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After less than three years on the market, essential oil brand 21 Drops is finding new ways to grow.
Meant as a modern day approach to aromatherapy, the Florida-based company offers handcrafted essential oil blends, each focusing on specific ailments. Restless? Try number 18, Sleep. Stressed out? Roll on number 11, De-Stress.
According to Cary Caster, founder of 21 Drops, the brand — which is sold in Sephora and Henri Bendel’s — is in expansion in terms of distribution, digital reach and product extensions.
“We are very interested in the U.K., and primarily English-speaking countries,” explained Caster. “We have had a lot of interest from Asia and Europe but we just want to do it right because we’re very small. I like the idea of a stand-alone store but it’s probably a bit far off.”
The line’s 21 items, which are formulated with 100 percent organic and wild-crafted ingredients like sandalwood and ginger, are hand-blended and designed to take the guesswork out of using essential oils for physical benefits.
Caster said she is exploring other product categories that would also allow for aromatherapy benefits, like body-care items or fragrances.
“We would probably start with Sleep and do a lotion or a body mist,” said Caster, adding that the brand recently conducted clinical testing on the benefits of the sandalwood, ylang ylang, palmarosa and vetiver blend. “There was an 80 percent success rate that it benefited them whether falling asleep or staying asleep so that was very exciting.”
To showcase the health benefits more directly, Caster recently repackaged her line, which is rolling out now to Sephora, Henri Bendel’s and select spas. Industry sources estimate that 21 Drop’s newly designed products could do as much as $1 million in their first year at retail.
“For the new box we wanted to show the vial on the box so that the problem-solution aspect came right up front and hit you in the face,” said Caster, who studied plant science at the University of Florida. “Then we listed, simplified, the active oils and what they’re doing.”
Each oil blend targets a different ailment. However, according to Caster, the old packaging made it difficult for customers to get the message. To that end, the new boxes also feature individual QR codes that take customers to the specific product Web pages with more information and testimonials.
Additionally, each box’s design is meant to connect consumers with a deeper symbolic meaning for each product. Familiar with a few of the universal numbering systems such as Taro, Chinese and Kabbalistic, Caster delved into each number’s symbolism to create each blend’s unique box.
“I took the meanings of all of the numbers and the ailments I was trying to address and mixed and matched them,” explained Caster. “For example, two is the moon and duality (Blend 2 is PMS Relief). Twenty-one is about stepping out in the world and inspiration (Blend 21 is Inspiration).”
Digitally, 21 Drops is also trying to expand its presence. Currently it is sold at BeautySage.com, Beautyhabit.com, 3floz.com, Joyus.com, Opensky.com, QVC.com, Sephora.com and Beauty.com as well as its own online store. The company was recently featured on Gilt for a major blowout sale that was so successful that it is looking to hold another in the future. Also, 21 Drops is focusing on growing its own e-commerce.
“E-commerce for 21 Drops on our own Web site is still developing,” said Caster. “To date, the amount of online sales account for only 20 percent of total sales, but we expect to increase that to a much higher percentage in 2014.”
Looking to holiday, 21 Drops has introduced a Sephora-exclusive Quick Fix Gift Set. The kit, featuring four mini roller balls — Passion, Focus, Headache and Sleep — will sell for $15 in 265 brick-and-mortar stores and will be available online.