Ebb & Flow Brings A Chill, Boho Vibe To The Bright And Instagrammable Riley Rose
To those dubious about the power of crystals, Ebb & Flow’s success might make you reconsider your view.
“My attraction to it was completely involuntary. I was at an art festival, and we went into the crystals tent. I was skeptical about the whole thing. I had never been around anything like that. I was looking at a super shiny rock, and my hand picked up a piece of quartz,” says Ty Bramwell, founder of the apothecary brand. “I just knew that I needed it, and that was what started it all. It wasn’t something I thought about. It just happened, and I needed to share it.”
Sharing it meant launching a crystal-centered jewelry line called Gypsy Concentrate in 2014 that quickly evolved into Ebb & Flow, which branched out from jewelry to beauty with crystal-infused essential oil mists. Two years later, Free People ordered the brand and, last year, Forever 21 brought it on board. Riley Rose came soon after. Ebb & Flow’s sales have been increasing about 30% annually and, for 2018, Brawell forecasts they could rise as much as 100%.
“Riley Rose is a huge part of the growth,” says Bramwell. “We are so earth-toned and natural, but I love the pink thing and that we fit with it. It’s an oddly beautiful family they have created. Every time I see a new brand that they pick up, I’m so impressed with their buyers and how they push the envelope, and it’s crazy that we’re doing well within the amazing curation they have.”
Ebb & Flow has become Riley Rose’s go-to Boho beauty brand. Bramwell doesn’t mind the tag in the least. Befitting the name of her brand, she admits to being “flowy.” She regularly wears loose organic hemp clothing or a comfortable combination of yoga pants, socks and Birkenstocks. “We kind of laugh about it in a stoked way,” says Bramwell of the Boho descriptor. “I’m willing to take that position, and I think I’m a decent representation of that position.”
The brand represents Boho by not being overly polished in its products or with its packaging. “Starting before the natural beauty trend hit, I needed to explain to people that oil can sit on top of water, and that’s fine for a product. It doesn’t have to be perfect,” says Bramwell, adding, “The craft labels were a stance by me against not layering plastic on top of plastic. A lot of companies drop them because they’re not oil-proof, so your product might not look brand new in the medicine cabinet, but it gives the products character.”
A lot of companies have dropped Etsy, too, as they’ve matured, but Bramwell has opted to keep Ebb & Flow on the platform. “Everybody closes their Etsy shop, and that was something I didn’t want to do. I’m not embarrassed by it. We are still the same people. I look at it as absolutely no hindrance to our business, and any sales that come through it are sales I wouldn’t gotten on our website,” she says. Bramwell notes Ebb & Flow works with Etsy’s wholesale marketplace and winds up at retailers as a result of its involvement with the marketplace.
Ebb & Flow hasn’t chased big retail accounts. Free People came calling early on when the brand was only on Esty. The retailer placed Ebb & Flow within its festival season selection. “It was a confirmation that it was good enough to be on a global stage,” says Bramwell. “It gave me the confidence to create more and the freedom to know it would be accepted.” Today, she’s concentrating on building Ebb & Flow’s business in its existing stores rather than ballooning its retail network. Outside of Riley Rose, Forever 21 and Free People, the brand is available at around 80 boutique doors across the country.
Bramwell is planning to fine-tune Ebb & Flow’s product lineup. It contains about 50 products priced predominantly between $6 and $36. She expects to cut roughly eight items that are underperforming and introduce eight alternative products to fill gaps in the assortment. Goddess Dust, a rose gold body powder, was the initial product Free People stocked and is a perennial bestseller at Ebb & Flow.
“We do everything in-house. It’s about to the point where it’s too much to make,” says Bramwell, “but, if we stay at the 50-product mark, we can handle it no matter what comes up.”
Peering into the future, she imagines setting up a sizable production facility to support Ebb & Flow’s continued sales expansion and opening a store. “We have so many products that we could fill up a store, but I also would like to curate products from all my friends who have amazing businesses,” says Bramwell. “We could have an epic store.” Of course, it will showcase its fair share of crystals and perhaps Bramwell’s tent encounter will be replicated by a curious visitor to the Ebb & Flow shop.