Wake Up To Beauty Arrives On The Scene As A Niche Beauty Umbrella Company For Budding Brands
Led by Celeste Bernabe and David Rosenblatt, former general manager for North America at Moroccanoil, the emerging beauty industry player aims to assemble a portfolio of three to five brands it can transform from underperforming gems to formidable powerhouses. Next year, Wake Up To Beauty is projecting its current lineup of two brands will generate $5 million to $10 million in sales.
“We want to acquire and build niche brands that are disruptive and fill a need in the marketplace or make people think in a different way,” says Bernabe, previously a product development consultant and hairstylist. “We will look at the various categories in beauty — body care, skincare, makeup and haircare — for opportunities to fit under our umbrella.”
Since it acquired Level Naturals and Das Boom Industries for undisclosed amounts, Wake Up To Beauty has been restructuring the brands and bringing them up to speed to handle customer growth. The Southern California company is moving into a 7,500-square-foot facility in Orange County, where it will produce goods in-house and scale manufacturing to meet demand.
“I am interested in a clean, green lifestyle for myself and my family, and I identified with the transparency of Level Naturals. The manufacturing side is fairly new to me, but I love that we make everything, and it’s all done by hand in small batches,” says Bernabe. “That’s the core of the brand, and I really want to bring that story to light.”
Launched in 2009, Level Naturals presently offers six products priced from $8 to $20: soap, bath bomb, shower bomb, body polish, soy candle, and room and body mist. Wake Up To Beauty is reintroducing the brand’s body polish in a clear bottle to allow customers to peek inside at its contents. On tap for Level Naturals is a clay mask that will premiere within six to eight weeks on the brand’s website. Going forward, Wake Up To Beauty plans to release a product about once a quarter.
Bath bombs are Level Naturals’ biggest business driver. “Bath bombs are big right now, and we have natural bombs that may not turn your bath bright blue or bright pink, but have ingredients that are better for your body,” says Bernabe. “You still have the benefits of bath bombs, but you’re not sitting in synthetic fragrances.”
Bernabe underscores Level Naturals has widespread appeal to women and men seeking natural products for themselves and their children. “It’s price point is geared to everyday consumers,” says Bernabe. “The brand was really designed for everybody to be able to make use of natural products.”
Priced slightly higher than Level Naturals at $12 to $24, Das Boom Industries’ products include a wash, scrub, conditioner, shampoo, comb and lotion. The four-year-old brand is centered around destination-inspired scents. The scent offerings transport customers, who Bernabe describes as discerning male shoppers, to Denali, Kyoto, Detroit, Marrakesh, Bourbon County and the West Indies. The West Indies fragrance is the bestseller.
Das Boom Industries and Level Naturals are focused on e-commerce at the moment, but Wake Up To Beauty has grander distribution aspirations for them. “When Level Naturals first started, it fit into natural grocers and natural stores online for the person that was more hippie, but natural products are more mainstream today, and more and more people are looking for clean products,” says Bernabe. “With the likes of Target, Sephora and Ulta housing a lot more natural products, I think we have a bigger opportunity to get into more places. We’ve been streamlining the manufacturing to reach a broad audience.”
Wake Up To Beauty’s 15 employees juggle many responsibilities as they shore up Level Naturals and Das Boom Industries for expansion. “I’m in the factory making sure all of our production is running smoothly, and I’m doing product development and sales. I wear a lot of hats. That is exciting, but it’s also a bit of a circus,” laughs Bernabe. The company is self-funded, but she continues, “We want to always control everything that goes into the products and grow in a healthy way, and we are looking for the right partners to come alongside us and build the brands.”