The “DryBar of Botox” is expanding outside of the comparison to become a lifestyle brand, opening more stores, introducing an influencer program and launching an in-house skin-care line.
Alchemy 43, an “aesthetics bar” offering a menu of on-the-go cosmetic injectables like Botox, Juvederm and Kybella, is taking the minimally invasive procedures out of the doctor’s office and placing them into a more accessible environment. For example, Alchemy 43 provides 3D imaging so customers can see potential results beforehand, and the decor is decked out with millennial pink furnishings instead of the usual sterile and bland medical environment. Launched in 2017, the company is still in its early days, but it’s identifying opportunities to scale the business, based on routine maintenance and higher-touch medical services, especially since people are expected to consistently receive injectable procedures once they start.
First on the expansion roadmap is rapid store openings. Alchemy 43 has two stores in Los Angeles and is opening another two in the area in early August, with plans to open 10 new stores in 2019 and 50 within the next six years, including an international expansion plan in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Cities themselves are chosen based on patient demand from industry resources for injectable procedures, as well as the early-adoption rate of such treatments and services. The thinking behind opening multiple stores in one city at a time is that it will build brand awareness quickly, so potential customers will be more trusting of the brand when going in for a procedure, according to Nicci Levy, founder and CEO of Alchemy 43.
“We have a cluster approach in going to new markets where we claim that space, and it allows us to have a larger market impact,” she said. “It allows us to become a trusted name and [develop] a higher adoption rate.”
In addition to its cluster approach, the brand is set on never referring to its treatments as “anti-aging” or as offering the ability to “fix” or “transform” someone, according to Levy. Instead, services are given cute names like “Smooth Talker” or “Hello, Bright Eyes,” so as to make a patient feel less like a patient and more like a customer.
Alchemy 43’s growth comes at an important time for the cosmetic procedures market and is a continuation of the general trend of untethering beauty services from their traditional environments of salons, spas or dermatologist offices as people seek the comfort and convenience these newer locations provide. Americans spent more than $16 billion on plastic surgery and elective procedures in 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; specifically, nonsurgical procedures accounted for 44 percent, with injectables up 10 percent from 2015.
To ramp up excitement for its expansion, as well as to further educate potential customers, Alchemy 43 rolled out a new influencer program late last month called “Alchemy Agent.” The digital strategy currently includes nine influencers on Instagram located in either Los Angeles or New York City. According to Levy, the brand sought out influencers interested in educating their followers about minimally invasive treatments, compared to those who simply want to receive complimentary lip injections in exchange for a promotional post. To avoid this, the Alchemy 43 is attempting to provide its influencer partners with a sense of autonomy so as not to dictate the conversation around injectables.
“We try to ask a question that will allow them to answer however they want, and it could be [for example] a video on why they love or hate a treatment, or of them getting a treatment,” she said. Additionally, the brand is opening its doors to its influencer partners in the hopes that they will film content, invite friends and make the atmosphere of the business appear friendly, relaxed and inviting.
As the company establishes itself in cities across the United States and through social media, a rollout of its own in-house skin-care line is also in the works, Levy said. The skin-care launch will initially consist of three to four products and will expand over the years to become a bigger lifestyle brand. Because injectables are only performed once every few months, there is a large opportunity for the brand to find additional revenue channels from a single customer. It plans to market its line as a trusted brand to protect the investment that people make when they opt for preventative cosmetic treatments.
“Everything we do is minimally invasive, clinically effective and ritualistic in nature. We will take that approach to our product line.”