The story of Trilogy Laboratories started off like that of many other businesses: Its creators couldn’t find exactly what they wanted. So they decided to do something about it. Trilogy is a Fort Myers manufacturer of skincare products, founded by Kristen Flaharty— who had a background in product development in the pharmaceutical industry—with her husband Patrick to produce creams for their Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa. Now, they’re producing face creams, body scrubs, shampoos and more for clients around the world.
The couple started thinking about creating their own custom skincare products about 10 years ago. They were getting them elsewhere, but consistently found challenges in finding something that included all the ingredients they wanted—and leaving out the ones they didn’t. They saw that a small cosmetic manufacturer in Fort Myers was having an asset sale and leaving the area, so they jumped on the opportunity. Initially, they were just creating products for Azul; it took about a year of development before they started making products for other clients. Now, about 70% of their products are custom.
They’re producing between 10,000-20,000 pieces a month out of their 2,500-square-foot facility in Fort Myers. They are planning to expand into a 7,000-square-foot space to handle projected growth over the next five to 10 years.
They’ve found a niche in producing small batches for clients, but the challenge comes in competing with larger manufacturers, which have more buying power and lower production costs. It can be difficult to compete pricewise—so they need to make sure their product is better.
And that’s where the fun comes in. They’re always challenging themselves to create unique products. For example, during the pandemic, they came up with two: a “hand mask” deep moisturizer and an at-home facial kit. As Kristen Flaharty says, “It’s a constant experiment here.”
Photo Credit: Zach Stovall