Feminine care brand Rael is betting on beauty.
Following its foray into organic period care in 2017 via Amazon followed by its direct-to-consumer launch three months later, Rael is hoping to make the link between hormonal health products and beauty. In spring 2018, Rael began testing sheet masks and acne patches on its site, which gave the company the confidence to create the full beauty launch of eight products released on Tuesday, said Yanghee Paik, CEO and co-founder. The line consists of spot correctors, moisturizers and cleansers that retail for $24 to $38. It will expand to other products throughout the year.
A bevy of organic sexual wellness and feminine care brands have popped up in recent years, including Lola, Sustain Natural and Cora, to challenge heritage players like Tampax. Clean beauty lines, meanwhile, have become the norm in skin care. Few brands, however, have tried to link the categories together, though retailers like Ulta have begun selling a smattering of crossover products including Fur’s oil for the pubic area and Megababe’s feminine wipes. Rael is backed by Unilever Ventures and raised a $17.5 million Series A round in 2018.
“We started with sheet masks that people could use throughout their hormonal cycle to deal with acne and kinetic health, and were inspired to offer a full skin-care line with the same philosophy,” said Paik. “Rael has always been about making clean and natural solutions for women that help them feel better about their product decisions.”
Like many online companies that launched online-only, Rael moved its feminine care products into Target’s full distribution last year. For now, Rael’s beauty lineup will only be available digitally, first on GetRael.com and then through Revolve next month. Paik hopes to move the beauty side of the business into wholesale stores in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
“What we have realized is DTC businesses are for exclusive or niche markets, and we know we want to be where people shop. That’s why we started on Amazon, because that’s where women are buying. We want to grow our beauty line with a partner,” said Paik.
Paik would not disclose current revenue figures, but said over 50% of Rael’s business today is through Amazon and Target. Launching beauty as DTC-first is a way for Rael to boost online sales and engagement before making a move into wholesale, she said. Rael’s website has a repeat purchase rate of 60%, with its 25- to 35-year-old customers requiring monthly menstrual products. Beauty shoppers are more likely to be fickle about their repurchases.
In March, Rael will launch its beauty products in Korea, where the company has a manufacturing facility and already sells its feminine care products. Paik is also planning a China launch for 2020 and expects the debut to be via cross-border e-commerce as well as brick-and-mortar retail.