Herb’N Eden doesn’t have millions to spend on advertising and publicity campaigns. But the beauty brand founded by couple Quinton and Terran Lewis in 2015 has managed to set itself apart in the crowded space by sticking to its mission of producing only all-natural beauty care products.
Herb’N Eden has established its reputation as a sustainable beauty brand that infuses its products with nature.
In March, the Atlanta-based bath and beauty company closed a $1.2 million investment. Mercantile Venture Capital led the investment with participation from the Core Venture Studio, which focuses on mentoring and funding Atlanta-based entrepreneurs.
“From $260,000 in 2020 to $2.6 million closing out 2021, during the pandemic, is remarkable,” co-founder and managing partner at the Core Venture Studio James Harris, one of the lead investors, told Happi. “Their ability to scale their company while strengthening their relationship with their loyal customers drove Core’s decision to invest in the Herb’N Eden team.”
When creating products in this specific space, brands usually choose to be niche, finance professional Patti Naiser explained to Finurah. “This would allow them to make their efforts much more targeted, which can help improve the conversion rate. It can enable you to streamline the planning of your business.”
Herb’N Eden has played to its niche customer. “We use soap every day to clean our hair and skin, and it doesn’t have to be chock full of artificial ingredients; the simpler, the better. Herb’N Eden values self-sustainability, which starts with self-maintenance. Maintain beautiful, healthy skin with all-natural ingredients from our plant friends,” the Lewises wrote on their website.
The couple says none of the Herb’N Eden products contain artificial ingredients like phthalates or parabens. Fragrance oils are also out of the question since their ingredients can be hard to track down. Instead, Herb’N Eden uses therapeutic-grade essential oils that have aromatherapy benefits.
Inspired by internships with Atlanta’s Urban Sprout Farms, a program that uses gardening to teach nutrition and encourage physical activity, the Lewises utilized what they learned about health and sustainability to build the foundation of their Herb’N Eden. Using their agricultural skills, they brought their vision to life and started with a handmade batch of botanical soap filled with herbs and plant oils.
“I was seeing so many people selling homemade goods, and at the same time, I wanted to learn a skill that I could use,” Terran told Black Enterprise. “I picked up a craft book that provided instructions on how to make everything from jewelry to tables. The section on soap making stuck out to me, and it aligned with everything I was learning about plants on the farm.”
According to Max Benz, founder, and CEO of BankingGeek, a personal finance blog, operating a beauty brand isn’t for the weak.
“Beauty companies are usually very focused on marketing and advertising,” Benz told Finurah. “They often spend large sums of money on celebrity endorsements and other forms of promotion. As a result, beauty companies tend to be very competitive. Those who are able to create a successful brand can reap significant rewards.”
Naiser also explained the complexities of running a beauty company. Unlike other businesses, the beauty industry is saturated, meaning there is increased competition.
“The industry used to rely on conventional marketing methods, but it has been completely altered since the pandemic,” said Naiser. “Now more sales are being made through online means.”
Appealing packaging and memorable names are a few things that drive a beauty company’s success, Naiser said. “These factors compel consumers to try the brand, even if they haven’t bought anything from them,” she said. “Factors such as quality and assuring that products aren’t being tested on animals can help build the brand’s reputation in the marketplace.”
The Lewises have managed to keep up by also giving consumers an experience of storytelling as well as super unique products.
“There are two things that we believe are very important when building out our brand or any brand, and that is staying consistent and telling your story as much as you can,” Quinton told Black Enterprise. “We have used social media and video as a way to document our story from the beginning until now, and it allows people to get to know who you are. From making soaps in our parent’s garage to having a facility that allows us to make upwards of 5,000 batches of soap a day, we like to show it all.”