Two years ago Wander Beauty launched its first product on QVC, a two-sided stick combining Blush and Illuminator that fans still rave about. Today, the company boasts 17 SKUs and a global beauty brand renowned for multipurpose products.
Recent numbers from Women’s Wear Daily put retail sales on track to pass $15 million in 2017, more than double the figure Wander achieved the previous year. The company is also reported to have raised more than $4 million in its latest round of VC funding, which is expected to drive further international expansion.
It’s a rapid ascent for a brand that began as an everyday salon conversation between two women bonding over their mutual passion for travel and beauty products.
Wander Beauty: Only the Essentials
A brand that “simplifies and streamlines beauty routines.” This is the driving philosophy behind Wander Beauty’s multitasking product line.
In addition to their mutual interests, company co-founders Divya Gugnani and Lindsay Ellingson shared a common frustration of product excess in their beauty bags. If that sentiment seems at odds with a retail sector that offers every shade and style of product, factor in the travel aspect and you begin to get a feel for the daily decisions faced by globe-trotting cosmetics consumers.
With their challenge defined, Gugnani and Ellingson set about creating a brand whose products deliver only the essential items that women need in their cosmetics kit.
That concept quickly flowed into their products. Take the Rise and Prime Balm and Primer Duo, for example, which Ellingson calls her “Instagram filter in a stick.” Its ingenious design combines a moisturizing balm for the face, lips, and body with a tinted, nude primer in one efficient package. The reference to Instagram is apt, given that Ellingson, a former Victoria’s Secret model, brings her personal social media following of 1.5 million to her new profession.
That being said, a social following only translates to sales if fans can find your products when and where they want them.
Thankfully, the brand understands this. Just a couple of years on from its launch Wander Beauty has a healthy mix of retail channels, from their own online properties to household names like QVC and Sephora. For the fulfillment-minded among you, here’s an approximate breakdown of how those distribution channels look right now:
- Own site — www.wanderbeauty.com: 30%
- QVC — Home Shopping Network: 30%
- Sephora — 350 stores across North America: 30%
- Other outlets — such as Net-a-Porter & Anthropologie: 10%
Following a low-key start that included investment in the six-figure range, Wander Beauty has expanded rapidly to cover two crucial bases of a successful cosmetics brand: broad distribution across diverse channels and, most importantly, growing a dedicated fan base on social media.
It is likely this solid foundation and the brand’s rapid rise that convinced a group led by DGNL Ventures, Pritzker Group, and Maveron to commit a further $4 million in Series A funding for the brand’s continued expansion.
With the company’s next phase of investment secured, its founders face the challenge of exporting the Wander Beauty brand around the world. It’s one we’re certain they will tackle with glowing smiles on their faces (thanks to the essentials in their cosmetics kits!)