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Tracee Ellis Ross’ Pattern Beauty Takes on the U.K.

The actor and entrepreneur sees international expansion as just extending Pattern's community.

Tracee Ellis Ross is taking her vision for Pattern across the pond.

The actor and entrepreneur is launching product in the U.K. in an exclusive partnership with Boots, starting on Wednesday. For Ross, the move was a natural extension of her accessible vision for textured hair care.

“The original dream for the brand was to be a global brand because I believe that the curly and textured community is one that spans across the globe,” she told WWD. “I wanted to expand that mission so that everybody has access to their most beautiful and healthy hair.”

Boots made an ideal partner for the brand given its broad footprint. “85 percent of the U.K. population is within 10 minutes of a Boots store,” she added.

Although parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance is considering selling Boots as it refocuses its health care business in the U.S., WWD reported that sales in Boots grew double-digits due to increased foot traffic earlier this year.

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For the Pattern’s future, Ross hasn’t ruled out any other geographies, especially given the brand’s success at Ulta Beauty and Sephora, she noted. “Africa is a place I’d like to expand to. I would like Pattern to be everywhere, because I believe that we are everywhere,” Ross said. “We will keep going from there.”

It all ladders up to Ross’ goal to bring innovation and information to Pattern’s consumers. “The brand was born out of my own personal hair care journey and my experiences brought me into a community of people that were like me, becoming their own best experts,” she said.

“Part of why I’m proud of how well Pattern is doing is that we’re going across the pond to bring that knowledge and information,” she continued.

Ross referenced a recent McKinsey & Co. survey she partnered with the firm on, called “Black representation in the beauty industry,” which quantifies those disparities. Black-owned brands are only 2.5 percent of total beauty revenue, per the survey, despite Black consumers accounting for 11.1 percent of beauty spending. Black consumers are also three times more likely to not find adequate skin care, hair care or makeup options.

That vision hasn’t come without its learnings, though. “I’m the CEO and founder, and I’m majority owner of the company with full creative control. My hands are on everything,” she said. “One thing I didn’t know before was how much goes into product: the marketing, the language on the packaging, sustainability, all of the regulations shifting.”

On the product side, Ross has been busy. “I’m in product mode,” she said. “We do our [product] drops in a very staggered way. They’re happening on a regular basis, and so there are a few very big launches that are going to happen.”

For more from WWD.com, see:

Tracee Ellis Ross on Diversity and Products With Purpose at the 2021 Beauty Inc Awards

Master Class: Tracee Ellis Ross’ CEO Lessons From Pattern Beauty’s First Year

EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Kidman on Her Hair and Investing in Hair Care Brand Vegamour