Rare Beauty Brands has added a third brand to its portfolio.
Dr. Dana Beauty, named for founder Dr. Dana Stern, is known for its nail renewal system, which retails for $33. Stern’s private practice specializes in nail health, which she said is one-of-a-kind in the U.S. Stern will also be joining Rare Beauty Brands’ board of directors.
“I’m apparently the only dermatologist in the country whose entire practice is devoted to nails,” she said, adding that she created the brand because “my patients were coming to me with issues that weren’t being solved with the products available to them in brick-and-mortar retail, or even prescription-wise.”
Chronic issues the brand addresses include brittle nails, which include nails that break, peel, ridge or take long to grow. “Most of the products that my patients were bringing to my office were clear nail polishes being marketed as strengtheners, and a lot of them had toxic ingredients that were exacerbating the condition,” Stern said.
Although the proposition may be niche, Dr. Dana Beauty met Rare Beauty Brands’ criteria for an acquisition. “When I think about a Rare Beauty brand, I think of three pillars: Is it pushing the limits of efficacy and conscious beauty, is it based on an unmet need, and is it really strongly differentiated,” said Chris Hobson, president and chief executive officer of Rare Beauty Brands. “Nail health has historically been an afterthought for color brands. But here, it’s bringing the sophistication of skin care into nail care.”
As previously reported by WWD, nail care benefited strongly from the coronavirus pandemic, posting sales gains.
Rare Beauty Brands has been in expansion mode after relaunching Plant Apothecary earlier this year. It also owns Patchology, which Hobson founded. “Rare Beauty Brands is a profitable, cash flow-positive company with no equity or raise, and Dr. Dana Beauty fits this notion of taking a really good, foundational brand and plugging it into our operating system,” Hobson said.
Hobson sees room for opportunity with the brand’s distribution, which has been historically kept to Stern’s office and Nu Skin’s website. “We are unapologetically omnichannel — we believe in d-to-c, we believe in Amazon and have really strong capabilities, but we also believe physical retail isn’t going away,” Hobson said.
“We have 6,000 doors of prestige and specialty distribution with 200 retails in 50 countries. We’re able to take a brand like Dr. Dana with amazing DNA and plug it into our distribution system and enable it to grow much faster,” he continued.
To that end, Stern agreed, saying distribution was the “biggest challenge with scaling” the business. “Rare Beauty Brands has a lot of experience building some really good distribution strategies and networks. To me, that’s always been the biggest challenge as a smaller brand.”
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