The rising tide of independent beauty brands today is often compared to the influx of doctor’s brands in the 1990s. And while plenty of disruptive brands will eventually fall by the wayside, science and innovation from outside the mainstream cosmetics and personal care industry continues to be a source of alternative product development and novel business strategies that affect change in the industry at large.
Here, beauty entrepreneur Rachel Roff shares a profile of herself and one such disruptive brand.
Name: Rachel Roff, Owner, Formulator, and Medical Aesthetician
Indie Beauty Company: Urban Skin Rx
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
Cash flow: Urban Skin Rx net sales for Jan 1, 2017 - July 24, 2017, amount to $1,642,612.00
Team work: 5 full-time employees and 7 part-time contractors such as design, web, marketing, etc.
Sales and distribution: $1,392,612 of the above net sales come from global sales with our ecommerce store urbanskinrx.com the rest comes from our brick-and-mortar medical spa retail sales at Urban Skin Solutions in Charlotte, NC.
Urban Skin Rx also has 3 independent wholesale accounts that are medical spas and beauty stores. We also have received a PO from Target which will have us on their shelves at select locations in January 2018.
Years in beauty: 11
Years at Urban Skin Rx: Since it was started.
Entrepreneurial experience: I started my own medical spa and laser center in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2006. I had zero previous business or management experience. Since then, I have grown that business from 3 employees to 25, and we gross over 2.5 million dollars.
The business: We offer clinical skin care products for skin of color. We specialize in the treatment of hyperpigmentation and achieving an even skin tone. We have products for all skin types such as oily, dry, aging, acne, etc. However, since skin of color is always prone to hyperpigmentation we include ingredients for hyperpigmentation in the full line of products whether it’s for anti-aging or acne prone skin.
The wow-factor: We dominate and lead the skin care market in regards to a clinical approach towards treating the main concerns of skin of color. No other company is recognizing from a non-natural category the need of specialized products for melanin rich skin. As stated above, we market that we ensure a multi-solution benefit, such as a serum for anti-aging but that also has ingredients for correcting and/or maintaining an even skin tone.
The customer: Women of Color between the ages of 18-75. We also find that men like our products as well.
Milestone moments: This year, we received great recognition from the press including winning the Best in Black Beauty Award from Essence Magazine – HUGE – and in June, we reached 100k followers on Instagram.
Also, in 2017, we grew 100% from the previous year; and each quarter in 2017 we have grown 100% from the previous quarter.
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: My advice would be to get a book or hire a consultant to train you in the laws and requirements from the FDA regarding formulas, labeling, and marketing.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Roff emphatically points to sunblock. The sun is the main cause of premature aging and uneven skin tone, she says, so rain or shine I apply it. Our Dermshield Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 is perfect for everyone to use and dries to a matte finish.