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Wholearth, a nascent, organic fragrance and bath and body care line, has rocketed out of the gate after launching on ShopNBC in June and reappearing four times on the TV shopping network last weekend.
This story first appeared in the August 13, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Developed and marketed by Danny Seo and New York-based Boom LLC, Wholearth made an initial debut at wholearthbeauty.com, which went live around the beginning of the year.
But its kick start came June 30, when it was introduced at 7 a.m. on ShopNBC and had a second show at 7 p.m. that day.
Industry sources estimate that sales to date have exceeded $500,000 and could reach by yearend upward of $1.5 million. Seo is scheduled to once again spotlight the brand during ShopNBC’s “Beauty Confidential” program Aug. 19. It will also appear during the channel’s beauty week in October, and stage repeat performances in November and December.
Seo, 33, is an equity partner with Boom in the development and ownership of Wholearth.
“On weekends, you always do a lot more business,” said Rebecca Killian, executive vice president of creative and marketing at Boom. “Wholearth is a jewel in the rough. It’s a growing asset.”
The roughly 12-item assortment, which is United States Department of Agriculture certified, ranges in price from $22 for the 8-oz. Certified Organic Body Wash, to $65 for the 1.7-oz. Certified Organic Perfume Spray, which comes in three scents, No. 10 (citrus), No. 4 (stronger citrus) and No. 7 (vanilla-floral).
Seo and Killian claim that the perfume sprays are the first USDA-certified organic fine fragrances. The scents have proven to be bestsellers, even though the concept of selling fragrance on TV, where consumers are not able to take a whiff, may seem challenging.
Nevertheless, “The fragrance sold out on its launch,” said Donna Tarantino-Loyle, director of beauty, health and fitness at ShopNBC, who added, “He loves the fragrance, so his passion gets out in the sell. We feel [Wholearth] can be a very strong brand for us long term.”
Other key items during the telecasts have been the $45, 4-oz. Natural Bamboo Body Scrub, which employs bamboo powder and crushed walnut shell. Also, the Natural Body Soufflé, $45.50 for 12 oz., has been a standout. Like most of the line’s bath and body products, it comes in two scents: Eco-Chic, a lavender blend, and the citrus-based Grateful Planet.
There’s also a bamboo body lotion in the line and a personal and home fragrance called Natural Body Mist and Room Spray. Products are packaged in 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials.
Tarantino-Loyle noted that Wholearth’s performance is indicative of a wider trend into beauty by ShopNBC. “We are aggressively growing the business,” said Tarantino-Loyle, who joined the firm in March 2009. “There are a number of brands we have launched and we’ll continue to launch.”
These include skin care lines Sensual Solutions by Dr. Robert Ray, Elizabeth Grant, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Dermyn and Skinn Cosmetics; personal care brand Malin & Goetz, and Becca Cosmetics color products. Also, this month, ShopNBC is launching Carol Alt’s Raw Essentials skin and body care line.
Seo, described as an environmental lifestyle expert, was born on Earth Day in 1977. He started an environmental group called Earth 2000 on his 12th birthday with a few friends and $23 “to save the Earth by 2000,” he said. In 2001, he did a book called “Conscious Style Home” (St. Martin’s Press) following that up with five more lifestyle books. His other merchandising endeavors include a line of three Simmons Natural Care mattresses and bed pillows.
Not to be forgotten are his stints as host and executive producer of the “Simply Green with Danny Seo” TV series; former co-host of “Red Hot & Green” on HGTV, and as an environmental lifestyle contributor to CBS’s “The Early Show.” He has also created a DVD called “Simple Steps to a Greener Home,” carried at Whole Foods.