For those who haven’t heard of Sara Happ yet, next year may change that.
The former journalist who left ESPN in 2006 to devote herself full-time to The Lip Scrub, a product she formulated from ingredients she found at Whole Foods, is primed for aggressive expansion starting in 2012. Until now, she’s turned down retailers (QVC and Sephora) and product extensions to concentrate on building a solid customer and retail base. During the first three years of operating her namesake brand, her line consisted of The Lip Scrub in six varieties, until introducing lip balm, The Lip Slip, in 2008.
“In the last two years, we’ve played it safe because of the economy,” said Happ. Playing it safe has meant the small Redondo Beach, Calif.-based company releasing one new product a year at most, but that’s ending with at least four annual product launches in the pipeline and a vision to spread the assortment from lip to the entire body.
Happ’s plunge into body products is beginning this year with The Body Scrub, for $46, in a vanilla bean scent. Unlike many scrubs that leave behind unwanted residue on skin and in the shower, Happ said her intent with The Body Scrub was to have it “rinse away completely clean.” The body product lineup will grow again next year with body cream, The Body Slip. A lip gloss, The Lip Slip One Luxe Gloss, is on the product docket for next year, as well.
“Our goal is to exfoliate and hydrate. Every product has to solve a specific problem and do it the first time you use it,” said Happ.
Leora Mesica, owner of the Beauty Bar Apothecary in Beverly Hills, Calif., thinks that Happ has a strong following that would be happy to pick up new products from the brand. The following is so strong, in fact, that Mesica was sold out of The Lip Scrub on Thursday. “It does very well,” she said. “She’s a smart girl. Her packaging is unbelievable. The product is wonderful. The price is good. People like it.”
Happ’s conservative approach to growing the business so far has a lot to do with the influence of William Botts, the former chief executive officer of Hard Candy. After he spoke at Happ’s alma mater, the University of Southern California, Happ was convinced he could help her with her brand. “I called every Bill Botts in the country. There were 25 or 30,” Happ said. The calls paid off and Botts joined Sara Happ’s advisory board.
Botts has raised red flags when he thought Happ was going in the wrong direction. Candles is one example. She wanted to do candles, but he instructed they would dilute her brand and force it to compete in a crowded field. She ultimately agreed and is certain today that candles would have been a bad move. “He really thinks big picture. This is my first rodeo, but it isn’t his.”
Botts has also stressed the importance of having a healthy balance sheet. “We have been profitable since our second month in business,” said Happ. “We’ve never had any debt. I run the company like I run my checkbook.” This year, the brand’s revenues have been up 60 percent, and it’s on track to generate $3.5 million in sales, well above the original goal of $2.6 million, according to Happ. Next year, she projected sales could double with Sara Happ entering China. The brand is currently sold in 16 countries outside of Canada and the United States, where it is in roughly 300 stores.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews