Ex-Estée Lauder Exec’s New Gen Alpha Brand Gryme Joins The Conversation About The Right Products For Kids’ Skin

At Estée Lauder, where Sabrina Yavil helped direct global marketing and strategy for a decade, identifying gaps in the beauty industry with unsatisfied consumer demand was integral to her job. It was outside of the office, though, where the mom of three sons spotted the gap that would lead her to start Gryme, a new gen alpha boy brand.

Concerned about ingredients, Yavil purchased products billed as clean from The Honest Co. during her kids’ baby and toddler years. However, once they were older—they’re 6, 8 and 10 now—she noticed those products didn’t suit their sensibilities, but her ingredient concerns didn’t disappear. She wasn’t jazzed about them putting just any drugstore product on their skin. Yavil created Gryme with a focus on products for developing skin to address parents’ concerns and design tailored to kids’ tastes. Its slogan is, “All Rad. Zero Bad.”

“There’s a big gap between baby and the next thing being acne and adult,” she says. “There are a million brands vying for that newborn and toddler market, and they can have it. I don’t need to compete with J&J and Honest, but as soon as kids are six, especially if they have siblings, they are ready to move on to something else, and that’s when I would love to get them.”

Gryme is entering the market centered on a single hero product: $15.99 Body + Face Wash. It contains natural ingredients (aloe, glycerin and willow bark, for example) tested to be nonallergenic and vetted by pediatricians to be safe for kids’ skin. It’s multipurpose for boys who don’t have lengthy personal maintenance routines.

Gen alpha boy brand Gryme has launched with $15.99 Body + Face Wash. Tested by pediatricians to be safe for kids’ skin, the product is formulated with natural ingredients and avoids allergens. Syavil

“My kids don’t want to wash their face, but, if it’s a body wash, it may make it to their face, and the body wash has hydrating properties so they won’t need a lotion because that’s another step they won’t do,” says Yavil. “Compliance is an issue. I’m trying to go with kids’ behavior and not against it.”

Yavil began the process of building Gryme in January last year and had planned for Gryme to launch with three to five products, but a hiccup with an independent formulator—the product recipes the formulator cooked up proved to be too costly for manufacturing—set the brand back six months. Despite having fewer products, Yavil decided to unleash Gryme due to the current intense interest in gen alpha’s product habits and the attention parents are paying to find products meant for them.

“There hasn’t been enough leadership and guidance about what kids should be using. What’s safe and appropriate for them?”

“It’s great that there’s a higher consciousness among parents of, wait a minute, what should they be using?” she says. “What’s missing is real education and leadership. These parents want to do the right thing with their kids. They need support, and there hasn’t been enough leadership and guidance about what kids should be using. What’s safe and appropriate for them? That’s the conversation I want to be having.”

Yavil believes that conversation could convince parents to consider an alternative to the standard mass-market fare they’ve been picking up for their households. She built Gryme to be that alternative, but understands it has to compete on price and performance with the expectations that standard mass-market fare has established. She anticipates all Gryme products will be under $20.

Gryme founder Sabrina Yavil

At a time in which scent is a huge factor shaping personal care choices, Yavil sought to construct a fragrance blend that would be nonirritating, and Gryme’s Body + Face Wash features a light scent with coconut, raspberry and cantaloupe extracts normally in food. Its formula lathers without depending on synthetic surfactants.

“Clean and natural sounds great, but if it doesn’t perform, people won’t repeat purchase, and performance was really important because kids get dirty, stinky, sweaty and oily,” says Yavil. “Not only are your typical drugstore products cheap, they are effective, so if I want someone who wants something better for their kids, it has to work well.”

“I want to make good ingredients and better products available to more people.”

It has to look enticing, too. Inspired by grunge and brands popular in her 1980s- and 1990s-era youth, Yavil enlisted Jimbo Phillips, whose father Jim Phillips handled Santa Cruz Skateboards’ graphics, for the design. “I wanted something that was very cool like Vans, but wholesome,” she says. “You can have a 4-year-old girl wearing Vans, and you can have a 22-year-old guy wearing it. It’s appropriate for everyone, and the 22-year-old thinks it’s cool even if a 4-year-old is wearing it.”

As kids grow up, she adds the goal for Gryme is that “they don’t feel they need to graduate from it. It’s not embarrassing if they’re 15 or 16. It’s not silly, raunchy or immature.”

Gryme is starting out in direct-to-consumer distribution and Amazon will follow shortly. In the future, its goal is to be carried by retailers that parents frequent such as Whole Foods, Target and Costco. Syavil

Out of the gate, Gryme is selling in direct-to-consumer distribution. Yavil plans for it to be available on Amazon shortly as well as at local stores around her home base of San Francisco. Eventually, she envisions it carried by retailers shopped by parents the likes of Whole Foods, Target and Costco. While Gryme has to speak to boys, Yavil points out their parents are the ones forking over money for products, and the brand strives to reach them in the communications and distribution channels they frequent.

Gryme is securing partnerships with about a dozen mom influencers, and collaborations with mission-driven brands are on the horizon, too. “Moms don’t trust brands, they trust other moms,” says Yavil. “I think it’s most valuable for them to hear from other moms or mom influencers posting their honest opinions.”

Yavil is certainly not alone in detecting there’s a gap in the market for kids’ brands. Preceding Gryme, Stryke ClubYoung King, JB Scrub and Miles are a few of the brands that have launched aimed at boys and their parents. Yavil views the increase in the number of brands as beneficial to amping up the spotlight on the basics of kids’ skin and skincare.

“It’s still a really niche market. The majority of parents buy drugstore stuff,” she says. “The biggest opportunity for awareness is that the drugstore stuff you are using for your family isn’t formulated for developing young skin, and kids need their own stuff. I want to make good ingredients and better products available to more people.”