean and all I can say is that if you are a Phylia fan, which thousands of you are, let us be grateful that we have stock. Let our hair be restored. And let our stock be replenished very soon. Amen.”
Soon, Phylia de M. was gone again. No subsequent resurrection occurred. Victoria Health was left scrambling to replace its popular products and got to work on a permanent solution.
“We still do not know what actually happened. Obviously, I can’t comment on other people’s businesses,” says Daya. “All I know is that one minute it was here and, the next minute, it was not. This had been an ongoing issue for about a year-and-a-half or two. This fulvic acid range was already planned in the making because of the stock issues.”
Shabir Daya, pharmacist and co-founder of Victoria Health
Ful.Vic.Health isn’t Victoria Health’s first foray into in-house manufacturing. It’s produced supplements for several years, and Daya considers Ful.Vic.Health a natural progression of its business. The line’s pricing differs from Phylia de M.’s former pricing. Phylia de M.’s prices went from $35 for its 4-oz. Clean shampoo to $240 for a 12-oz. size of its Fulphyl supplement. Ful.Vic.Health’s Fulvic Acid Shampoo is under $32 for a 8-oz. bottle and its Fulphyl replacement, Fulvic Acid Elixir, comes in at $38 for 16-oz. size. Body care is up next for Ful.Vic.Health.
“We always believed in keeping the price on our brands that we manufacture to the minimum,” says Daya. “That’s what we believe in—honesty, truth and integrity. That’s the way we work. We haven’t got a big marketing budget to worry about. We’re not a L’Oreal.”
Phylia de M.’s previous retailers keen on Ful.Vic.Health plugging the Phylia de M. holes in their assortments will have to wait—for now. The brand is currently exclusive to Victoria Health, although Daya teases, “There may be distribution down the line.”