In honor of Black History Month and our ongoing celebration of the many achievements of the Black community in the beauty space, we’ve spotlighted three Black-owned beauty indies — each of which we consider not only a shining star, but a strong candidate for acquisition.
“Demand for inclusivity on retail shelves has taken on momentum and is rapidly increasing,” says Karen Doskow, Director of Kline’s Beauty & Personal Care practice. “We’re seeing a growing trend among beauty companies that are looking to segment their offerings to appeal to a wider audience. This has resulted in a great deal of attention being paid to Black-owned beauty brands — in addition to generating buzz on the M&A front.”
Here are the indies you should keep an eye on:
LYS Beauty, launched only a year ago, has already been embraced by Sephora; the company has the distinction of being the first Black-owned cosmetics brand to carry the retailer’s “Clean at Sephora” stamp of approval. LYS Beauty is focused on offering an inclusive portfolio, providing makeup and skin care solutions that uniquely cater to all skin types, textures, and tones — its hero product, Triple Fix Serum Foundation, comes in 35 shades. Products address common skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne, dryness, and sensitivity. All of LYS Beauty’s offerings are vegan and 100% free of gluten, talc, fragrance, mineral oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), in addition to being certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
Mielle Organics, which we profiled in our Beauty Indies USA report, received an investment of more than $100 million from Berkshire Partners, a private equity firm, in April 2021. This infusion provided Mielle Organics with the capital to fund additional product innovation and support the brand’s rapid growth in prestige distribution around the world. Mielle Organics was founded in 2014 on the premise that healthier ingredients encourage healthier hair and skin. The brand is already on more than 100,000 shelves of major retailers including Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. Some best-selling products include Babassu and Mint Deep Conditioner, Detangling Co-Wash, and Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk.
Topicals, which debuted in August 2020 on both its own website and Nordstrom.com, offers a line of skin care products that are centered around solving flare-ups and other skin concerns, like hyperpigmentation, for BIPOC consumers. The brand’s three products — Like Butter, Faded, and High Roller — display a similar aesthetic to fast-growing, buzzed-about brands like Glossier, rather than leaning on a more clinical look and feel for product packaging and brand image. Topicals is dedicated to testing and formulating products on diverse skin tones, further emphasizing this message through content on social media, where the company has already built a strong community (with 40,000 followers on Instagram). At the end of 2020, the brand entered Sephora in its Clean at Sephora department; the products are only sold online at Sephora.com. It is noteworthy that Topicals raised $1 million in venture capital in 2020, the year the brand was launched.
About this blog:
These Black-Owned Beauty Indies Are on Our Acquisition Radar contains insights from Karen Doskow, Director of Kline’s Beauty & Personal Care practice. Doskow has more than 30 years of experience in the beauty, home care, and related markets. She oversees global and domestic research teams on several flagship reports including Beauty Devices, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Professional Skin Care, and Beauty Retailing. Prior to joining Kline, Doskow worked on the marketing and advertising sides of the business on brands that included Pantene, Chanel, and Avon. She has achieved industry recognition as a marketing expert in beauty and related markets. In addition, Doskow is a presenter at major conferences; she is frequently quoted as an industry expert in various publications and presents at major beauty-related conferences. Doskow holds a B.S. in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
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