Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen are putting their faith in BeachMint.
This story first appeared in the October 7, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The sisters have received a minority ownership stake in the Santa Monica, Calif.-based e-commerce company and signed on to be cochairs of its advisory board. They will play creative and consultative roles that extend their relationship with BeachMint beyond the vertical StyleMint, where the Olsen twins started as partners and designers in 2011, to JewelMint, ShoeMint and IntiMint as well.
“In our expanded roles as cochairs of the advisory board, Ashley and I will work closely with BeachMint’s management team in this strategic phase of growth to establish the Mint brands as the leading online destination for all things fashion,” said Mary-Kate Olsen. Besides their work with BeachMint, the Olsens’ extensive fashion résumé includes their own brands The Row, Elizabeth and James, and Olsenboye.
BeachMint’s deepening association with the Olsens reinforces the company’s strategy of focusing on its fashion offerings that have shown the most promise. While BeachMint had enlarged to six verticals, it has hit the pause button on two that weren’t in the fashion category — the skin-care vertical BeautyMint and the interior design-oriented vertical HomeMint.
“Mary-Kate and Ashley are a natural choice to advise on key business, merchandise and design areas as we further scale our women’s fashion divisions,” said Josh Berman, cofounder and chief executive officer of BeachMint.
The future of BeachMint, which has raised more than $75 million in funding from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Accel Partners, New World Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, NEA, Trinity Ventures and Scale Ventures, is a topic of much speculation in Los Angeles area fashion and technology circles. The Olsens’ decision to strengthen their affiliation with the company demonstrates their confidence in the viability of its concept to both consumers and investors.
Berman declared that the Olsens becoming part owners of BeachMint is a prelude to a series of efforts to push the company’s growth. “The agreement with Ashley and Mary-Kate is the first of a number of significant partnerships we have had in development for some time now,” he said. “The deals coming to fruition in Q4 will allow us to deliver an even stronger experience for our members in 2014, including broader product assortments, efficiencies in production translating to greater value, new innovative designs and more opportunities for discovery.”