Sexual wellness and ingestibles brand Love Wellness raised on Tuesday a $4 million Series A funding round led by PDC Beauty & Wellness Co. This is the brand’s first outside investment, and it plans to reach mass consumers.
The 3-year-old brand, which was founded by “Laguna Beach” alum Lauren Bosworth, offers a range of products, including OTC feminine-care suppositories and intimate cleansers and a line of skin care. The capital from its strategic partnership with PDC will allow Love Wellness to invest in marketing, triple its employees from five to 15 by year’s end and expand its retail footprint. Currently, the brand is sold in over 950 Ulta doors and will expand to all Urban Outfitters doors in October. It is also targeting additional retailers for 2020, beginning with a rollout to all 1,500 of CVS’s new in-store concepts called CVS HealthHub, which will be completed by 2021.
“Until now, we have been a baby brand, and I consider this investment as the capital we need to ‘glow up,’” said Bosworth. “We’ve never done a meaningful marketing campaign around a product launch or around the brand itself. We will try to bring the brand to life, because I’ve never told the story on a mass scale.” Bosworth would not detail the brand’s annual revenue, only stating it has surpassed sales from 2018, and sales increased 1200% from 2017 to 2018.
Love Wellness is one of many brands, such as Lola or Hers, to launch in the sexual wellness space since 2015. However, it positions itself as a “whole body” brand as it offers products across multiple categories, including skin care and also overall health via its ingestibles collection.It was this cross-pollination that drew PDC Beauty & Wellness Co.
“Love Wellness understands that women are their own best health advocates and want to practice wellness without shame or stigma,” said James V. Stammer, CEO of PDC Beauty and Wellness, Co. “They sit in a category of one as a result [of their product offerings] and are defining a new class of total body care companies that will represent the future of women’s wellness.”
While marketing strategies are still to be determined, Love Wellness will focus on above-the-line advertising, designed to reach mass audiences, such as television ads. It will also bridge its in-store presence with an online community reminiscent of Reddit that includes online medical, lifestyle and wellness discussion forums, and a podcast that launched two weeks ago. The online features will be communicated to brick-and-mortar customers through in-store signage and endcaps, said Bosworth. Currently, 90% of the company’s sales come through its own DTC site.
“When you look at traditional CPG brands, very few are investing in a community strategy,” said Bosworth. “But we feel it’s integral to the brand and its growth.”