Joe Mimran, founder of Joe Fresh, Club Monaco and Alfred Sung, is now betting on beauty tech.
As part of his quest to build out his Gibraltar & Co. portfolio, Mimran has invested in Lunata Hair. Founded in 2017 by Monica Abramov and Anastassia Boguslavskaya, Lunata Hair specializes in wireless and portable styling products, including hair straighteners and curling wands. No financial details were released. However, Mimran believes the company can easily surpass the $100 million sales mark.
Mimran first met Abramov and Boguslavskaya when he was a judge on Canada’s “Dragons’ Den” — a format similar to “Shark Tank” — when they pitched another concept called Shopbake. While that didn’t get his thumbs-up, the duo’s launch of cordless tools netted his approval. “Sometimes when you invest in small companies, the idea is always important, but it is the jockey that matters. In this case, I felt both of them had the right attitude and talking about a market that I think is interesting.”
He pointed to the potential in beauty tech, which is expected to surpass sales of $97 billion annually by 2023. Mimran sees a wealth of product opportunities for the brand. “When I make an investment, I like to see there is a lot of innovation. Like all true entrepreneurs, Monica and Anastassia saw a need in the market [cordless styling tools] and filled it. With its debut product, Lunata is poised to become a force in the emerging beauty tech market, and I’m looking forward to help fuel the growth of the business.” Mimran added he thinks it is a great time to be an entrepreneur thanks to available funding and a disruptive marketplace that opens up opportunities for new brands.
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Lunata’s founders said the investment will allow them to “scale quickly to secure our place as a leader in cordless and beauty tech.” Mimran’s resources, they said, will help them build out their team, revamp packaging and ratchet up product creation. “We want to invest in research and development to make sure our products are ahead of their time,” Boguslavskaya said.
Among the ideas in the pipeline are dry shampoos to prolong styling, products to promote hair health and those to keep hair smelling fresh. “No one wants to wash their hair too often — we are all too busy. We are looking for ways to extend a blow dry,” Abramov added. Next month, Lunata unveils a cordless, rechargeable curling iron/wand at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
The brand is available on nordstrom.com, Amazon and in Holt Renfrew in Canada. Boguslavskaya said the products will be tested on Ulta Beauty’s e-commerce site. Pricing is in the premium range of tools with the Wireless Rechargeable Touch Up iron/styler retailing for $150. Lunata is also introducing a Jet Setter Kit in January 2019 that has a world adapter, two USB ports and works in 120 countries that will retail for $200.
While cordless tools have been tried before, what makes Lunata different is that the range includes full-sized, battery-powered and rechargeable tools versus the traditional miniature cordless options that are limited in temperature settings. The cordless hair straightening iron produced by Lunata holds a charge for up to 45 minutes at the highest setting with heat settings ranging from 200 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mimran thinks the timing is right for the portable products. “People are moving at 100 miles an hour, everything is about being mobile.” The Lunata founders add that the technology isn’t limited to travel, equating cordless tools to electric toothbrushes and shavers. “It is great for multitasking,” Boguslavskaya said.