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Volition Beauty Arrives at Sephora

This is the crowdsourced beauty brand's first-ever bricks-and-mortar distribution.

Volition Beauty has a new retail partner: Sephora.

The San-Francisco-based beauty brand, which crowdsources its product ideas, is to launch online with the retailer on Aug. 8, and will bow in 50 doors in mid-September. This is Volition’s first entry into bricks-and-mortar distribution — the brand launched in August 2016 on QVC.

Volition is the brainchild of Patricia Santos and Brandy Hoffman, who worked together at skin-care brand Algenist before teaming to found their own brand. Santos and Hoffman saw a white space for a beauty brand that generated ideas from the women who would actually use the products.

Volition works by soliciting ideas on social media — once they’re vetted for feasibility and safety, a batch is selected to be voted on, and consumers are invited to vote for the winning product on Volition’s web site.

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“Sephora really appreciated our community, because they’re also community-centric,” said Hoffman. “Our community is so ingrained in these products because it’s not Patricia and I deciding what gets made, it’s coming from real women with real solutions.”

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Volition Beauty has a total of 16 stockkeeping units, and Sephora will carry five of them. This includes one of the newest, the Turmeric Brightening Polish, an idea submitted by an Indian woman who wanted an exfoliant based on her cultural traditions — the spice is used by brides in India for glowing skin on their wedding day.

Each product — the lineup at Sephora is priced from $29 to $60 and includes an eye gel made for both day and night use, a featherweight antiaging gel, a mattifying mist and a detoxifying mask made of Nordic silt — contains a card with details about the woman who conceived of the initial idea.

“Coming from the investing side, I saw a lot of female entrepreneurs who couldn’t quite get their products launched — they didn’t have the retailer relationships or didn’t have access to capital, or took it to the wrong lab and they didn’t execute it properly,” said Santos, who worked in venture capital before teaming with Hoffman to launch Volition. “I wanted to give those women a vehicle to get their products to market.”