With more women leading indie and startup brands and a greater consumer interest in the connections between wellness and beauty, feminine wellness, intimate skin care, hormonal beauty, and whole body beauty brands are becoming commonplace at regional consumer discovery shows and global industry tradeshows alike. And they are well represented now on the shelves and sites of retailers ranging from Walmart to Credo.
Lady Suite has a very contemporary feel compared to other brands in this category. With a look that’s reminiscent of Thinx and Hims, the brand has just one product (for now); but the Rejuvenating Botanical Oil for Intimate Skin is well-distributed and steadily gaining followers, fans, and consumers.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Therese Clark, Founder and CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Lady Suite
Launched: January 2108
Headquarters: Hermosa Beach, California
Cash flow: I own the Lady Suite business; and, I am currently looking for investment.
For a brand I co-founded previously, I had an investor with millions, but it was just the wrong fit. I lost control and the vision was clouded. This time, I’ve been able to self-fund for a year to better leverage the next stage of growth.
Indie how? An indie beauty brand is independently owned and operated and is doing something “unconventional”– whether it’s clean ingredients, a new category, a different spin on something existing, or a disruptive way of reaching their consumer. I’ve always been involved in indie beauty because I like the creativity, less red tape, personal approach, and appreciate passionate founders.
Team work: 3 myself and 2 part-time employees
I also work with Crème Collective Agency for sales and distribution so I don’t have to hire in-house for these services.
Distribution: Lady Suite is distributed through our own ecommerce site www.ladysuitebeauty.com along with national premium retailers like Free People (owned by URBN brands), The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, medi-spas and physician offices, and other independent boutiques and curated salons.
Years in beauty: 20
Years at Lady Suite: since late 2015
Entrepreneurial experience: Before this, I co-founded mybody skin care which is now Glowbiotics, known as the first probiotic skin care line in the medical channel. Unfortunately, this was a partnership that wasn’t right for me personally, so I left in 2015. Prior to that, I had my own product development consultancy and worked on a myriad of brands.
The business: Lady Suite Intimate Skin + Wellness is an elevated feminine care brand offering highly attuned skin care products and educational content dedicated to ladies and their lady parts.
The wow-factor: We’re among the first to address intimate skin care needs with a focus on the vulva (external female lady parts) with a naturally-derived, multi-purpose rejuvenating botanical oil that safely addresses intimate skin struggles, including external dryness due to hormone changes, personal grooming (ingrown hairs), and the daily wear and tear that creates sensitivity, redness, discomfort, and overall loss of resilience.
What began as a solution for the vulva has also turned into a personal mission to help undo the taboo around lady parts care by promoting smarter education and conversation, and to help replace any shame or self-consciousness with acceptance and self-confidence.
The customer: Our consumer ranges from 25-45, skewing younger online. We have two main customer profiles.
Customer 1 is a woman who ladyscapes (shaves, waxes, lasers) regularly. Little-to-no hair creates more exposure and susceptibility to sensitive intimate skin conditions. This customer is also generally concerned about appearance and would like intimate skin to feel soft and smooth, and more rejuvenated.
Customer 2 is someone who is into prevention and views intimate skin care as part of a complete wellness ritual. She may or may not ladyscape, but understands intimate skin should also be taken care of, prefers natural ingredients, and is health conscious.
Milestone moment: Being able to launch exclusively with Free People through Crème Collective, which was an early adopter of femme care and more wellness oriented [brands]. Also validation from Refinery 29, Essence, Cosmo, Brides, etc. has been so amazing. My personal relationships with our customers through Instagram is really rewarding and has taught me a lot and helps me constantly refine the messaging and education.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Trust yourself and keep moving forward, but be humble, open to the process and accept guidance and feedback. If you must partner, know them before you sign on the dotted line (and get a good lawyer).
Just one: Well, this sounds cliché but I really can’t live without our Lady Suite Rejuvenating Botanical Oil. I use it everywhere, including my face and neck. But if I can’t choose my own, it’s the Cleansing Oil by Kari Gran, another indie brand I absolutely love.
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.