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After a seven-year career at Goldman Sachs, Nancy Twine decided to try to make a company out of the curly-hair products she’d made for herself for years. So she presented her products at a trade show, received her first round of purchase orders from companies like Urban Outfitters, and six months later, Sephora called.
“I know how discerning the merchant team is at Sephora, and having their buy-in to my wild idea really meant a lot to me,” said Twine. “I knew that this was my big opportunity and I had to go for it.”
Now, six years after launching her clean hair-care brand, Briogeo, Twine is taking on new challenges, like expanding into new categories and finding offline ways to engage directly with her customer.
On this week’s episode of The Glossy Beauty Podcast, beauty editor Priya Rao sits down with Briogeo founder and CEO Nancy Twine to discuss how she’s cultivating a diverse consumer base, educating her customer on product price points and making a play for wellness. Edited highlights below.
Cultivating diversity in your audience
“One of the challenging things about being a brand that works with retailers is that we don’t get all the data. I would love to have all our data from Sephora, trust me. So it’s hard to give exact [numbers on diversity], but based upon social media and how the client is interacting with us, it’s very diverse across nationalities and hair textures. That’s something that excites me, because oftentimes, hair-care brands really only speak to one or two types, and when they try to branch out, it doesn’t feel as authentic. For us, it’s a balance when we think about our visuals and campaigns, and really being thoughtful about that.”
Moving into tangential categories
“In January, we launched B. Well, which stands for Briogeo Wellness. Before I even officially started Briogeo, I knew, based on research and my own personal lifestyle, that clean and a healthy way of thinking extends beyond hair, and I love this wellness movement. How cool is it that self-care can be a trend? I felt like this category was the perfect way for Briogeo to tell a bigger story of how we think about ingredients and a wellness lifestyle.”
Creating price transparency
“Historically, most people would buy castor oil in mass on Amazon, but it’s important to note that not all oils are one in the same. There’s different purity levels based on how it’s extracted and farmed. So we put a lot of thought into where we’re sourcing our oils. For example, our castor oil is sourced from India, and we actually partner with the only farm that works with an organization called Fair for Life, which ensures all of the workers are making fair wages, and reinvests 10% of the proceeds back into the local communities and lets those communities vote to decide how the funds are allocated. They also use a very unique cold-press extraction method that temperature-controls the pressure part of the process. I can go on and on, but that’s just a glimpse into how thoughtful we have been for each of these products, and why it matters. You do pay a premium — our castor oil is $26, and we see people responding to our ads saying they can buy it for $4 — but there’s a lot more to it than people know.”
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