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GT Cosmetics Story

leonora1LEONORA Salvane had never imagined that her homemade soap products would someday be a sought-after skin-care commodity. She never even dreamed of making it big in her native Cebu, considering the very cut-throat competition.

GT Cosmetics Manufacturing had its humble beginning in Liloan, Cebu, in 1994 after Salvane decided to put her dormant craftsmanship — as a chemical engineer — to good use.

In between tending their spare-parts supply business and being a wife and mother, Engr. Salvane would use what’s left of her time to make her soaps in the kitchen and cut them into rectangular shapes. Soon enough, what started as a soap-making pastime became a family activity as her children joined her in the wrapping of the finished products.

Salvane started the marketing of her brandless product by just giving out samples to neighbors and friends, who then became her first customers and later dealers of her line of soaps.

The soaps remained brandless for a couple of years until Salvane decided to go full blast with the business and put a label to her product in 1996. Thus, GT was officially born, and the rest was history.

By mid 2009, GT products can already be found at Watsons outlets and already have their own following — most of them surprised with the fact that GT is a Cebuano brand manufactured in Liloan, Cebu.

Celebrity Endorser

Unlike most of the leading brands, GT didn’t have a celebrity endorser to promote its products at the start. GT captured its market mostly through the so-called word of mouth. Their customers’ very own endorsements have brought them to where they are now.Salvane says they let their products speak for themselves.

She attributes the increase of their sales mainly to the fact that their products are effective and environment-friendly because they only use herbal and natural ingredients.

But now that its products have virtually captured a nationwide market, GT has seen the need — not only to protect its market but to strengthen it further –to have someone credible to endorse its products starting in 2012.

To ensure continued patronage of their products, GT started its search for a celebrity endorser. However, Salvane decided to have a Cebuana endorser because their products are Cebuano-made.

So, GT signed up ABS-CBN talent and Visayan indie film actress Phoebe Kaye Fernandez, who is young, vibrant, fair-complexioned, and beautiful inside out. Incidentally, Fernandez and her mom also both use GT products.

The 24-year-old entertainment news reporter of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol-Central Visayas graduated magna cum laude in 2008 from the University of San Carlos in Cebu and became a registered nurse the same year. She is also a beauty contestant and finished first runner-up in the 2008 Miss Mandaue pageant.

In 2011, Phoebe was named Best Actress in the Cebu Sinulog Short Film Festival for her role in “Biyahe” and was nominated Best Actress in the Cinema One Film Festival for her portrayal as a psychic in “My Paranormal Romance.”
Phoebe Kaye Fernandezis not as popular as the celebrities from Manila, but Salvane believes she can be influential in endorsing GT.With her great communication skills, her vast experience in public relations, and her charm and charisma, Salvane says Fernandez will make an effective endorser of GT products not just in Cebu, but in the entire Philippine archipelago.

GT Cosmetics has three soap variants: Papaya, Carrot, and Bleaching. The Carrot soap, both for skin whitening and anti-aging, is GT’s most popular product. GT – which, according to Salvane, means “God’s Talent” and “Good Tidings” – manufactures at least 4,000 pieces a day per product to cope up with the demand.

European Market

GT Cosmetics made its inaugural entry to the foreign market when its shipped over 1,000 units of its bestselling soaps to Finland in late 2011.

Salvane initially expressed surprised when a hotel chain from Finland got interested in GT’s soaps despite the lack of marketing efforts to promote their products abroad.

Thanks to social media blogs, the word-of-mouth or peer-to-peer marketing strategy of the company proved powerful in getting a share of the international market for beauty soaps and cosmetic products.

The spa manager of that Finland hotel found GT through a blog site then requested for samples via email. The shipment to Finland is GT’s first business-to-business deal with a foreign buyer and is the first step for GT to be recognized in Europe. This also serves as another proof that local brands can be world class.

Pride of GT

All GT products are made manually with all the right proportions of every ingredient. It also has highly-refined coconut oil base that leaves the skin moisturized after using, preventing drying and scaling of the skin.

Carrot Soap
GT Cosmetics Carrot Soap has all-natural whitening ingredients with carrot extracts rich in Beta Carotene that’s known to help promote younger-looking skin.

Carrots is known to have natural anti-oxidants and enriched with Vitamin A — the skin vitamin known in its natural form as Beta Carotene — that helps protect the skin from premature wrinkling, impurities, and acne, and from becoming dry, scaly and rough, especially on the arms and legs. If applied daily, it is great in evening out blemished and pigmented skin tones.

Papaya Soap
Known throughout the ages for its natural exfoliating and whitening effects, Papaya is one of the best natural extracts used in cosmetic brands today.

Papaya is rich in papain, a natural enzyme that promotes skin renewal and cell turnover, which helps in exfoliating the skin to reveal newer cells, and has restorative properties that soften the skin.

Papaya is also very rich in Vitamins A, E and C, as well as other anti-oxidants that keep the skin moisturized and protected. Nutrients contained in the papaya, which can be found in papaya extracts, also help in the skin’s healing, leaving the skin healthy, clear and free from unwanted discoloration.

Bleaching Soap
Unlike other bleaching soap brands, the GT Cosmetics Bleaching soap is enriched with Alum, or what is commonly known as “Tawas” that has a natural bleaching and deodorizing effect, leaving skin looking healthy and soft while bleaching.

Because it’s natural, anyone can be exposed under the heat of the sun without worrying about burning their skin.

Alum also has disinfectant properties, thus preventing the growth of skin disease-causing bacteria on the skin.

Moisturizing Day Cream
The GT Moisturizing Cream makes the skin refined and moisturized with an even light glow. It is a mild combination of anti-aging, moisturizing, and whitening ingredients enriched with skin vitamins and SPF60 to keep skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

Whitening Cream with Sunblock
GT Whitening Cream with SPF15 is a specially-formulated make-up base, moisturizer, skin protector, and whitening cream in one. It’s a protection against skin darkening and harmful sun rays. It evens out skin tone and does not clog pores. The result is an evenly fair and clear complexion.

Bleaching Cream
The Bleaching Cream removes dead skin, making skin look clearer and free from blemishes. It is a combination of very mild skin whitening and antioxidant agents enriched with Vitamins A, E, and C that also nourish skin and prevent aging. It also removes black heads, white heads, and wrinkles, and cure acne, pimples, sun-damaged skin and other skin problems.

Clarifiance

The GT Clarifiance removes make-up, cleanses off dead skin, and minimizes pores, dark spots and skin blemishes, leaving skin fresh, smooth, and youthful. It is very mild and safe to use even on sensitive skin types.

All GT products can be purchased in about 200 retail outlets such as Watsons Personal Care stores, Robinsons supermarkets, SM malls and supermarkets, Savemore supermarkets, Gaisano Metro chain of stores, as well as in other leading malls, department stores, supermarkets, and soon in all leading drugstores nationwide.