Five years ago, health and beauty expert Jeannie Jarnot began her quest to make clean beauty the rule rather than the exception. Her mission was to help consumers find beauty they can trust one “hero” at a time through a monthly subscription box and e-commerce.
Now she is bringing the intentional and focused experience to a retail environment with the opening of a two-story 1,200-square-foot flagship in Novato, CA, that has been designed to bring the online sense of approachability to a tranquil physical experience for beauty lovers to find and fall in love with environmentally friendly products.
The location will feature the same online brands that are available within the Beauty Heroes Discovery subscription boxes, as well as a dedicated zero-waste product section. The physical store also has a unique “Flight of Heroes” beauty concierge service where customers are able to experience a curated collection of products while shopping the celebrated Hero collection.
What was the impetus to take the subscription box into a physical retail setting?
I really resisted the idea of opening a brick and mortar. Coming from a background in spa and hospitality, I know just how much energy goes into running a day-to-day operation. Despite my hesitation, I kept getting asked to open a store, and some really trusted people around me encouraged me to do it. They felt that having the opportunity to interact with me, and with the brand’s values offline, would be a refreshing take on beauty. After I opened myself up to the idea of opening a physical store, I happened upon a location that I instinctually felt was perfect. I decided at that moment to start making my plans to open the store seriously. So far, in the short amount of time that we’ve been open, it’s felt like the right move. I have no regrets.
Why open in Novato rather than a larger city? Are their plans for expansion?
Just as I saw a need for a new way of discovering truly healthy beauty with our monthly beauty subscription, I felt a need to offer a service within my own community. I’m from Novato, CA, and I know from experience that a Beauty Heroes-type store didn’t exist. I wanted to test the concept close to home and see how it resonated before deciding if expansion is in the cards.
In terms of expansion, never say never, but I just don’t see us opening up in locations where there is already a strong clean beauty presence. Our concept is so unique, I’d want to keep it niche. However, I am open to expanding in a direction that makes good business sense and will also grow our ability to be a company that works towards being a stronger advocate for the environment. If expanding means we can contribute more to environmental initiatives, I’m all for it!
What does it take for a brand to make the Beauty Heroes cut? What do you look for?
The first thing I do is scan the ingredient lists. If the brand uses an ingredient we don’t support at Beauty Heroes, I just move on—I’m very strict about that. Once the ingredients list passes, I take a closer look at the brand. First and foremost, there needs to be a unique formula; the product needs to deliver on its promise. Beyond that I am looking at how their ingredients are sourced—are they organic and sustainably sourced. You can really get a feel for the intention of the founder through the ingredient list. Then, I consider the sustainability of the packaging and any green initiatives of the brand. I call this vetting process “Blue Beauty” because outside of using clean ingredients, I’m also concerned about the brand’s responsibility to the planet. By asking questions about how they are putting the environment first, I am encouraging brands to really think about their impact and how we can all use our businesses for good. Lastly, I am also a big believer in making sure that the brand’s distribution is in alignment with ours. So I talk to each brand about their current and future distribution plans and I make sure that we aren’t carrying the same products as, say, the Whole Foods around the corner.
What makes a brand successful on the Beauty Heroes platform?
I would say that that the quality of ingredients along with sustainable and luxurious packaging is a winning combination. Our customers are very savvy, and they can feel the quality of a product. If they feel that a product is high quality, they will come back and repurchase it after discovering the brand through our service. We want to introduce customers to what might become THEIR Hero product, and once we do, we want to continue to service them, for years and years to come.
What sort of activation will happen in the retail store?
Beauty Heroes was designed intentionally to be a discovery space, with engagement in mind.
My favorite activation is our “Flight of Heroes” where we create mini rituals of brands and products so you can sit down and, not unlike a wine tasting, test a flight of our Hero products. It’s a great way to compare different versions of products, side by side, and see which one feels like what you are looking for specifically.
In the spirit of discovery, we have a charming and luxurious treatment suite in the store where we offer Skin Services including 5 holistic facials. Our Hero Worship facial is basically my dream facial that employs a back bar of all of my Hero products that can be mixed and matched to customize the perfect facial for each unique client. This facial will include products you can’t find on a spa back bar anywhere. In addition, we are opening with exclusive brand facials from Josh Rosebrook, Honua Skincare, Ayuna, and LILFOX. I worked on these protocols with each brand founder and they are truly unique and exclusive to Beauty Heroes.
We’ll have brands in-store often engaging with customers and offering mini-services. We’re also offering makeup application services in the store with our green makeup artist, Carolina. It’s worth mentioning that we have a lovely lounge in the store that is intended to host content creators, influencers, and small group events. We call it our Broadcast Lounge. I’ve already had several people ask me if they can bring small groups into the store to experience the Flight of Heroes and chill in the lounge. It’s a very versatile space, so I am sure as we go along, we will be finding more ways to enjoy it!
Additionally, we will be scheduling 1-2 larger events in-store monthly focused on education, discovery, and sustainability. We’ll be talking about everything from zero-waste beauty and lifestyle to self-care with auto-immune deficiencies, master classes with founders, and more. The two-story Flagship in Novato aims to offer a tranquil experience for beauty lovers to find and fall in love with environmentally friendly products. The retail store will feature the same online brands that are available within the Beauty Heroes Discovery subscription boxes, including but not limited to Agent Natuer, Innersense Organic Beauty, and Ranavat Botanics, as well as a dedicated zero-waste product section. The physical store also boasts a one-of-a-kind “Flight of Heroes” beauty concierge service where customers are able to experience a curated collection of products while shopping the celebrated Hero collection.
Photo: via Beauty Heros