A few hours after the official opening of The Conscious Beauty Collective pop-up in Southern California, founder Lynn Power was feeling positive.
“We were setting up yesterday and there were a dozen people waiting to be let in,” she says. “We’ve had a few sales this morning, there’s great foot traffic, and I’m optimistic. So far so good.”
This was Lynn’s third go-around for her clean beauty pop-up model where she gathers brands from across all beauty categories to participate in a retail experience they otherwise couldn’t afford. Her most recent pop-up was in September 2022 in Boston, and it was so successful she extended well past the month the pop-up was planned for to two months. This time around Lynn brought together 38 brands and she’s gotten bigger with expanded product offerings.
“We’ve learned a lot since last year,” says Lynn, who is not only a creative thinker but a co-founder and CEO of clean hair care line Masami. “We decided to make the space more experiential, expanding our wellness offerings and including adjacencies like hair towels, cashmere robes, and a tea-and-snack bar.”
The pop-up’s 2,200-square foot space is twice the size of last year’s effort and occupies what was once a Lulelemon boutique in the popular Victoria Gardens Mall in Rancho Cucamonga. It opened April 1 and will run through June 30.
The way Lynn’s model works is that each vendor is charged a fee, but can keep 100 percent of their sales, minus credit card processing fees. A brand’s participation includes influencer outreach, social media posts, and live streaming. Brands are selected based on how clean they are, their product offering, and ease of merchandising and use.
“Certain products do particularly well, especially those that are easy to use like masks, or anything that doesn’t require a massive amount of explanation,” Lynn says. Items in the pop-up range in price from $8 to $138.
On opening day, a handful of founders were on hand to talk to shoppers. Among them was Miranda Wilson, founder of Dallas, Texas-based H2No!, a waterless shaving gel.
“Twenty-five gallons of water goes down the drain every 10 minutes,” she says. Her tubes of brightly packaged gel were on display, retailing for $19.99.
As important to Miranda was connecting to other founders in The Collective.
“There is such a great sharing of information between the women,” she says. “It’s already been so powerful.”
Also attending opening day was Elizabeth Koshy, founder of Silicon Valley-based Empress Naturals. Empress creates natural oil-based serums and elixirs in the $56 to $80 price range. Debuting at The Collective is her Anti-Aging Face Serum formulated with rosehip seed oil (sourced from Chile) and frankincense oil (sourced from Oman). She also showed Luxe Night Elixir, which uses geranium and lavender.
“We only have four SKUS,” she says. “We are minimalist skin care. Who has time for a 12-step regimen?”
Cindy Kuo, Taiwanese-based founder and formulator of Olecea Beaute, brought along best-selling products, including Pearl Activating Serum, a $60 product featuring rose flower water, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid-infused pearls.
“I learned about skin care from my grandmother who was an aesthetician, and I had the benefit of living on three continents and learning about global ingredients,” she says. “It’s a good opportunity to be here because I have a lot of repeat customers online but not a lot at retail. It’s a great way to see how people respond [to your brand."