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Pacifica Lands PE Investment, Hires Nathalie Kristo as CEO

Pacifica makes affordable, cruelty-free, vegan beauty products.

Pacifica Beauty has received an investment from Brentwood Associates, and appointed Nathalie Kristo as chief executive officer.

Kristo was most recently with Huda Beauty as CEO, and before that, was at NYX and L’Oréal USA.

Pacifica is best known for its affordable vegan, cruelty-free beauty products. The brand was an early mover in both categories, and more than 25 years after its launch, is still gaining steam with consumers, including Gen Z, said founder Brook Harvey-Taylor.

Gen Z is “a huge demo that’s grown for us,” Harvey-Taylor said. “It’s interesting to see these kids who are much more mindful about the world and the planet and the earth and climate, so for us, that consumer gets us really excited. That’s the consumer that is going to change the world.”

Pacifica is said to be approaching $100 million in gross sales, according to industry sources. Terms of Brentwood’s investment were not disclosed.

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“Everyone around the world is looking for more conscious consumerism,” Kristo said. “People are realigning their values and really thinking about what is their impact on the planet, and how can they look to brands that are aligning with their new refocused values.”

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“They’ve been doing clean, vegan, sustainably minded beauty forever, but at an accessible price point, so as consumers now are looking to make these more conscious choices, Pacifica…is uniquely positioned to democratize that and really bring that to a wider audience, not just in the U.S., but globally,” Kristo said.

Pacifica’s bestsellers include the Glow Baby franchise, which includes Vitamin C, Wake Up Beautiful, which contains retinoids and Stellar Gaze Mascara. Recently, the brand launched reusable masks for $15. Harvey-Taylor said skin care is now more than half of Pacifica’s business, and that the company plans to launch more products in its hero skin franchises.

“[Pacifica is] able to bring clean innovation at an accessible price point in a way that just hasn’t been done before,” said Brentwood beauty and wellness industry partner Katherine Mossman. “For so long, clean and true innovation in clean was not accessible.”

Harvey-Taylor was an early adopter of synthetic biology, which enabled her to create products that include vegan collagen and ceramides while maintaining cruelty-free status. With the investment and Kristo’s appointment, Harvey-Taylor will become president of the company, focusing on pushing the boundaries of sustainable packaging and ingredients.

Harvey-Taylor received a minority investment for Pacifica from Alliance Consumer Growth in 2016. With the Brentwood investment, she was looking for “a partner that could dig in” to guide on operations, including supply chain, she said. Mossman said the firm will aim to help Pacifica drive greater brand awareness, “operational excellence up and down the supply chain,” and optimize “the omnichannel footprint, all around, on a global basis.” 

Pacifica is sold primarily in the U.S. through Whole Foods, Ulta Beauty, Target and other retailers. The brand recently launched in Canada, and launched with Cult Beauty and Douglass this year, Harvey-Taylor said.

With Kristo at the helm, the brand plans to focus on marketing around ingredient innovations through advertisements on streaming platforms, engaging with online communities, as well as branch into more vintage marketing methods — like catalogues.

Jefferies advised Pacifica on the deal.

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