Coast to Coast is traveling across the globe from Australia to the U.S.
The four-year-old Melbourne-based natural skin-care brand is launching in March at Ulta with 18 stockkeeping units priced primarily from $20 to $40. Inspired by a road trip husband-and-wife cofounders Nick and Nicole Chadwick took across their home country, Coast to Coast’s products contain ingredients found in Australia, including bilberries, pepperberries, wild rosella, lilly pilly, marshmallow and forest peppermint. They are divided by its three terrains: A coastal collection is aimed at normal, dry and combination skin; a rainforest collection is for blemish-prone skin, and an outback collection addresses dehydrated, dull or uneven skin.
“People I’ve spoken to in the States have a positive response to Australia. They would love to visit, but most say the plane ride is too far. Regardless, they are very interested in coming to Australia,” said Nick Chadwick, a beauty-industry veteran who established Red Earth in the Nineties with Lynne Meaney before selling it to Espirit and subsequently buying it back in 2008. “If you do come to Australia as a tourist, you will want to go to our beaches and our rainforests and, if you have time, our deserts. If you can’t come, our pitch is we are taking the best of Australia as far as skin-care ingredients and bringing it to you.”
Coast to Coast has a store at the Melbourne Shopping Center where the brand sells more than 100 sku’s and another one on the way at a new shopping center called the Emporium. For the U.S. market, it carefully edited its assortment to incorporate key products from the terrains represented. Among the hero products are the Ultra Soothing Cleansing Oil in the coastal range and the Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water in the outback range. Masks are also popular items, and each collection has its own variety of mask.
Talking about the Cleansing Oil, Chadwick detailed, “It takes off makeup and it creates a really nice moisture barrier as you put it on your skin. It’s not a stripping type of cleanser at all. It is very nourishing.” Continuing on about the Cleansing Water, which is applied with a cotton pad and has a no-rinse formula, he said, “It is a terrific second cleanse if you really want to make sure you get all your makeup off or if you want to freshen up in the gym or on the airplane.”
According to Chadwick, Coast to Coast’s demographic target is a woman aged 20 to 40 years old. “They are attracted to our packaging, to the natural concept and to an alternative to mass brands,” he said. “In Australia, they are attracted to the service provided in the store, which provides a personal experience.”
For 18 months or so, Coast to Coast has been developing a plan to retail in China with a franchisee partner, and Chadwick expects the brand will have stores in China within a year. Coast to Coast already has two locations with a franchisee partner in Singapore. In the U.S., Coast to Coast is sticking for at least a year with Ulta, which Chadwick was drawn to because the brand can be placed there amid premium offerings and the specialty beauty chain was willing to carry a reasonably wide selection from Coast to Coast, rather than just one product.
Industry sources estimate Coast to Coast will generate $4 million to $5 million in revenues this year, with about half originating in the U.S. “It’s not a huge business. We are a small, new brand coming into the marketplace. We are not L’Oréal by any means,” said Chadwick, who started his career at L’Oréal in sales and marketing, and currently manages the Lip Smacker, Bonne Belle and Formula 10.0.6 businesses in Australia and Asia as well as running the brands Skinvitals, Red Earth and Coast to Coast. “I’m very sincere when I say this is a passion project and so we never imagined that we would one day have this conversation about entering the U.S.”