Summer Fridays, the buzzy, Los Angeles-based brand created by lifestyle influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores Ireland in early 2018 that’s known for clean, cruelty-free skin-care masks — is releasing its first new product extension on Sept. 3: “CC Me” serum.
“We reached out to our community and asked them, ‘What are your top skin-care concerns and what products do you want from us?” said Hewitt inside Beverly Hill’s Spring Place. The private membership club is the base for the brand. “Over and over again, hyperpigmentation and dark spots really kept coming to the top of the list. And then, they also really wanted a serum, so we looked at our product pipeline and saw their top skin-care concerns and what we saw next for the brand. It really came from them asking us directly.”
The thirtysomethings are their own target customers, she said.
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“If we look at the age of our target market, she’s 25 to 34,” continued Hewitt. “She is just coming out of a phase where she had breakouts, and she’s looking to fix those hyperpigmentation and dark spots from acne.”
The brightening serum, featuring vitamin C and squalene with peptides and antioxidants, also aims to fight sun damage, moisture loss and provide glowing, even skin. The serum will retail for $64.
“It was definitely very obvious that it was the first product we wanted to develop that was outside of masks,” added Ireland. Before this launch, the brand had only released three products, including cult favorite “Jet Lag,” selling for $48 — which became the number-one skin-care item at their exclusive retailer, sephora.com. Products are also sold on their own site.
Before even launching Summer Fridays, the social media-savvy duo regularly communicated with their relative communities through Instagram. Together, they have more than one million followers on the platform; 921,000 of them are Hewitt’s.
“Instagram stories, polls and questions are the best tools for us,” said Hewitt, who also has a presence on YouTube with close to 300,000 subscribers. “Even last week, we had a meeting and we were trying to decide something right before we posted, and in the first hour saw the responses we were getting. We can go into a meeting and say, ‘today, this morning, this is what our community of over a million people want from us.’”
“Those are the first people who are buying the product, sharing the product, who are really committed to being part of our community and being part of our brand, so of course we want to ask them first.…They’re very eager to have something else in their routine that’s outside of the masks. We’re now slowly adding to the routine.”
“Never say never,” she said of expanding into cosmetics. “…We’re working on a number of different products and sometimes our decision in terms of the launch timing is also dependent on what we’re getting back from our community at that time.…It’ll be the same thing for our future launches. We’re really looking at what continues to come up to the top and then planning that accordingly.”
Like many direct-to-consumer brands, the two are looking to take the community experience off-line. They’ll have a launch party for the new product and plan to host an activation in collaboration with Moon Juice on Melrose Place.
“It’s a community event so anyone in Los Angeles will be able to go and experience the brand, try the products,” said Hewitt. “We’ll also have the masks there. And then, we have a few community events that we’re doing around the U.S. We’ll have [them in] Los Angeles, New York and a few other cities.…We’ll have Summer Fridays happy hours with them and be able to engage with different people around the U.S.”
When it comes to finding a headquarter space, though — they’ll “of course” stay in L.A. — but it’s too early to tell which neighborhood they’ll settle into.
“Things grew quickly,” said Ireland. “The business grew faster than we anticipated. All good problems, but I think we’re still trying to figure out exactly where we’ll end up in terms of a larger office space.
“Longevity has always been important to us,” she continued. “We know how important it is to build a brand that can last beyond the moment that we’re in. That’s had an effect on the colors that we’ve chosen, the name that we’ve chosen, the type of tube that we chose and it being sustainable. All of those decisions that go into the creation of the brand were really meant so that in five, 10, 20, 30 years, people are still using our products.”
“We’re really trying to create a legendary skin-care brand,” added Hewitt. “We never thought about this being just an Instagram brand. We want it to live beyond us.”