Present Life, A New Beauty And Wellness Company Led By Ex-Coty Execs, Launches Loum Beauty Of Calm To Combat The Effects Of Stress
There’s a new brand incubator and acquirer on the beauty and wellness scene.
Present Life is revealing its presence today timed with the launch of its second in-house brand, stress effects buster Loum Beauty of Calm. Loum joins Healist, a CBD ingestible and personal care specialist that debuted stateside in April, and One Ocean Beauty, the skincare and supplement line founded by beauty industry veteran Marcella Cacci picked up via a purchase, in Present Life’s portfolio.
Present Life’s brand proliferation is supported by $20 million in funding from London venture capital firm The Craftory, a backer of Pharmapacks, TomboyX, Dropps and Ruby Love. Its focus is on birthing and buying brands with clean and sustainable positioning spanning various price points and retail channels, from mass to luxury.
Loum sits squarely in the prestige category. It’s premiering with a collection of nine products priced from $30 to $90, including eight skincare items and an essential oil roller. The brand partnered with psychodermatologist Francisco Tausk to design formulations to combat the impacts of stress on the skin. The formulations are 97% to 99% natural.
“For 30 years, psychodermatologists have been exploring the link between the mind and the skin,” says Kat Bryce, global brand VP at Loum. “What you find is that stress and skin are hardwired because, embryonically, they come from the very same cell. So, our skin is the organ of our body most affected by stress. We researched which ingredients dial down the effects of stress across the pathways in skin.”
Loum’s three key ingredients—inflammation fighter micro algae, oiliness opponent broad-spectrum CBD and stress reliever wild indigo extract—constitute its patent-pending Tri-serene Complex. “What we’re doing is dialing down and reversing the effects of stress across those pathways in the skin, so you get a completely holistic solution that’s happening far beyond what’s in the market in terms of what stress is doing to your skin,” says Bryce. “It is the first complete antidote to the effects of stress on skin.”
Loum’s products are available on its e-commerce website, but retail is in the brand’s distribution strategy. Present Life has omnichannel aspirations for all brands in its stable. “For Loum, I would love those retailers that drive strong, clean credentials that we could really partner with to be able to tell the story,” says Michael Bryce, global CMO and co-founder of Present Life. He names Follain, Credo, The Detox Market and Shen Beauty as retailers on the distribution wish list for Loum.
“It is the first complete antidote to the effects of stress on skin.”
Bryce met Present Life’s executive chairman Camillo Pane at Coty. Pane, formerly CEO of Coty, departed the beauty conglomerate in 2018. Bryce was previously Coty’s global CMO for color cosmetics. Though Bryce spent most of his career at multinational corporations—he was at Unilever and RB prior to Coty—he felt hamstrung by huge organizations’ lack of nimbleness.
“When you’re in big corporations, you always need to compromise,” he says. “You always had to, say, share formulations across brands in order to drive efficiency and keep costs down. Whenever there’s packaging changes you need to make, you can’t because you have to amortize molds over three years. Everything moves at a snail’s pace and through silos, and I kept seeing us be lapped by agile players.”
The Craftory approached Pane and Bryce to start Present Life with a mandate to foster purpose-driven brands, and they welcomed the opportunity. “When you start out with that point, it gives you the muscle to say no and not to compromise,” says Bryce. “And we’ve had a lot of challenges. For instance, on Healist, we’re using ocean-waste plastic packaging. It’s double the cost of virgin plastic, more than double, in some cases. I wouldn’t have been able to take that risk in bigger companies, and it’s a tough business decision, but it’s the right to do. We’re able to make calls like that because of who we have as investors.”
Bryce is stationed in the United States and Pane in the United Kingdom. The rest of the Present Life team is made up of people with both startup and corporate track records. The company believes the diversity in the professional backgrounds of its staff is advantageous. Pane says, “The hybrid skills of our team sets us apart from large corporates and smaller startups, allowing us to first create with agility and speed and, then, scale rapidly and profitably.”
The Craftory is Present Life’s controlling shareholder. Present Life is putting the funds from it toward product and brand development, and customer acquisition. Founded in 2018, The Craftory typically invests in digitally-native consumer goods companies with sales advancing at least at a 30% annual clip and a minimum of $10 million in revenues.
“At The Craftory, we look for experienced partners that challenge status quo and pave the way for cutting-edge brands to transform their respective categories,” says The Craftory co-founder Elio Leoni Sceti. “As a unique startup-corporation hybrid, Present Life has the optimum mix between the brand building capabilities and discipline of a consumer good company and the agility of a startup. We see Present Life as the home of the next generation of fearless and authentic consumer wellness and beauty brands.”