January 17, IBE kicks off with Indie Connect at The LA Hotel Downtown. Event co-founder Jillian Wright, tells Cosmetics Design that the new event feature is a “full-day of education, knowledge-sharing and networking for indie founders and entrepreneurs.”
Describing the day in more detail, Wright explains, “Indie Connect is open to all IBE exhibitors and—for the first time—non-exhibiting brands. Indie Connect begins with a morning session of classes, Indie Essentials, providing structured learning courses on key business topics. In the afternoon, we switch over to Expert Dialogues where panels of industry experts discuss different trends and issues. The day is then capped off with Indie Mixer, our cocktail reception which is a great opportunity to relax and network.”
Three day event
IBE runs for three full days, and Indie Connect is just the beginning.
Wednesday, January 18, the expo is open to the public for Shop Indie. And on January 19, buyers, press, and other pros will enjoy a day dedicated to Trade Indie. The Shop Indie and Trade Indie portions of the Expo will take place at the California Market Center.
Just the beginning
Since the IBE event first launched in August 2015 in New York City, the expo and indie beauty itself has been growing. “Indie brands are the Silicon Valley of the beauty industry and are just beginning to make their mark,” Wright tells Cosmetics Design.
Looking at the industry front to back, Wright predicts growth for years to come: “From a demand standpoint, we are just at the beginning of this wave. Underlying this wave is a fundamental shift in consumer preferences towards non-corporate brands and/or clean/green products. This is a generational shift and is unlikely to taper for at least another decade or more,” she tells this publication.
“From a supply standpoint, the pool of indie entrepreneurs grows every year. Indie brands are learning and getting smarter, savvier and more competitive and launching ever more cool and eye-popping innovations every year.
“Plus, from a commercialization standpoint, indie entrepreneurs now have access to better and more affordable formulation, manufacturing and packaging technologies than ever before as well as a record amount of investment capital—from VCs and private equity firms—that is now pouring into the sector,” explains Wright.
Innovative indie brands are making use of seed oils, cannabis, and repurposed botanical materials. Wright points to few good examples: brands like Crave Skincare (formulated with non-psychoactive components of cannabis), Pistache Skincare (a collection with pistachio oil as the signature ingredient), and The Grapeseed Company (skin care and body care made from the grapes Santa Barbara vineyards don’t use).
And, the scope of indie beauty is ever widening. Wright highlights artisanal toothpaste brand Lebon and Reina Cosmetics, a new color brand from Reina Rebelde that’s “geared towards the Latina woman. Very edgy and fierce,” says Wright.
Learn more about the Indie Beauty Expo here.