BeautyKind merges commerce and giving back to causes

Consumers like buying beauty products and supporting causes. So Hil Davis, founder and chief executive officer of BeautyKind, figured why not offer the chance to do both.

BeautyKind is a Web site offering prestige beauty items bundled with the opportunity to donate five percent of the purchase price directly to a preferred charity, whether it’s a local cause or national organization. Categories include makeup, skin care, men’s, fragrance, nails, hair and gifts. The current brand portfolio features popular lines such as Butter London, Laura Geller, StriVectin, Bliss, Skyn Iceland, Ahava and Frederic Fekkai.

“We connect in emotional territory,” Davis said. “You can buy GlamGlow in many places and for the same price. Why not buy it here and make a donation to a good cause?” Agreeing that Millennials are passionate about giving back, he also said as people mature and, as they go through life cycles, they become interested in causes such as donating to local schools.

He hopes to entice more brands to BeautyKind, especially on a national level. He classifies the brand offerings as “discovery,” such as emerging Korean beauty lines; national, such as Butter London, and majors, where he hopes to secure more logos.

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Last month, BeautyKind kicked off a national cable TV campaign airing on channels such as CMT and Bravo. Davis estimates the spots could eventually reach 10 million consumers. The campaign enforces the concept of buying favorite products while directly supporting a charity.

The company chalked up sales this year of $1 million, but Davis expects that to balloon to $10 million with the television support.

E-commerce is a perfect launching pad for his concept and a channel where Davis feels beauty is under indexed but poised to explode. “The internet is like American Idol where before you had to go to Los Angeles to get discovered. The same was true for beauty where you had to visit a department store to find certain brands,” he said. With round-the-clock access and equal footing of all brands online, shoppers have a multitude of choices. Online also yields the opportunity to construct customer profiles from data gleaned. “When you sign on to the BeautyKind Web site, you get your own personal page,” he said. “You can hit a button to replenish your favorite products or explore new ones.”

But Davis has plans for physical stores, too. Already there is a full — priced shop within the Upper West Side Bloomingdale’s outlet store in New York. A flagship store is planned for a major destination city by the end of 2017. The brick-and-mortar blueprint also includes showrooms, more stores within stores and pop-up shops. Last month, the BeautyKind Pop-up Container Tour appeared at South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Tex. “Some of the stores will be more about storytelling and sampling instead of just selling,” Davis said.

The company also built a rewards program where users can earn money through referrals. Davis brims with ideas to build the community including a concert he hopes to stage later this year where proceeds will benefit a charity while also building BeautyKind’s exposure. In February, BeautyKind announced it had filed an offering statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a Regulation A+ public offering. “Funds raised will help drive new ventures,” he said.