Episode 46: Are Indie Beauty Brands Selling Out by Selling Up?

2019-12 Indie Beauty buy outs

Can Indie beauty brands ever partner successfully with large multinationals? Or are Indie brands who sell to large corporations, in fact selling out? In this episode of The Green Beauty Conversations Podcast we tackle the tricky subject of Indie brand acquisitions and why all brand founders should have an exit strategy for their business.

Recently, brands such as Dermalogica, Schmidt’s Naturals, TooFaced, Tatcha and many others, have all been snapped up by major multinationals such as Unilever, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder and Procter & Gamble. Over the last five years, these huge beauty corporations have spent billions on acquiring beauty brands from across the world – including many successful indies. Drunk Elephant’s recent $845 million dollar sale to Shiseido, is the latest acquisition to cause controversy and receive comments also within the Formula Botanica community.

Are indie beauty brands selling out by selling up? @FormulaBotanica explores the controversial topic of beauty brand acquisitions and large corporations #indiebeauty #beautybusiness #skincare Click To Tweet

We interview two beauty entrepreneurs on the topic of selling your business to hear their views. First we speak to Julie Longyear, the founder of the independent natural beauty brand Blissoma, based in the USA. Julie founded her brand in 2001 and creates raw, plant-based, skincare by hand, using herbs and essential oils, in her herbal studio in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our second guest is Sian Sutherland, beauty brand founder and multi-award winning serial entrepreneur. In 2005, Sian created Mama Mio Skincare, a premium pregnancy range followed by Mio Skincare for active women. Sian sold her business in 2015 to The Hut Group, a global eCommerce company based in the UK. Sian now runs A Plastic Planet, a social impact non-profit with a single goal – to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap.


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In this Podcast we explore:

  • Indie Beauty brand owner attitudes to selling to multi-nationals
  • How and why an Indie brand may want to sell to a large corporation
  • The public perception of indie brands that are sold and if the sale changes how they are run

Key take-outs include:

  • All business owners need to think of an exit strategy that suits their business
  • There are many different options available to Indie beauty brands as an exit strategy
  • There is no right or wrong choice as to what to do with your business and here at Formula Botanica we celebrate all entrepreneurs

Listen to more podcast episodes – Episode 45 – Should Beauty Brands Formulate for Customers? The Conscious Consumerism Debate

To connect with our podcast guests:

The Blissoma Website

Sian Sutherlands website: A Plastic Planet

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show.


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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.


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