Luxurious and healing, the Kristal® line of personal care preparations from Lisane Intl., Irvine, CA, has, since its inception in 1990, combined herbal and mineral formulations, essential oils and other natural ingredients to soothe and rejuvenate. Comprised of 300 different products, including lotions, gels, soaps, scrubs, bubble baths and bath crystals, as well as a line of fragrant candles, the Kristal brand is based on the concepts of Dead Sea therapy and aromatherapy.
To convey the craftsmanship behind the creation of these New Age formulations, founder and president/CEO of Lisane, Zeid H. Zubi, originally incorporated into his packaging a traditional European symbol of expertise: an embossed wax seal. But, brittle and easily breakable, the seal resulted in "a certain amount of product loss," he relates, due to shipping damage.
The Prestige® line from Stoffel Seals Corp. provided the solution. The company now supplies Lisane with aluminum seals that simulate the wax-seal feel, but allow for greater seal consistency, easier application and zero breakage.
Seals say quality
Kristal products, manufactured and packaged at Lisane's Irvine facility, are in national distribution and can also be found in some Asian and European countries. A luxury brand, the line is sold at middle- to high-end resorts, day spas and boutiques, and can be purchased online through the company's and other personal care marketer's websites.
Among Lisane's products are the Magmatherapy Collection, using minerals from the Dead Sea in Jordan, and the Aroma-Té™ Collection of bath and body preparations from the Orient, which Lisane says join traditional herbal knowledge with advanced body care technology. Also under the Kristal name is the Water™ line of herbal bath oils with gold, silver or gold/silver leaf; the Pearle-scent Body Wash™ line, infused with chamomile; and Spa Essentials™ cleansing products, with Dead Sea salts and oils.
Integral to the brand's opulent image is its packaging. Says Zubi, "Packaging is one of the number-one concerns. It drives people to the product." Materials used to package the Kristal line include fine glass bottles from Italy nestled in sleek black gift boxes.
No less important to Zubi, though, is the quality of the product itself. "I learned early on," he says, "that while the packaging is the catch, the product has to be good, or else the consumer won't buy it again." To formulate its products, Lisane uses essential oils and minerals sourced from around the world. They include such timeless ingredients as peppermint, orange, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, safflower oil and ylang ylang, said to restore and heal both the body and the mind.
Zubi relates that his vision for the Kristal brand's high-end packaging was to blend a modern style with an old-world elegance. Recalling how the embossed wax seals used on fine stationery and glassware, and the disc-like nameplates used for high-quality clothing conveyed a sense of care and craftsmanship, Zubi incorporated a wax seal into his packaging design. Held on a braided rope around the bottle's neck, the wax seals were stamped with the Kristal logo, or–in the case of private-label items–with the spa or resort's logo.
Simulated seals ensure integrity
While the wax medallions used for the Kristal packaging provided the look that Lisane sought, the design element had some quality and flexibility drawbacks. According to Zubi, because the wax seals were delicate, they sometimes would break during shipping or on the store shelf, resulting in product being returned to Lisane. In addition, the wax stamping and application process involved a great amount of time and labor, and yielded inconsistent results. "We had to melt the wax, stamp it, let it cool, and then apply it to the bottle," Zubi explains. "And, the quality of the wax seals would vary according to how they were stamped and applied by the individual."
In his attempt to remedy these problems without changing the look of the packaging, Zubi came upon the Prestige line of seals and tags from Stoffel Seals. Crafted from select materials and manufactured using precision molds and dies, the Prestige seals simulate the look of the wax medallions, while using a metallic aluminum material. The round seals are approximately 1-in. dia, with the thickness, roughly, of a quarter. The seals are made from two pieces of aluminum, with the raised edges of the front piece folded over to hold in place a flat back piece.
Although the seals are available in a range of colors, Lisane uses either silver or gold to accompany its myriad of package designs. Embossed on the seal front is a Kristal logo, while the back is imprinted with the brand name.
Seals are supplied to Lisane on a gold or silver braided rope, in a loop-and-tail format. To apply a seal to a bottle, the operator simply has to hang the loop over the bottle's neck and tighten the seal, lariat-style, to the desired length. As the bottles range in size from 7.5 to 80 oz, the seal's long rope allows for flexibility; excess rope is simply cut off. And, since the seals are embossed and imprinted by Stoffel using precision equipment, consistent quality is guaranteed. "It looks more professional," says Zubi.
Presently, 70 percent of Lisane's products use a seal. That number will soon grow, Zubi relates, as the company plans to start using a plastic seal with an adhesive backing, also from Stoffel, that can be applied to products such as candles or other gift items.
Twenty percent of the products that incorporate a seal in their design still use wax. "These products are for private-label customers," explains Zubi, "and they prefer to use their own logo."
Commenting on the retailers' response to the change in seal material, Zubi notes that while they were very pleased with the appearance, what really sold them was the total elimination of product damage. "Retailers need a supplier who ships on time and without problems," he says. "At the very beginning, when we changed the seal, they were somewhat worried, but when they saw that they had no breakage, they were very happy with the switch."
More information is available:
Aluminum seals: Stoffel Seals, 800/345-3503. www.stoffel.com. Circle No. 213.