Episode 52: When Does Indie Beauty Become Mainstream?

2020-06 indie vs mainstream beauty

Indie beauty brands are taking over the beauty sector. With tens of thousands of small brands globally, there is simply no doubt that they are swallowing up a percentage of the global beauty sector which traditionally might have gone to the mainstream giants. Shoppers are increasingly looking to support small, local businesses and often place a greater degree of trust in a founder-led brand.

However, this increase in consumer confidence and support has seen some of these indie beauty brands soar in terms of their revenues, reach, distribution, channels and size. If you follow the latest news in the beauty industry, then you cannot have missed the stories of founder-led brands being bought up by the mainstream giants who see enormous potential for growth and development by bringing these indie beauty brands into their portfolios.

In the latest episode of the Green Beauty Conversations podcast, we’re joined by Wizz Selvey of Wizz&Co to discuss when an indie brand goes mainstream. What does it take? What defines the tipping point for an indie brand to go mainstream? And does everyone agree with this definition?

But is an indie beauty brand still indie if it’s achieving global domination or has been bought up by a major multinational? What makes an indie beauty brand truly indie and at what point can you no longer really call yourself indie? If a business is selling millions in stock, can they still be indie?

When is an indie beauty brand no longer indie? When does indie go mainstream? Listen to the @FormulaBotanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast with @herbBlurb and @WizzAndCo to find out. #indiebeauty #greenbeauty Click To Tweet

Listen to our CEO Lorraine Dallmeier and Wizz Selvey discuss when indie goes mainstream:

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In this podcast, you will:

  • Discover what the main difference is between mainstream beauty and indie beauty brands.
  • Learn what it takes to grow an indie beauty brand to the stage that it can go mainstream (spoiler alert: it takes many years of blood, sweat and tears!).
  • Hear how growing an indie brand to mainstream global domination requires input from distributors, retailers, investors and community.
  • Discover how the mainstream beauty industry is starting to take indie beauty more seriously, which is of course why they’re buying indie brands.
  • Hear about the massive opportunities for indie beauty brands globally, as retailers, social media and technology make indie beauty far more accessible to customers.

Key takeaways include:

  • A true indie beauty brand has gone under the radar so far and not yet attracted any investment. They are waiting to be found by consumers and have lots of potential ahead of them.
  • Once an indie brand scales and has the potential to be taken over by a larger corporation, their formulations might suddenly be discovered by a large part of the general public who had never heard of the brand before.
  • The founder’s heritage story is integral to the success of an indie brand. It creates an emotional connection between the brand and the customer and allows the customer to relate to the story and formulation. Large multinationals buying out indie brands will often try to keep that brand founder ethos in place.
  • Beauty is emotive and personal. Consumers want to talk about brands that have made them feel different about themselves and this is where indie brands can capitalise on opportunities that the mainstream industry often misses.

Other podcast episodes you might like:

Meet our podcast guest

Wizz SelveyWizz Selvey is the founder of Wizz&Co, a retail strategy consultancy in the UK. Wizz was formerly Head of Beauty at Selfridges and has worked in the beauty industry for fifteen years which has provided experience across brands at all stages of their development. Wizz also works with both indie and mainstream beauty brands so is well placed to discuss the transition from kitchen table to global multinational.

Visit Wizz&Co’s website, follow Wizz&Co on Instagram and sign up for Wizz’ freebie on how to think like a CEO.


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. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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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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