Spending childhood summers on the family farm, Dan Hodgdon developed an early interest in regenerative agriculture and biodiversity conservation. While growing up abroad in many developing countries, he saw the positive impact that sustainable agriculture had on disenfranchised communities and the many benefits (such as food security) that resulted.
As the beauty industry began its gradual transition into the “clean” revolution, he could clearly see that the unit economics inherent in the beauty industry made it possible to create tens of thousands of sustainable, eco-friendly jobs in rural communities across the globe. His dream, therefore, was to create a healthy, interdependent relationship between independent farmers and wild harvesters and the beauty industry that benefited both the suppliers and the beauty consumer.
By investing in direct, fair-trade partnerships to ethically source the highest quality natural botanical actives—which are then introduced into clinically tested, cutting-edge formulas that produce scientifically proven results at Vegamour—it was able to demonstrate the efficacy of plant-based hair wellness solutions that benefit both the communities from which it sourced and the customers who’ve grown to love its products.
By further investing in communities from which the company sources (HIV awareness programs, literacy programs, tree-planting programs, sustainable cooking fuel programs), it was able to ensure their long-term sustainability.
Brand Founder: Dan Hodgdon
Leadership: Dan Hodgdon, Founder
2023 Full Year Expected Revenue Range: $125MM to $150MM
Categories: Haircare, Wellness
Distribution Channel: DTC, Prestige
Funding Rounds: Private Equity
Total Funds Raised: $80MM
Vegamour closed an $80MM minority growth investment by General Atlantic.
Notable Investors: Friends and family, Nicole Kidman
Notable Advisors: The General Atlantic Members of the Board (Andrew Ferrer and Lexie Bartlett)
What are some of your key business initiatives for 2023?
What are you most proud of having accomplished?
I am incredibly proud of the journey our team has taken together over the last few years, along with all the risks and the challenges we faced in turning an idea born out of passion into a globally recognized brand in an entirely new category, without compromising the core values we were founded on or our confidence to succeed.
By building a brand with a unique value proposition and breakthrough, first-to-market formulas for hair health that people have come to know and trust, we’ve been able to redefine the haircare industry by creating a much deeper vertical. In a very short period of time, we’ve grown to be a globally recognized leader in a white space that is causing the haircare industry to pivot towards our way of approaching haircare (Hair Wellness).
Further, with over $100 million in revenue and a double digit EBITDA margin, Vegamour has created hundreds of sustainable employment opportunities in the US as well as over 5,000 fair-trade partnerships with women-owned small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally. And we’re just getting started!!
What has been the biggest surprise since the brand was founded?
I continue to be amazed and in awe of the team we have built and continue to build at Vegamour!
In February of 2020, we were six people! Today we are a highly motivated and passionate team of nearly ninety people! Our team is made up of top-tiered talent with a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds from all over the world. Each day, our employees inspire us and help define the heart and soul of the company.They are senior vice presidents and poets; scientists and mothers; doctors and marketers; and much more. And every single employee is salaried, has comprehensive health and retirement benefits, and is a shareholder in the company—ensuring that everyone at Vegamour has the opportunity to share in our success.
I am also incredibly proud to have a diverse workforce with over 50% of our employees who identify as people of color, 72% percent who identify as women, and over 60% percent of those who identify as women at executive/leadership levels.
What aspect of your brand DNA fuels your competitive advantage?
The DNA or backbone of the brand has been our unwavering commitment to integrative medicine, ingredient quality, product efficacy, and science-backed results that have together allowed us to create (and own) a brand new hair category (Hair Wellness). Hair Wellness is dedicated to providing cutting-edge, healthy, personalized solutions that address not only the symptoms of poor hair health, but the underlying root causes—all through the lens of environmental impact. We invest in direct and fair-trade partnerships to ethically harvest and source some of the highest quality natural actives and minerals that go through a clinically and scientifically tested, cutting-edge microencapsulation process, making each active ingredient optimal in size to ensure the highest rate of absorption or bioavailability by the body. Furthermore, our solutions aim to actually empower women around the world by destigmatizing hair loss and creating awareness around the fact that 40% of alopecia sufferers are women, and nearly 80% of women will experience hair thinning at some point in their lives. What no other brand is saying is It's normal and, in most cases, treatable.
Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.
I think the future of the beauty industry is bright as long as brands continue to build upon the progress that has been made in converting to clean products, which forced brands to reformulate as the demand for clean, natural ingredients in beauty grew as the consumer became more conscious of the possible harm that could come from formulations that contained synthetic chemicals. The demand for "clean" beauty in the 2010s created new opportunities across the beauty space as consumers began replacing their skincare and color cosmetics with clean alternatives; it reminds me of the spike in the music business in the '80s when everyone changed over their record and cassette collections to CD's. I think the natural evolution beauty will be driven by consumer demand for efficacy ... not only will they want their beauty products “clean”; they'll also want them to work as advertised. The science and technology to make beauty products efficacious is readily available, but it's a lot more expensive to produce!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Paying it forward, what advice would you give to someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?
My guiding vision as an entrepreneur has always been based on the following three pillars (which, by the way, have been incorporated into our brand’s internal cultural pillars):
1. First, do no harm.
2. Make the “impossible,” possible.
3. Do good, be good, feel good.
My advice to anyone contemplating launching a new beauty product is to “Try to leave the world a better place than you found it!”
If you could change one thing in the beauty industry, what would it be?
When I began, I set out to try and influence one thing within the beauty industry, which still remains true today—the industry’s ingredient integrity problem. By bringing awareness to the efficacy of sustainably sourced beauty and haircare products with Vegamour and showing how we are able to create a growing demand for these types of products by consumers, we hope to compel others in the industry to transition and formulate through a similar lens.
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