“Gossip Girl” isn’t the only big launch for Kristen Bell this month. Following its initial launch with body care, the actress’ CBD brand Happy Dance is entering the facial skin-care category with a new moisturizer.
On July 13, the moisturizer will be available for $29 via DTC e-commerce and the brand’s exclusive retail partner, Ulta, where it is a part of Ulta’s Sparked program for startups. Called “Look Alive,” the new face product contains 150 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, as well as bisabolol, hyaluronic acid and avocado oil.
“We always had facial skin care in the pipeline,” said Summer Frein, general manager of Happy Dance and Lord Jones. Happy Dance’s category expansion adds a fourth product to the brand’s total lineup, after it was first launched by Lord Jones parent company Cronos Group with three body-care products in October 2020. “We’ve been talking with Kristen from the beginning about the brand concept. How she got introduced into CBD by way of Lord Jones was largely through topicals,” said Frein.
Currently, there are no plans to stock the brand at the upcoming Ulta locations that will be entering Target, which still does not stock CBD. The opportunity to sell through Ulta at Target would be a “match made in heaven,” said Frein. While beauty retailers have embraced CBD — Sephora stocks Lord Jones, for example — big-box retailers are still hesitant to do so amid current regulations.
“Retailers continue to reach out to us to ask questions,” said Frein. “As an organization, guiding that policy change and making sure that our retailers understand it is of utmost importance to us. We want to be the category captain for anybody that’s coming into the space.” She predicts that the regulatory situation “will eventually get more clear, and you’ll see more big retailers come in.”
Focused heavily on the CBD-curious millennial mom demographic, Happy Dance’s marketing content often features Kristen Bell addressing moms’ life stresses and giving an introduction to CBD. The brand is currently promoted on social channels including YouTube and Instagram, with plans to launch a TikTok channel in the future. For Happy Dance, CBD education is a key part of the messaging.
“When you think about everyday stress, especially everyday stressors that moms feel, that’s where the ‘Look Alive’ name came from,” said Frein. “When you’re thinking about the limited sleep and all the laundry and traveling with your kids cross country, this is intended to make your skin look alive and awake.”
For the rest of 2021, the brand is focusing on facial skin care, spending “a lot of time and resources to make sure that it’s very successful,” said Frein. In addition, she expects the company will put a greater emphasis on its brick-and-mortar presence at Ulta.
“What we will start to see as Covid starts to subside is people starting to shift a bit more into brick and mortar,” and the DTC-brick-and-mortar sales split is “going to start to feel more balanced than our business did last year,” she said.