BeautyX is a periodic educational event for leaders of independent cosmetics, personal care, fragrance, and wellness brands. But it’s more than that; it's a place where innovators from all facets of the industry (suppliers, packagers, retailers) comet together to learn and connect. BeautyX is a two-day event “for the beauty community and all of the entrepreneurs within it,” a spokesperson tells Cosmetics Design.
“While certainly on the cutting edge of innovation, indie brands do not have a monopoly on beauty entrepreneurship,” acknowledges Nader Naeymi-Rad, co-founder of the Indie Beauty Media Group.
So, “BeautyX is not just for indies,” says Naeymi-Rad. “It’s for anyone who wants to do something innovative or different in beauty. Beauty entrepreneurs can be found in many other types of organizations, from publication houses to PR agencies, contract manufacturers, technology ventures and even large and well-established beauty companies. Beauty entrepreneurs are everywhere, but until the arrival of BeautyX, they had nowhere to go to learn and be inspired.”
The topic of BeautyX changes with each iteration; and the Indie Beauty Media Group (IBMG; which organizes this event and hosts the companion Indie Beauty Expo event) brings together a new roster of executives, influencers, change makers, and insiders for each BeautyX summit.
“Each BeautyX is focused on different area of the industry, such as Press/Media, Retail or Capital,” affirms Naeymi-Rad. “While interlinked, these verticals have fundamentally different structures, players, internal dynamics and value to the beauty entrepreneur. We cover each major vertical at a different Summit, but ensure continuity, in terms of definitions and nomenclature, with any shared concepts or ideas. The goal here is to help those who attend multiple BeautyX Summits to build compatible layers of knowledge and understanding.”
Next week’s event is all about capital: “Beauty has become a hotbed of investor activity in recent years, resulting in unprecedented innovation and growth across the industry...and leaving many brand founders hungry for information on how they can get in on the action,” says Claire McCormack, head of education and thought leadership IBMG, in comments shared with Cosmetics Design.
Describing the upcoming New York City event, McCormack says, “BeautyX Capital explores the current investment landscape, explains the range of funding options available to brands and provides beauty and wellness entrepreneurs with the tools they need to seize this opportunity.”
And she goes on to explain this month’s program saying that, “during this immersive two-day educational experience, [brand founders and leaders will] learn about the different investor categories (from small to big), the language of valuation…and the pros and cons of the different types of investment deal structures (including how investors value [startup businesses]).
As the event site promises, “At BeautyX Capital Summit [attendees will] learn from the investors cutting the biggest checks in independent beauty today and engage them and [their] peers in a dynamic networking environment.”
Naeymi-Rad recognizes that “because of their very diverse backgrounds, beauty entrepreneurs—especially indie brands—need a combination of ‘hi/low’ content. Meaning, before they can fully appreciate advanced high-level topics, they need to learn the low-level granular details of the overall subject matter. That is why BeautyX supplements expert panel discussions, where we cover advanced topics, with ‘Fundamentals’ courses--all original content we develop in-house--that provide a needed baseline of shared knowledge and understanding.”
Sessions at next week’s BeautyX summit include a case study on early stage investment featuring Alison Ryu, managing director of CircleUp Growth Partners, and Sheena Yaitanes, founder of Kosås Cosmetics. That same day, a panel discussion on venture capital features experts Kelly Dill, principal at Imaginary Ventures; Sutian Dong, partner at the Female Founders Fund; Andrea Hippeau, principal at Lerer Hippeau; and Larry Kahn, partner and managing director at Beechwood Capital.
Other topics on the program include private equity, strategic acquisition, and fundraising as a woman of color. The latter of which McCormick believes is especially pertinent: “I am very excited for the Fundraising As A Woman Color Panel,” she says.
“Women of color are behind so many of the most exciting and innovative — not to mention best-selling — beauty and wellness brands and products,” notes McCormick, “yet they get a tiny fraction of the outside investment being pumped into beauty. These women have proven their ingenuity; imagine what they would create with proper funding. This is a conversation we, as an industry, should be having.”
Learn more about BeautyX Capital and buy tickets to the event here.
Make it count
Cosmetics Design asked Naeymi-Rad how BeautyX attendees could make the most of the event. Here are his tips and ideas:
“First, plan ahead. Because there is a fair number of classes and topics, and some are presented in parallel, it’s a good idea to contact us and let us help you select the program options that best suit your needs and background.
“Second, be engaged. Some people just come, sit, listen and leave. If at a panel discussion or class, ask a question, or if at workshop, then join the discussion. You’re never going to get this time back. Make it count.
“Third, network! We have networking opportunities built into every single hour of the agenda. As a rule of thumb, you should make a point of introducing yourself to at least one new person during each class or break. Everyone is there to learn and network. Just turn to the person sitting next to you and say “Hi, my name is [insert your first name]”. Trust me, it’s not weird. What’s weird is avoiding eye contact and behaving like you’re at a clinic. And if you are just shy by nature (many of us are), that’s okay; just find one of the BeautyX team members and say 'Help me network'. Let us introduce you to some folks and break the ice for you. Once you start meeting people, meeting more gets easier.
“Finally, make sure you attend Deal Appeal. The live learning exercise, in my opinion, is the single most valuable educational opportunity at BeautyX. This is especially true if you have attended all or most of the other preceding classes. What’s great about exercises like Deal Appeal is that it ‘brings it all together’ at the end of the day and enables you to see and hear may of the ideas, concepts and best practices discussed in action.”
And he notes that another “great thing about the New York BeautyX is its proximity to IBE New York--our largest show....by just extending [your] stay by one day, BeautyX Capital [you] can also attend the world’s largest exhibition of independent beauty brands. And this year, with over 250 exhibiting brands from around the world, this will be an event you don’t want to miss.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.