After launching its first private-label products in February this year, Fleur Marché is winding down its multi-brand sales model.
Effective December 31, the Fleur Marché site will exclusively stock the brand’s private-label products, which currently consist of a collection of transdermal CBD patches. Previously stocking a range of premium CBD brands in the beauty and wellness categories, the brand plans to expand its product portfolio in 2022 to include more wellness products, both with and without CBD. It will also continue to pursue wholesale opportunities, with its products now stocked at a range of retailers including Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Revolve and Nordstrom.
“We came out with our first product early this year. The response has just been so overwhelming that it makes us feel like we’re really onto something,” said Ashley Lewis, co-founder and CEO. “The marketplace is really the foundational element of Fleur Marché. But at this point, we actually have to spend more of our energy and resources on thinking about our own label and how to keep building that and expanding it.”
Rather than a CBD brand, Fleur Marché is positioning itself as an “accessible wellness brand,” said Lewis. Co-founded by Lewis and Meredith Schroeder in 2019 after they both left Goop, Fleur Marché has focused on bringing Goop-inspired wellness branding to the CBD space. The brand is now focusing on the “democratization of wellness,” said Lewis. A set of eight patches is $42, or each patch is $6.
Wholesale has been crucial for growth in the CBD category, which is hampered by strict regulations on the Instagram ads that are typically key sales drivers of DTC brands. The current channel breakdown of Fleur Marché’s private-label sales is 50% DTC and 50% wholesale. Lewis predicts that wholesale will become a larger part of the business in 2022.
“We’d love to keep it at 50/50, however, there are some [doorways] in wholesale that we just can’t achieve on DTC, given the constraints on marketing,” she said. Although the brand is allowed to advertise on Instagram if it doesn’t mention CBD, its ads were frequently taken down and its ad account was regularly shut down by the platform. The brand finally hired an ad agency with contacts at Facebook and Instagram to solve the problem.
CBD brands’ ability to avoid takedowns on the platform is based on “how much money you have to spend and how much access you have to actual humans and not bots,” she said.
The brand is currently the No. 1 beauty and wellness brand in Nordstorm’s holiday pop-up, based on sales, said Lewis. “[That] allows us to start thinking about much bigger potential partners.” It is also in talks to expand internationally to the UK and France.
The brand’s product pipeline for 2022 includes botanical transdermal patches without CBD, opening up the possibility of reaching retailers that currently do not stock CBD products. And it’s planning to launch another CBD product in the wellness category later in the year.
To date, Fleur Marché has received pre-seed funding. “We’re looking more toward lifestyle- and CPG-type investors, rather than cannabis investors,” said Lewis. “There’s been more of a stark divide. Cannabis investors are really focused on the THC space, whereas health, beauty and lifestyle investors are much more open to CBD than they were two years ago.”
For now, the brand is steering clear of any products with THC, due to its limited legality nationwide. CBD and THC customers have become “different audiences in different markets, more distinctly,” over the course of the pandemic, said Lewis.
“We felt like we could better expand our brand and get brand awareness by going the opposite way first. Hopefully one day, we’ll come back around and create a THC product specifically for women who don’t really know about THC,” she said.