Main Post Partners, the private equity firm that backs Milk Makeup and built up Too Faced, has invested in sugaring and tanning salon Sugared + Bronzed.
Sugared + Bronzed was started by the couple Courtney Claghorn and Sam Offit, who started the salon after Claghorn had a hard time finding quality and affordable tanning options in Santa Monica, Calif.
“The lower price point ones were often back of UV tanning salons, which have a really different vibe and obviously promote UV tanning, which is not good for us in so many ways. It wasn’t the right feel,” Claghorn said. “You’re typically getting naked when you get a spray tan, or close to it, depending on each person’s comfort level, so to go into a place that felt gross, and there were a lot of places with non-female technicians and no options for a female to spray you.”
After they opened the first few salons and Claghorn heard from clients that they were coming in from airbrush tanning and sugaring appointments, she added sugaring to the menu. “It exfoliates your skin, you can get it done right before a tan. So many people are getting this done in the same day. It feels like they’re getting naked in one spot, getting dressed and driving to another spot,” Claghorn said.
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Right now, the concept has 10 salons. In the next 18 months, the plan is to double the business, expanding nationally with more retail locations, and launching the small product assortment online. The business is said to have done more than 1 million services since inception, and is on track to complete 300,000 services this year.
Main Post is taking an undisclosed stake in the business, and sees opportunities to expand the number of retail locations and the product assortment. This is the first investment Sugared + Bronzed has taken — the company was started with $500, Claghorn said.
“We’ve got a keen interest in the beauty services business, and we have a lot of experience in multi-unit expansion as well as the product side, through Too Faced, Milk, Not Your Mother’s and Hydrafacial,” said Jeff Mills, managing partner at Main Post. He said he expects Sugared + Bronzed to take off in a similar way to Hydrafacial because of the instantly noticeable results.
“Bronzing is a healthier way to get a glow, and can really enhance someone’s look, someone’s physical definition,” Mills said.
In terms of sugaring, Mills noted that consumers seem to be in a “do-it-for-me world, rather than a do-it-yourself world … people are increasingly having their procedures done by others.”
The Main Post team lauded Claghorn and Offit’s customer-centric focus and attention to detail. “You can’t get that at your traditional strip mall mom-and-pop, and you can’t get that from a franchisee,” said Josh McDowell, partner at Main Post.
Aside from opening more locations, Sugared + Bronzed will also look to build out its product assortment with more at-home maintenance products, Claghorn said.
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