Cosmetics company Ilia is launching its first products with Sephora as part of a plan for wider U.S. distribution.
This is Ilia’s first move into the specialty retailer, where its Polka Dots and Moonbeams illuminator is now rolling out on a strobing-themed end cap in 224 doors. Other illuminator shades — Cosmic Dancer and Sway — are now available on sephora.com. The product retails for $34. The added distribution comes after the brand launched about 40 stockkeeping units in 10 Anthropologie stores. Ilia’s distribution also includes Selfridges, Fenwick Bond Street in London, Mecca Cosmetica in Australia and two Skins Cosmetics shops in Amsterdam.
The brand makes makeup with certified organic bioactive botanical ingredients — each product lists the percentage of ingredients that are organic. The illuminator, for example, is 72 percent organic. The Los Angeles-based brand packages its products in recycled aluminum containers. In addition to the illuminator, Ilia’s lineup includes lipstick, mascara, Radiant Beauty Balm, two brushes and a handful of other complexion and lip treatment products.
“From here, it’s just a matter of possibly planning for a larger distribution nationally,” said founder Sasha Plavsic. “There’s Nordstrom, there’s Saks, there’s smaller beauty retailers like Cos Bar, and seeing if we can resonate with their customer base.”
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Plavsic and her business partner and brother Zachary Ilia own the brand without outside financial backing, and growth has come at a calculated pace. “It’s not the money I’m looking for, I’m looking for an amazing relationship with somebody,” Plavsic said of the question of taking on an investor. “Because we don’t have an angel investor or a wealthy family behind us, you have limitations on how fast you can grow. We wanted to take our time and really get to explore making the products….I literally will go and sit down with my chemist.”
Last year, the business grew sales by about 40 percent, according to industry sources. Having done no marketing so far, Plavsic says she’s considering partnering with beauty influencers. She’s also working on new products, including an eye shadow quad, SPF products, more powders and an updated mascara formulation. This fall, the brand will release three new lipstick shades, three additional foundation shades and brushes, Plavsic said.