Glow Recipe is going global.
In its first move outside the U.S. market, the two-year-old Korean beauty retail and advisory start-up has inked a deal for pop-up shops in all three Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford locations. The company focuses on finding natural Korean skin-care products and adapting them for the U.S. market. While it may seem that Lane Crawford, which already stocks Korean brands like AmorePacific, may not need Glow Recipe’s American-izing services, what really drew the retailer to the business was its selection abilities and focus on natural products, according to cofounders and cochief executive officers Sarah Lee and Christine Chang.
“What they were missing was natural skin care,” said Lee. “There’s this appeal of stringently edited and curated with a top-quality product aspect…we stand for natural skin care and also we curate everything based on stringent testing…we really stand for talking to customer skin concerns and needs, so we selected multiple brands and made sets that are for antiaging, for pore care, then we also created a discovery kit for those that are just starting to learn about Korean beauty…then, an all-mask set.”
The four gift sets that will be sold in the pop-ups include: Poreless Glow, which for $155 provides a foam cleanser, oil cleanser, exfoliating Aqua Peeling swab and three antioxidant-rich hydrators; Ageless Glow, which for $180 includes a makeup-melting cleansing water, gel cleanser, skin-plumping toner, eye cream, ultra-potent boosting ampoule and gravity-defying antioxidant powered cream; a Glow Starter Kit, which for $35 has five trial-size products, including a foam cleanser, an oil cleanser, a multitasking toner, soothing oil-essence and cream; and the 10 Days to Glow Mask Set, which retails for $69 and contains 10 sheet masks, ranging from Vitamin C infusion to hydrogel models.
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The pop-ups open on Oct. 19 and run through the end of the year.
“We are kind of excited about the symbolism this has for our global launch of Glow Recipe and expanding our vision of K-beauty to the global markets…K-beauty has been introduced in a way where it’s about the cutesy hand creams and the bargain basement sheet masks, and that’s just one limited facet of how rich and diverse the products are and what amazing innovations there are,” said Chang. “These indie, founder-driven brands have this platform with us to reach these global markets…it’s kind of leveled the playing field.”
Back in the U.S., Glow Recipe is also launching the Huxley line, which boasts Sahara Cactus Oil as its star ingredient.The brand’s cactus oil is said to have 400 times the Vitamin E of olive oil and to hydrate and nourish the skin. “These products will actually be introduced not only on our site, but in December of this year, they’ll be part of a one-hour, first-time-ever-QVC K-beauty show,” Chang said. Huxley, Lee and Chang, are slated for a Dec. 21 QVC debut, and have signed on for additional slots on Dec. 22 and 23.
Combined, industry sources project the Lane Crawford and QVC moves could make up as much as 10 percent of Glow Recipe’s 2016 revenues, which are estimated to be growing at triple-digits. Last year, the company brought in an estimated $1 million.
On top of Glow Recipe’s Lane Crawford and QVC moves, it’s also ramping up partnerships with retailers like Sephora, where it has placed splash masks, milk peels and Jelly Packs (a combination morning mask and super primer), Ulta, where it’s placed the Whanisa line, and Anthropologie, Space NK and Urban Outfitters. Lee and Chang also advise the retailers on K-beauty and related content.
“Going through this test phase with offline partnerships will give us a really good idea as to how we can shape next year,” Lee said. “We definitely are interested in offline and having a stronger presence there. K-Beauty is fun and we want people to try it, smell it and experience it. Ultimately, we do want to create that space for our customers, we don’t have a specific timing in mind. We’re interested in doing a pop up store maybe in the U.S., getting closer to our customers first.”
The one-time “Shark Tank” contestants never ended up executing that investment, and are now considering potential venture capital or angel partners, according to Lee and Chang. “We still haven’t received outside investment because for us, the partnership has to be right,” Chang said.