Updated: August 20, 2015 with Well+Good Panel details!
When renowned New York City facialist Jillian Wright debuted her natural skin-care line, she wanted a place to showcase it. But she found the typical options, like tradeshows where beauty buyers shop, wanted to put her indie brand in a corner in exchange for a giant check. Instead of watching all the shoppers flock to the megabrands who could afford to market their products front and center, Wright had a bright idea: create her own beauty showcase exclusively for indie brands.
And that’s what the skin-care guru’s done. This August, Wright will unveil the Indie Beauty Expo in Manhattan. It’ll be the first of its kind to get indie brands together under one roof in a major way.
“For me, these brands are beauty rockstars,” says Wright. “They’re run by people who have devoted their lives and careers to natural beauty. And I wanted to create a event that puts them in the spotlight. They’re like the underdogs that win the Olympics.”
And by “indie brand” Wright means those founder-driven beauty companies that lean clean and embody “integrity, passion and spirit, tell a story, and care about ingredients, product purity, efficacy, and artisanship,” she says.
The plan for her day-long event is to hit on all the things she feels these companies need—press and trade exposure during the day, and a total shopping spree for the rest of us in the evening.
“Consumers will get to meet their favorite beauty lines and founders,” she says. Most will be demo-ing, giving lessons and beauty consultations. Wright is expecting about 50 brands, from successful stars on the scene like Kahina, Juara, and Osmia Organics, and many “that you’ve never heard of and are unbelievable and beautiful.” Maybe make room in your medicine cabinet before you attend?
To encourage indie beauty shopping frenzy, all of the beauty brands will be sold at 25 percent off their regular retail price. And your ticket ($59 or $104 for VIP perks) comes with “an amazing gift bag that probably is valued at least double the ticket price,” says Wright, adding that LuliTonix and healthy food will be sold so you can make a night of it.
Well+Good is also going have to big presence at IBE, with a 6:30–7:30 p.m. discussion on the Natural Beauty Explosion: Pioneers Talk Trends, Myths, Facts, Hot Ingredients, and More where you’ll meet indie beauty innovators behind some of the top skin, hair, nail, and makeup brands on the scene:
Gina Carney, founder of RGB (on-trend, non-toxic nail polish)
Adina Grigore, founder SW Basics (affordable skin care made in Brooklyn)
Tata Harper, founder, Tata Harper (luxury, results-oriented skin care)
Fabian Lliguin, co-founder of Rahua (luxe, eco-friendly hair care)
Shirley Pinkson, co-founder of W3LL PEOPLE (eco-chic makeup)
Tracie Martyn, founder Tracie Martyn Spa and skin care (spa beauty)
Well+Good co-founder and natural beauty guru Melisse Gelula (hi!) will moderate the discussion about myths and facts, beauty tips and how-tos, and the trending ingredients everyone’s obsessed with, followed by a Q&A. (Book here and bring your questions!)
“This type of event has never existed before,” says Wright, who plans to exhibit her own line as well. “Indie brands deserve way more of the spotlight, and newcomers are joining the landscape every day,” she notes. “These brands are the next big the thing in beauty. I feel like people are really going to discover new products and brands they love.” —Melisse Gelula
The Indie Beauty Expo, Thursday, August 27, 2015, The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St., Chelsea; retail shopping event and panel 5:00–8:00 p.m., www.indiebeautyexpo.com
(Photos: Melisse Gelula for Well+Good, Katrina Eugenia)