Who Wants A Slice Of Moon Juice? The Leading Wellness And Beauty Brand Prepares To Fundraise
Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon revealed Tuesday during the entrepreneurial education conference BeautyX Summit Demand Generation that her beauty and wellness brand will be fundraising this year.
The forthcoming round will undoubtedly be substantially larger than the $7 million Bacon told Entrepreneur Moon Juice has drawn to date. The founder also informed the publication she took out a moderate loan to support the brand before it pursued another raise, which she anticipated would occur when it reached $50 million in annual sales. In 2018, the Entrepreneur article reported Moon Juice hit $20 million in annual sales.
Could Moon Juice replicate the big exits of Tatcha and Drunk Elephant, fellow Sephora brands that were acquired by Unilever for $500 million and Shiseido for $845 million, respectively? At BeautyX held in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Grand, Bacon didn’t broadcast her ultimate aspirations. “Who knows what the future will bring,” she said. “What I’ve learned in the last decade is to not pretend to know where anything is going to wind up.”
Moon Juice has certainly come a long way from the juice bar it opened in the Venice neighborhood of LA in 2012. It’s diversified an assortment recognized for adaptogenic supplement blends such as Beauty Dust, Sex Dust and SuperYou with a skincare line, and built a wholesale network encompassing the retailers Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Sephora. Bacon spends much of her time traveling to Moon Juice’s various retail partners to educate them about its products. In 2017, Moon Juice fortified its management ranks by appointing Elizabeth Ashmun, former CMO at Murad, as president, and Laura Schaff, previously SVP of operations at Murad, as COO and CFO.
Moon Juice has benefitted from beauty retailers’ rising interest in wellness, an interest that Bacon doesn’t see slowing down. Prognosticating about where wellness is headed, Bacon envisions a merging of aspects she described as “woo-woo,” giving crystals and sage as examples, with allopathic medicine. She says, “What Western medicine offers in diagnostics should never be ignored, and we should go deeper and deeper and deeper into that [while thinking about] what the mind-body connection has to offer, and paying respect to where we’ve come from as humans and what has worked for thousands of years within the earth, within the body.”
As woo-woo wellness and Western medicine merge, Bacon predicts people will increasingly become advocates for their health. She explained that advocacy means “going to that really sterile hospital building to get your blood, to get your hormone panels, to get your gut checked, and have all of that looked at. And, then, taking that information and coming over here to the place where maybe they don’t fully believe in that yet.” She continued, “That takes your own work, your own education, and not handing that over to someone, really trusting yourself.”
Bacon’s prescient and practical nuggets didn’t stop with wellness forecasting. Here are additional topics she touched on at BeautyX, including why bad press can end up being the best thing to happen to a brand.
Get In Front Of Customers
“Truly, I owe a lot of the success that we’ve had, and where we are now, to just being [in the store] day in and day out, and speaking to people one by one, and really having that personal relationship…There is something to 16 hours a day speaking to hundreds of people, and I did that for hundreds of days. You start to do the math and then you go, ‘Well, they’re going to go influence their group of 20 people.’ And, with the right location, I was able to make a deeper impact than I would’ve been able to DTC or doing an Instagram Live.”
Negative Attention Can Be An Asset
In 2016, an interview Bacon did with Elle, which detailed what she eats in a day, went viral. The internet response wasn’t exactly positive, but the exposure boosted Moon Juice’s sales tremendously. “Any attention is good attention, or at least that negative attention served us,” says Bacon. “Numbers went through the roof. So, that certainly helped push me in a certain direction when relating to it. I was like. ‘Well, OK, this personally could be very uncomfortable if I read everything and went fully into it.’ But, at the same time, I see all of this traffic, I see all of the orders that came through. It took us two months to catch up with boxing up all of these orders, shipping out to new states, to new demographics. It was incredible, and that was encouraging. If we had seen the numbers go in the opposite direction, I wouldn’t be sitting here today feeling confident about it.”
Focus On Internal Education
“Team education is one of the most important things that you can do…That really is diving deep into each ingredient, into our sourcing, into how this works in the body, into why you want to continue to use this. Getting our staff on board with that—and that’s not just customer service and customer-facing—it’s really the entire company, building that culture.”
Hire People Who Are Strong At Your Weaknesses
“You will attract the right type of people if you can say, especially as a founder, ‘I’m not good at this stuff over here, and I want to trust you to do that, and I want to work with you, I want to empower you and to support you to be really good at what you’re doing.’ I’ve worked for people where they don’t want to give up any control, and it’s not fun. If you’re good at what you do, you don’t want to work for somebody who is going to be micromanaging you and can’t let go. Early on, learn to let go, learn to love help.”
Carefully Tend To Retail Partners
“With larger partnerships, make sure that you allocate enough time and energy for them. Think about a couple of partnerships that are important to you—or even just one partnership that’s important to you—and give them all that you have to give. And, as you grow and you have more to give, then entertain taking on another partnership. But don’t go out and have so many partners and kind of half-ass it with everyone. You really want to think about sell-through, not sell-in.”