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Grove Collaborative Gets Into Clean Beauty With New Platform Roven

Roven is Grove's first subplatform.

E-commerce platform Grove Collaborative, which sells natural cleaning supplies and home products, has launched a clean beauty concept called Roven.

Roven, which went live today, is both a web site attached to Grove Collaborative’s main site and a flagship on Abbot Kinney in Los Angeles, marking Grove’s foray into brick-and-mortar. At launch, Roven carries 30 brands across the skin-care, makeup and fragrance categories, including Pai, Osea, Juice Beauty, Josh Rosebrook, Kari Gran, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty and Ursa Major. While most of the brands fall into the prestige category in terms of pricing, some, including Burt’s Bees, Weleda and Acure, are more mass.

Roven is Grove’s first subbrand. Grove, which launched in 2012 and mainly sells cleaning supplies and other household items from “natural” brands such as Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation and Method, experienced a growth spurt in 2018, increasing from $30 million in annual sales to $100 million. In September, the company announced the completion of a $150 million series D round of funding. The latest raise brings the company’s total valuation past the $1 billion valuation mark.

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If you’ve not heard of Grove, it’s possibly because the target customer is “a 29-year-old mother of two working as a substitute teacher in Lawrence, Kansas,” according to cofounder and chief executive officer Stuart Landesberg. Landesberg projects that Roven could grow as big as Grove, and could ultimately comprise 50 percent of the company’s total sales.

“When I talk to that mom in Kansas, she doesn’t know who Credo [Beauty] and Follain are,” said Nicole Farb, who runs Roven for Grove. Farb is the founder of Darby Smart, a video platform that was acquired by Grove this year. “When I ask her where she shops, she says she drives 30 minutes to Ulta [Beauty] on a Saturday.”

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The idea behind Roven is to make shopping for clean beauty brands accessible to customers who may not have access to specific clean beauty retailers due to location. While both Credo and Follain operate functioning web sites, and Sephora has implemented its own clean beauty program, Grove is hoping to leverage its existing consumer base and shift them over to shopping on Roven. Landesberg declined to say how many customers Grove counts, but noted that the waiting list for Roven — sent out to existing Grove customers — was 50,000 long the week before launch.

A differentiator for shopping beauty at Roven over other retailers, said Farb, is that at any given time, there are 150 “digital guides” available to help consumers navigate the selection. Another is the Roven Beauty Board, a group of industry experts and also actress Julianne Hough, who will collaborate with the retailer on merchandising Roven’s selection going forward.

It’s a given that Grove shoppers, who have already converted to shopping for “natural” and “clean” household supplies, would have an interest in the clean beauty category, said Farb. “One of my favorite quotes from [our consumer research] is, ‘If I care about what I put on my toilet bowl, I care about what I put on my skin, and I spend six times more money in beauty than I do on my home.'”

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The flagship at 1132 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, designed in collaboration with sustainable architect David Hertz in collaboration with Robert Storey of Storey Designs, is a first for Grove, and Landesberg doesn’t rule out opening other brick-and-mortar locations.

The launch of Roven comes on the heels not only of Grove’s latest round of funding, but its acquisition of women’s sexual wellness brand Sustain, which sells condoms and lubricants made of natural and sustainable materials. Said Landesberg, “The company’s vision is much broader than home care.”

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