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Inside Jane Iredale’s Brand Restage

The company's chief executive officer is doubling down on the professional channel and international expansion, while relaunching key franchises with updated packaging.

One of “clean” makeup’s earliest entrants is hitting reset on its branding.

Jane Iredale, which was founded in 1994, has rethought its brand identity, including new packaging, a new website and advertising across traditional and digital platforms. The business is also doubling down on the professional channel while growing the digital side of the business, and plotting new markets to enter abroad.

The efforts mark a new strategy for the brand, but according to Chris Payne, the brand’s chief executive officer, the goal is to harken back to the brand’s history as one of clean makeup’s first players.

“In the last 10 years or so, there has been a new brand almost every day that claims to be clean,” Payne said. “In many ways, the Jane Iredale brand is perfectly positioned for what people are looking for today, but we didn’t necessarily have the visual cues, whether it be brand identity or packaging, that conveyed the same purity, quality and the sense of how good this makeup is going to be for your skin.”

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The brand is in roughly 4,000 professional doors in the U.S. Although that channel has been slower to evolve than traditional retail, Payne says the business is robust.

“When a professional tells you this foundation is what they want you to wear for the following weeks, that connection is very strong, and we have incredible retention with our accounts, the average being 10 years in length,” he said. The brand’s digital business has retention rates of more than 40 percent, he said.

“When Jane launched in the early ’90s, Botox wasn’t a thing, the professional channel wasn’t really selling products,” Payne continued. “In the last 10 to 15 years, that’s really exploded, because consumers want an elevated experience; they’re demanding more and they’re educating themselves more. We’re the lone player when it comes to makeup in the professional space.”

Payne didn’t comment on sales expectations, but industry sources said the brand reached $125 million in retail sales last year, and is expected to grow 20 percent in 2022. Jane Iredale is also available in Bluemercury, Nordstrom.com, Dermstore.com and Amazon. Jane Iredale has been backed by San Francisco Equity Partners since 2019.

Although the digital business is growing quickly — sources said it’ll reach around $35 million in 2022 — Payne sees it as a complement to a professional-first business. “Expanding retail is not on our horizon right now,” he said. “We can become bigger with our existing accounts, we can open up more accounts and stay integrated in all the procedures. Every day, there’s people being introduced to us through a professional, and that’s what we want to focus on in the short term.”

Abroad, key markets include Scandinavia, western Europe, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. “We haven’t even tapped fully into Southeast Asia and China,” Payne said. “Those will be other things that are on the horizon.”

In addition to a global vision for the brand, Payne is also moving toward a more sustainable vision, too. The brand’s hero foundation, PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, has also gotten a packaging refresh. “We sell one globally every 60 seconds. It’s been refillable, but the compact didn’t reflect the quality and performance of the product,” he said of the new packaging, adding that its refills will be coming in recycled paper packaging, as opposed to plastic.

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