In Brands, Finance

Summer Fridays, the indie influencer brand that took Sephora by storm last year, has received investment from Prelude Growth Partners.

WHO: Summer Fridays was launched in 2018 by influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores Ireland in 2018 with one hero product, Jet Lag Mask, a Sephora exclusive. The brand has added two additional masks to the range, Overtime Mask and R+R Mask, as well as distribution partners Cult Beauty, Selfridges, and Mecca.

Prelude Growth Partners was formed in 2018 by Alicia Sontag and Neda Daneshzadeh to invest in consumer companies. Sontag was formerly Global President of Beauty at Johnson & Johnson and had spent more than a decade at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., while Daneshzadeh was a partner at L Catterton. Prelude makes growth capital and value-added operating support to fast-growing, high-potential consumer brands. The firm looks to make investments of $5 million to $15 million in companies across branded consumer categories such as beauty, personal care, health & wellness, food, beverage, and pet, among others. Their portfolio includes 8 Greens and Westman Atelier.

WHY: The capital is earmarked to build out the company’s team, new product development, expand international expansion, and expand marketing efforts.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “There’s been magic in building something using a nontraditional roadmap,” Gores said to WWD. “Marianna and I obviously don’t come from traditional beauty backgrounds, so we wanted partners who could guide us in those areas that we’re really unfamiliar with, while also pushing us to maintain our approach in using our intuition [and] using our ability to really ask our community what they want from the brand.”

“We were so fortunate to be able to launch with Sephora before we had even launched the brand, but the moment you go into such a large retailer you have to function like a large company very quickly,” Hewitt said to WWD. As a not-so-large company, she and Gores would call on Prelude for guidance, and eventually decided to take an investment in order to capitalize on the brand’s momentum.

DETAILS: 

  • Summer Friday receives investment from Prelude Growth Partners.
  • Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
  • According to WWD, the business is on track to do $20 million in retail sales for 2019.

Photo: via Summer Fridays

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