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May 31, 2016

Small Batch Beauty

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A friend’s daughter has made herself some nice pocket cash with a small and lucrative business creating and selling all-natural, homemade sugar lip scrubs. Did I mention her daughter is 11-years old? What is even more amazing is that she is not alone. From what I hear, the lemonade stand is taking a hit as many young girls shift their entrepreneurial spirit to the more profitable, and admittedly more fun, world of beauty.

Beyond the pre-teen entrepreneur, there are multitudes of legitimate and watch-worthy kitchen chemists entering the beauty manufacturing space and creating major waves. Many of these home-grown brands began by selling their wares on websites like Etsy. A growing number of them are being picked up by major players in the beauty retail space, including a few up-and-comers like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, as well as the more established Sephora and upscale Barney’s New York.

Small batch beauty brands often focus on being some combination of cruelty-free, eco-friendly or non-toxic, with sustainable and certified organic ingredients, or natural ingredients with nutritional benefits. This philosophy feeds well into the ideologies of boutique specialty beauty shops such as Credo, Cap Beauty, and The Organic Pharmacy, where brands like these have a significant foothold.

Given the focus on wellness and health in consumers’ everyday lives, these brands represent a trend that will likely get bigger as time goes on. In the prestige beauty space, brands with a natural focus have long outpaced other brand types in department stores, growing at five times the rate of total skincare in 2015. Eyeing the success of natural and small batch brands, some more established beauty players have followed suit by shifting their marketing speak to be more about the beneficial ingredients in their products, and promoting themselves as free of “the bad stuff” like parabens, sulphates, phthalates, petrolatum, and silicones.

As the wellness-focused consumer grows in size and becomes more educated and aware, she will demand more from her products. The onus will be on beauty brands to earn her dollars spent across all beauty categories. While this trend dominates among skincare products right now, makeup and fragrance are out there and not far behind. Staying ahead of this consumer need will prove a winning strategy for any brand, as beauty heads into the brave new, and more holistically health conscious, world.  


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