Junee Brands is readying to launch its first hair-care line.
Backed by Guthy Renker Ventures, brand incubator Junee is set to launch Volaire, a line of four hair volumizing products with patented technology. GR Ventures is the holding company that owns Guthy Renker, according to Rick Odum, chief executive officer of Guthy Renker. GR Ventures also backs another incubator and is broadly focused on bringing products to market quickly, according to Odum. “Guthy Renker develops brands internally, but also has other companies that are developing future beauty brands with the expectation that ultimately we would go to market at scale down the road,” Odum said.
Volaire is slated for a late summer QVC launch, will sell on Amazon and is in talks with potential specialty retail partners, according to Carey Grange, who cofounded Junee with Tony Smith-Hastie in 2015. (Junee also owns Specific Beauty, a pigmentation-focused skin-care line, and Dr. Denese Skin Science, an antiaging skin-care brand.) Volaire will also sell on its own web site.
“Our objective is to be where our target customer is most likely to learn about us, make a purchase decision about us and then purchase us,” Grange said. “Strategically, we want to come up with exclusivity for every channel so every has a special thing you can only get there — that is part of our plan.”
The Volaire product line uses patented airweight technology in all of its products. Grange explains: “Basically, what you’re doing is attaching this positively charged air sphere, so instead of coating the individual hair strands to make it thicker with polymers and stuff like that, which is typically how hair volumizing products work [and] can weigh the hair down, it’s creating space between the individual strands.”
The products feature kelp and algae extracts, for overall hair health, Grange added, and is primarily targeted at women in their 40s and 50s, as well as younger women who may have volume issues.
Volaire will launch with four products: Air Magic Texturizing Spray, Uplift Volumizing Mist, Weightless Fortifying Conditioner and Weightless Volumizing Shampoo. Prices range from $12 to $34. Industry sources estimate that the brand will do at least $25 million in sales in the first year.
Actress and activist Kristin Davis — who struggled after her hair texture changed — is the global ambassador for Volaire. Davis was known for her thick, chestnut brown hair (and playing Charlotte on “Sex and the City”) — but at one point, her hair essentially turned to straw, she said. “My hair was always very difficult hair, which no one believes when I tell them — it’s always been not quite that easy, but because I had a lot of hair the professionals could help me make it look nice. It’s not like I wake up and I had Charlotte hair,” Davis said. Richard Ward — Kate Middleton’s hairstylist — and celebrity hairstylist Dean Banowetz have also signed on as brand ambassadors for Volaire.
One day, Davis’ ponytail felt a lot smaller. “My hair just was not what it used to be,” Davis said, so she and her thinned-out locks hopped into the chair of her hairstylist, Luke O’Connor, a Volaire brand ambassador, who she met initially after she snuck into his chair when she was a guest star on “Will & Grace.”
“It was very fine, like it had gone away, there just was hardly any hair there.…I hadn’t been worrying about it — I have my daughter — but when I tried to do something or had to go somewhere I was like, ‘where is my hair?’” she said. O’Connor offered to send her Volaire, but Davis had doubts — “I have a child, I don’t want to spend my time styling my hair and having sticky hair and all that.”
She tried it, took before-and-after selfies and liked the results. “I just wanted to see for myself,” Davis said, of the results. Eventually, she signed on to be part of the project. “Mostly, I wanted it for myself,” Davis said.
These days, her daughter is the main focus, but Davis is also working as the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and is more focused on humanitarian work than acting gigs. Asked about the potential resurgence Charlotte’s strands in a future “Sex and the City” production, Davis said, “you would know if it were green-lighted, and it’s not — but it could happen.”