At Urban Pearl Collective, Clean Beauty Shoppers Can Get It All (Or They Will Be Able To Soon)
At Urban Pearl Collective, a shopper can pick up a biodegradable yoga mat, matcha whisk, blue light-blocking glasses, dry shampoo, eye shadow, serum, silk pillow and smudge sticks.
Founded by Marguerite Gray Buer, the new e-tailer’s concept is to span the spectrum of clean beauty across the skincare, makeup, haircare, bath and body, wellness, ingestible and home categories to provide time-pressed people a single resource for their complete better-for-you product needs. Urban Pearl Collective has rushed out of the gate with 27 brands, including Flynn & King, Aether, BYBI Beauty, Hum Nutrition, Rahua, Prim Botanicals, Rose Dose, Lady Suite, Kaia Naturals and Wyld Skincare.
“I wanted to create a space that’s a haven for women like me who are searching for a large selection of effective skincare, makeup, wellness and lifestyle products screened for clean ingredients and ethical manufacturing,” says Gray Buer. “We have a mix of established and emerging brands to curate a collection that’s different from large stores and showcase exciting up-and-coming products in the industry.”
Gray Buer isn’t stopping with Urban Pearl Collective’s current assortment. Next year, she’s set to grow its color cosmetics, feminine care, oral care and home merchandise stocks. Regardless of the category, Gray Buer aims for mid-range price points to make Urban Pearl Collective’s offerings as accessible as possible in a clean beauty segment that can be pricey.
“I wanted to create a space that’s a haven for women like me who are searching for a large selection of effective skincare, makeup, wellness and lifestyle products screened for clean ingredients and ethical manufacturing.”
Urban Pearl Collective’s target customer is a woman aged 23- to 45-years-old interested in clean beauty, but not able to spare minutes to thoroughly study products and ingredients. “Our customer is a girl on the go, which is why we like to say, ‘We do all the dirty work for you, so you don’t have to research all the ingredients,’” says Gray Buer. “She really cares about wellness and wants to take control of her wellbeing. Basically, it’s me.”
Gray Buer’s dive into clean beauty originated with a personal revelation rather than a professional objective. Around 15 years ago, people she knew were being diagnosed with cancer at rates that seemed far too high to her. Gray Buer, 34, who formerly worked in fashion public relations and for her family’s HVAC company, began changing her habits to become healthier and try to stave off the disease. She improved her diet, revved up her exercise routine and, lastly, revamped her beauty regimen. She turned away from prescription acne medication, turned to natural alternatives, and experienced positive results.
Urban Pearl Collective’s selection is filled with brands and products Gray Buer has used frequently since she switched to clean beauty. She’s also scouting the market for rising stars and nabbed Undefined Beauty after spotting it at Indie Beauty Expo New York in August. Before Gray Buer approves a brand for Urban Pearl Collective, she ensures its ingredient deck excludes more than 24 ingredients contained on the e-commerce website’s list of banned ingredients such as synthetic fragrance, phenoxyethanol, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates and nanoparticles.
“I like to find out the story of how the brand started, what inspired the person to create the brand, what their goals and mission are, and why they started staying away from certain ingredients. That gives us an idea of whether someone would be a good fit for us.”
“I like to find out the story of how the brand started, what inspired the person to create the brand, what their goals and mission are, and why they started staying away from certain ingredients. That gives us an idea of whether someone would be a good fit for us,” says Gray Buer, adding, “I want to know where the brand is manufactured and where the ingredients are sourced. Most people are really open because they understand what our goals are.”
Since Urban Pearl Collective went live in September, skincare and inner beauty are its bestselling categories. Meow Meow Tweet, Four Sigmatic, Suntegrity and Salt by Hendrix are among the brands that have swiftly gathered steam. Customers are shopping across categories and, for example, pairing an inner beauty product with an outer beauty item or snapping up smudge sticks to go with their facial oil or body cream.
Raleigh-based Urban Pearl Collective popped up in Charlotte the month it launched and is planning to continue running pop-ups to get the word out about its business. Over the next few months, influencer campaigns will roll out to get the word out as well. On top of the pop-ups and influencer campaigns, a blog is expected to be introduced soon to bring the content piece to Urban Pearl Collective’s commerce endeavor.
“I think that everybody in the industry spreading the knowledge and being like, ‘You guys, this is what’s in this product and that’s in this other product,’ would build great awareness. For a lot of women, it’s not that they don’t care about what they’re putting on their faces, it’s that they just don’t know about it. I would love to see existing brands not focused on clean beauty coming up with cleaner options for people, too,” says Gray Buer. “I would love to see clean beauty be the new normal in the industry.”