As the private label segment continues to explode, Beach House Group is adjusting its approach to heavily court Gen Z.
Since April, the 3-year-old brand incubator has come out fast and furious with launches including Moon oral care, Shay Mitchell’s luggage and travel line Béis (which first started as an online platform), and, most recently, Millie Bobby Brown’s skin-care and makeup offering, Florence By Mills. Beach House’s involvement in these businesses ranges from research and development to manufacturing — it owns Moon, though Kendall Jenner fronts the brand and is also an investor and collaborator, while Mitchell and Brown have equity stakes in their brands. Beach House would not detail the cuts of the latter two businesses.
“If you look at all the beauty and fashion brands, everyone is trying to fight for who is the coolest today, but Gen Zers are so smart, and they know exactly who they resonate with and why. It’s not just about an influencer or a face — they also want to know what’s in the bottle,” said Beach House Group founder Shaun Neff. “All this bigger corporate brands spend 15 minutes with a 14 year old or a 15 year old, and then the brand is actually built by much older people. That is not what we are trying to do.”
Both Moon oral care and Brown’s Florence By Mills sit in the clean space. Beach House’s play for Gen Z, both in the form of tastemakers and consumer values, appears to be working. Moon oral care first launched at Ulta Beauty and beat planned sales by 35%. It is now also sold at Target, where it will have dedicated endcaps roll out in 600 stores this month. To date, the brand has sold 200,000 products. Béis, meanwhile, is doing $1 million in monthly sales on its direct-to-consumer site, per Neff, and Beach House is estimated to hit $100 million in sales by year end.
While other brand incubators, like Maesa and Ballature Beauty, do indeed work with influencers and celebrities — Maesa co-created Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty and Kristen Ess’ hit hair-care and tool line, and Ballature Beauty launched Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose clean fragrance collection in April — they both also create lines for retailers, which clearly have much wider and more fragmented demographics. This year, Maesa debuted a line for Dollar General, and Ballature Beauty produced and manufactured QVC’s Carmindy Beauty brand that debuts in September.
“We are fixed on the white space and working with the right people,” said Neff. “In beauty, there is a ton of makeup brands right now, so if someone else is already doing it, we absolutely do not want to do the same thing. A key retailer is going to say, ‘Well, I already have this on the shelf, and it is already working,’ so is my brand going to replace that and those sales?”
With Moon, Neff said the motivation was that the oral care aisle in brick-and-mortar stores was one of the “ugliest” he had ever seen and needed an updated beauty angle. “Everyone is talking about beauty and taking selfies on social media of their before-and-afters, but if you have bad teeth, that’s a hard sell,” he said. As such, Jenner’s whitening pen is now one of the top-five selling items at Ulta across categories, including color cosmetics and skin care.
Florence By Mills’ point of view — “Clean beauty made for us by one of our own” — is its apparent differentiator and heavily messaged on its e-commerce site. Since launching online last week, inventory of six-month supplies of seven products have already sold out. The total assortment includes 14 items.
Beach House’s other current brands include men’s body line Marlowe and children’s clothing collection Antsy Pants, but Neff said those brands follow an older model and are not the focus for the future of the company. In-bound requests by influencers and celebrities to Beach House continue to come at a clamoring rate, but Neff said the company is planning to do only a few of these kind of Gen-Z tastemaker brands before spinning them off as their own standalone businesses.
“It is a mix of finding [collaborators] who want to work, who have a point of view and who are very, very special,” he said. “It is hard to find those unicorns, but they are out there.”