Page 3: Developing the product
The Boots Company possesses a vast wealth of experience, expertise, raw materials and equipment. It was prepared to take on-board the ideas of Ruby and Millie and to invest a lot of time, effort and money into the range, while Ruby and Millie used their personal experience and skills to contribute their in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge fashion. It was like having a huge kitchen with the finest chefs, with Ruby and Millie testing the ingredients to make them tastier.
Even though Boots Contract Manufacturing was used to launching whole ranges at a time through its product development and production capabilities, the Ruby & Millie work was demanding and stretching. As part of a make-up artist range, the product briefs required the best professional formulations with a wide range of colours and effects. The collaboration was far-reaching and revolutionary.
At times the production area of the factory in Airdrie resembled a kitchen rather than a factory, with domestic sized mixing bowls used to blend colour and microwave ovens to melt waxes. The factory staff found themselves stretched in terms of the resourcefulness and creativity required in handling so many new elements. Almost 200 manufacturing trials were needed to ensure that the new formulae developed in the laboratory could be repeated in manufacture.
The packaging also had to be innovative, unique and stylish. Silversmiths, Wright and Teague were commissioned to design a range of Perspex and silver components for the brand.