In my prior life as an investment banker, I was doing a lot of work for beauty companies who focused on pushing products rather than helping consumers do what’s right for their skin. I also felt personally that looking after my skin was increasingly confusing, expensive, and time consuming. After assessing my network on their own frustrations, I knew there had to be a better way. Access to professional skincare services and knowing how to look after your skin with the right products should be available to everyone, especially given the cumulative benefits of great skincare. Consumers want, and need, a much better option than what currently exists. So, we're setting out to change that.
Founders: Adam Ross and Michael Pollak
Founded: June 2015
2023 Full Year Expected Revenue Range: $30 to $50MM (estimated by industry experts)
Categories: Spa Services, Skincare, Retailer
Funding Rounds: Venture Capital
Total Funds Raised: $43MM
In November 2017, Heyday raised $3 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
In November 2018, Heyday closed a Series A funding round raising $8 million in capital. The round was led by Fifth Wall Ventures, including participation from existing investors such as Lerer Hippeau and Brainchild Funding, in addition to welcoming new investors M3 Ventures and CircleUp.
In February 2021, Heyday raised $20 million in Series B funding. Level 5 Capital Partners led the round with participation by existing investors Lerer Hippeau and Fifth Wall Ventures.
In December 2022, Heyday landed $12 million in new funding, extending its Series B led by existing investor Level 5 Capital Partners (L5).
Notable Investors: Level 5 Capital Partners (L5)
What are some of your key business initiatives for 2023?
We will continue to focus on our franchising efforts, with 30 new locations confirmed to open throughout 2023. We will also be focusing on tech enhancements, product development, and a growing talent pool as we continue our expansion efforts across the country.
What are you most proud of having accomplished?
Navigating the COVID-19 landscape and what Heyday went through—and how we needed to fundraise to successfully reopen our shops and get back to pre-COVID levels. With COVID, we lost 98% of our revenue overnight, and had an incredibly protracted period of shop closures (our LA shops were closed for about 16 months). There was constant uncertainty about when we could open, so I was operating in an environment with such a high level of unknowns. We are now back on track with our pre-COVID levels and trajectory, allowing us to continue focusing on our expansion efforts this year.
What has been the biggest surprise since the brand was founded?
Customer’s perception that skincare is self-care, and not beauty. Pre-launch, I felt we would need to communicate more to convince customers of this point—and of the real, cumulative benefits of skincare. I was surprised at how informed and educated customers were; we haven’t really needed to do this.
What aspect of your brand DNA fuels your competitive advantage?
There’s a lot we do differently—from our in-shop design, to our Skin Therapist team (and training), to our pricing model and our use of technology to drive customized skincare solutions for our clients. This industry has been much slower to adapt to evolving consumer needs—and we want to change that. People will engage more regularly with skincare (particularly a younger demographic) when you address their current friction points of time, cost, and convenience. This is evident in client behavior with approximately 40% of our clients coming back to Heyday every month. Another important differentiator is that our positioning focuses on self-care—taking the facial out of the spa and into peoples’ lives. When people use the word “spa,” it connotes beauty, pampering, and indulgence, but our clients think about us through a self-care lens.This is something they should be doing regularly—all part of their gym, exercise, diet self-care wheel. Our name—Heyday—is a term used more by our parents and refers to the best periods in their lives. At Heyday, we’re here to help people be the best version of themselves and have the best possible skin.
Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.
I feel what had traditionally been under the “beauty” category definition will change— skincare will become more separate from makeup and color given its self-care focus, and I feel there will continue to be more of a shift towards efficacy over natural. I do feel there will be some more 2-in-1 products and ingredient mixing in a manner where routines will look to be more simplified. Clinique was so powerful with their three-step process, which across the category in recent years has increased into something significantly more than three steps. I feel we will see some recalibration back to fewer steps.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
You can’t over communicate with team members. This is ultimately easy in theory but so much harder to practice. It’s an area where you can always improve. Doing that will elevate the teams in ways you cannot predict.
Paying it forward, what advice would you give to someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?
Given the proliferation of products in the market, you need to have a very clear point of view on what gap in the market your product is solving for and who is your customer purchasing the product. Put differently, find a gap in the market and then, through your customer, verify if there’s a market in the gap. I’d be more focused to begin across all areas (including marketing) before going more broadly.
If you could change one thing in the beauty industry, what would it be?
Clarity, consistency, and some standardization across product and ingredient definitions. For example “clean” means so many different things to so many customers (and brands)—it’s so confusing for customers. It’s still the wild west in skincare given the lack of FDA definitions (there still isn’t one for “natural”), which makes it so confusing and frustrating for customers.
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