SaltyGirl Waves Goodbye To Other Brands To Concentrate On Its Own
SaltyGirl is transitioning from beauty boutique to brand.
Breast cancer survivor Sarah Kelly and her oncology nurse sister Leah Robert are stepping away from the store they launched in 2016 that carries 15 brands, including Josh Rosebrook, Soapwalla, Indie Lee, Ogee, Meow Meow Tweet, Violets Are Blue and Antonym Cosmetics, to focus on their own natural beauty products. They will shutter the SaltyGirl Boutique website when the third-party inventory is sold out to turn their attention to cultivating the SaltyGirl Beauty website and retail distribution.
“It’s really hard to close the SaltyGirl Boutique, which we have been building over the last couple years, and we have a great community following, but, at the same time, we see the growth and the potential of the SaltyGirl Beauty line. That’s why we made the decision, but it doesn’t come without pain,” says Kelly. “Money only goes so far, so when we started looking at projecting and forecasting, where this business will go and where our true passions lie, they’re more in what we are creating.”
Kelly and Robert began dabbling in their own beauty products with salt bar soap as SaltyGirl’s boutique got underway. The soap quickly sold out and the siblings realized they were onto something. However, they didn’t want to complicate matters for customers by releasing convoluted, expensive products. Most of SaltyGirl’s straightforward products range in price from $20 to $28, although there are a few items that are cheaper (soaps are $8) and pricier (foundation is $42).
“Money only goes so far, so when we started looking at projecting and forecasting, where this business will go and where our true passions lie, they’re more in what we are creating.”
“Our target audience is busy career-oriented working moms, and they don’t have a ton of hours in the morning to put on their face,” says Robert. “What’s intriguing about our cosmetic line is that there aren’t so many different products. It’s just the basics that people love and that perform well, which can sometimes be hard with natural, organic ingredients.”
In particular, Kelly was keen on SaltyGirl developing lipstick that didn’t dry out pouts. SaltyGirl sells 11 shades of lipsticks named for women in Kelly’s and Robert’s lives. Bestselling shades are the purplish pink Anna, coral Connie, rose Kate and plum Krissy. The moisture-rich lipstick formulas contain organic mango, cocoa and capuacu butter, jojoba, and avocado and coconut oils.
“During my breast cancer journey, lipstick was the one product I could always turn to that would make me feel feminine and beautiful. I couldn’t really wear much eye makeup,” says Kelly. Robert is a big fan of SaltyGirl’s Multi Stick products. “You can use them on your eyes, lips and cheeks. A lot of women like that because they can pop it into their purse and use it throughout the day,” she says, singling out plum wine Lindsey Multi Stick as the most popular.
“Our target audience is busy career-oriented working moms, and they don’t have a ton of hours in the morning to put on their face. What’s intriguing about our cosmetic line is that there aren’t so many different products. It’s just the basics.”
SaltyGirl delved deeper into bath and body products after it released cosmetics. Its collection features bath salts, scrubs and soaps. So far, scrubs and soaps are the strongest body-care performers. “As we were deciding how to build the brand, we saw that there was a lot happening in body care,” says Kelly. “People are taking a lot of interest in not only their face, but their whole body.”
SaltyGirl is pursuing green beauty boutiques for distribution. Kelly and Robert checked out several during an October road trip from Maine to Georgia. “We are really trying to pound the pavement right now,” says Kelly. This year, SaltyGirl’s goal is to place its beauty products in 20 to 25 retail accounts and reach $100,000 in sales. The brand is currently available in three locations.
Robert and Kelly draw lessons from their experience on the other side of the retail relationship while growing their brand. “Customer service is key, not only to your end user, but to boutique owners,” says Kelly, stressing its crucial to promptly respond to retailer questions and provide cosmetics samples. “Also, being a resource for education to the stores and to consumers is extremely important.”
Kelly and Robert find it’s helpful to meet potential customers and retailers face-to-face. They mention SaltyGirl has done trunk shows at the shop Friends’ Place inside the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. “Being able to talk to people and tell our story is key,” says Kelly. “It’s definitely a process, but we are having really great conversations and getting really great feedback from people. It’s a matter of finding the right home for us.”