2019 BeautyX Retail Summit: The Ultimate Recap

2019 BeautyX Retail Summit: The Ultimate Recap

BeautyX Retail Summit roared into Dallas connecting over 100 beauty entrepreneurs with some of the top names in beauty retail. Through an immersive and interactive approach, attendees gained insights that will help them develop a winning wholesale strategy and successful retail partnerships, while meeting and connecting with the right people in the right environment. If you couldn’t attend, here are some key takeaways from this two-day event. Also stay tuned as more announcements are made about our upcoming BeautyX Capital Summit in New York, August 19-20. (Early bird ticket pricing ends 6/14).

foundational course

The Retail Landscape Reimagined

Indie Beauty Media Group Co-Founder, Nader Naeymi-Rad, kicked off the summit with a thorough analysis of the most recent changes seen in the US retail and buyer landscapes.

panel discussion

Executing A Winning Channel Strategy

In a spirited panel moderated by Beauty Independent’s Claire McCormack, Brandy Hoffman of Volition Beauty forecast the end of the division between mass and prestige beauty, Zahir Dhossa of Function of Beauty weighed in on pop-ups (he doesn’t think the return is worth the cost and effort), and Trinity Mouzon Wofford of Golde emphasized the need for team diversity. In heartening news for green-beauty brands, Kendra Kolb Butler of Alpyn Beauty found that environmentally-responsible practices and sustainability were increasingly important to her consumer.

networking opportunity

Lunch Break – Ice Breaker

Each table of ten was hosted by an Indie Beauty Media Group representative. Their job? To solicit two truths and one non-truth from each of the guests sitting with them. The game sparked lively conversations as table-mates tried to assess the veracity of some truly astounding claims. Would you believe that an attending brand founder had once starred on Broadway? If you did, then you’d be right—he was telling the truth.

foundational course

How Buyers Buy: Behind Retailer Decisions

Natalie Valdes, member of Indie Beauty Media Group’s Retail + Buyer Relations Team, shared her knowledge on the buying process, from the buyer’s perspective, highlighting ways in which to be a better partner to a retailer.

foundational course

Pitch Perfect: The Winning Brand Deck

Rachel Roberts, Founder and CEO of Oyl+Water and Natasha Goldberg, of Indie Beauty Media Group’s Retail + Buyer Relations team, walked attendees through each component of a retail pitch deck, highlighting the core sections that need to remain consistent throughout, and which ones should be customized for each individual presentation to a target retailer’s.


expert workshop

Buyer Time With Ulta’s Emerging Brands Team

In the first-ever Buyer Time—a new, extremely popular element into the BeautyX program Ulta executives Muffy Clince and Cora Polarek sat with just 10 brand founders to discuss their buying decisions. “A lot of people use brokers,” Clince remarked when asked her advice on whether a brand should hire third parties to arrange a retail deal. “Here’s the thing: You want to make sure they’re not managing too many brands. If you’re investing in an outside resource, make sure they can give your brand time. We’ve worked with some people who have signed off with so many brands, that some are just an afterthought. They aren’t giving the attention a brand deserves. So make sure you’re getting what you need.”


foundational course

Anatomy of a Retail Contract

Noel Seriale, from Indie Beauty Media Group’s Retail + Buyer Relations team, laid out the key terms of a brand’s wholesale contract and how to use a SWOT analysis to get the best possible deal.


expert workshop

Buyer Time With Neiman Marcus’ Kim D’Angelo

“As a brand founder, you have to drive the brand, not us,” Neiman Marcus beauty Buyer Kim D’Angelo told an intimate circle of founders. “Romance it, win over our sales associates. Sampling is a must, and be active on social media. You have to have samples, otherwise you can’t drive business with us. If you are an unknown brand, there is no other way to get the message out there. We have different promotions and events where we give out 5,000 samples. Our PR department is extremely supportive, so they are constantly asking for products they can share with the media. We are very supportive, but it is your responsibility to drive the brand.”


case study

After The Buy: How To Succeed With Your Retail Partner

Maya Crothers, Founder of CIRCCELL and Kim D’Angelo, Beauty Buyer from Neiman Marcus shared how they built a mutually successful partnership.


panel discussion

Super Chat With Supergoop!

Holly Thaggard, Founder of Supergoop!, chronicled her journey from school teacher to SPF market leader, highlighting the role that different retail channels played in her brand’s success. She also detailed her close relationship with Artemis Patrick, Chief Merchandising Officer for Sephora—and Day 2 keynote speaker—whom she consulted many times when she was developing her newest product. Clearly, Thaggard does not have to settle for less when it comes time to seek out a good sounding board.


networking opportunity

Cocktail Reception

The end-of-day-one cocktail party is one of the highlights of the summit, as guests, speakers, and IBMG specialists mingle and interact in a relaxed, age-old bonding exercise.



foundational course

State of Retail 2019: The Rise of Beauty

In the midst of retail apocalypse, beauty has been a bright spot. Christopher Napolitano, member of Indie Beauty Media Group’s Education + Thought Leadership team, dived into the future of beauty retail.

panel discussion

Online Retailer Panel

Many lessons were learned from the panelists. Kristian Henderson, founder of BLK + GRN, notes good copy goes a long way for e-commerce customers. She says, “Two lines of a product description is not going to sell your product online. The longer, the better.” Another essential point: According to Dawn Serpa, Vice President of Dermstore, a retailer’s success with a brand is determined over time. If a brand can’t constantly draw customers, it will flop. Serpa said, “Create something that people use frequently. If you create something that people only use once a week or once a month, I think it’s very challenging to scale.”


expert workshop

Buyer Time With Whole Foods’ Amy Jargo

“When talking to a retailer really understand who their customer is. At WFM, our customer is a little bit earlier on the trend curve,” Global Category Manager Amy Jargo told a select group of founders who registered for time with her. “They’re more of an earlier adopter, so there might be something that is great for the total marketplace, but it’s more at that mass stage in the product trend life cycle and that’s no longer going to be something that I’m interested in it because it’s already on my shelves.”


panel discussion

Spa Director Panel

A stellar group of Spa professionals shared their do’s and don’ts for any indie brand that’s trying to get their attention:

“It’s important you do your homework and understand what the spa is about. Your brand needs to be a partner to us and speak to us and our clients. Shop the spa, call them and understand what we do and what our menu is like.” Virginia Acosta, Spa Director at The Spa at The Joule

“We talk to people all day long, we don’t want to be pitched to. We want to be wined and dined. We want to know why it matters. What kind of relationship can I expect from you? By gifting my staff, they talk me into it. Give it to people who actually want to sell them. Don’t down-talk other salons either: community always over competition. If you trash talk someone else, you will leave my facility and say the same things about me.” Zack Zanders, Spa Director at Two Rivers Salon & Spa

“It has to have great results. It’s very important to have something you can’t just buy on the shelf. We’re very selective with who we’re bringing in. The business has changed so much and is changing rapidly. Everyone wants an indie beauty brand, but they also want results.” Stacey Stilts, Owner of Green Line Beauty

“Indie brands have an advantage—they are game to be vulnerable where they can partner with us. We need to see if the brand can eventually scale with us and with that we need to make sure we can trust each other.” Jonathan Will, Senior Regional Spa Manager, Equinox


expert workshop

Buyer Time With Credo Beauty’s Annie Jackson

“Does exclusivity matter to us? It does and it doesn’t,” said Annie Jackson, co-founder of Credo and one of the most-sought after buyers at the show. Ten fortunate attendees made the most of their time with Jackson, who told them, “We’ve been doing this long enough to want your brand to have awareness. So by just being at Credo it can be tricky. It really depends on what the whitespace is and what your brand is all about. It could be positioned in such a way that we’re like ‘Please, don’t go anywhere else. Please, only come to Credo.’ Or it could be that you really benefit from being in XY retailer, so that the customers are out shopping and they’re seeing your brand there, they’re seeing your brand at Credo…so it really kind of depends, to be honest. Because we want you to be successful, we want you to have money to come in to continue to create your brand. And we get that.”

panel discussion

Clean Beauty Retailer Panel

Retailers are interested in their vendors making a sustainable effort, but the clean beauty retailer panelists acknowledged going the extra mile for eco-friendly merchandise can be difficult for small companies. “Green-lite is sometimes a gateway to a deeper relationship with green beauty in the long run,” says Elena Severin, buyer and director of retail at The Detox Market, continuing, “[If] sustainability and sourcing and giving back to the community is where you want to plant your flag and what you’re passionate about, that’s just as important as an ingredients checklist.”


panel discussion

Interview With An Empire: Sephora CMO Artemis Patrick

In an intimate conversation moderated by Claire McCormack of Beauty Independent, Sephora CMO Artemis Patrick shared her unique insights on the clean beauty program at Sephora, getting real on social media and pushing forward with CBD.

She also revealed some details behind Sephora’s co-creation Kaja – a new line of Korean makeup, presented in beautiful, fun, bite-sized packaging: “After years of trying to figure out how we marry Korean beauty with makeup, we decided to do it ourselves”, Artemis explained.

Read Beauty Independent’s full article here.


live learning

Race For Shelf Space Competition

Clean clinical skincare brand Restorsea captured the audience and buyer prizes at the second annual Race For Shelf Space competition capping off the summit. The competition featured three brands exhibiting at Indie Beauty Expo Dallas—new sun-care company Tropic Labs and plant-based adaptogen deodorant product specialist Field Botanicals joined Restorsea—live on stage in a mock trade-show setting pitching their brands to a trio of spa and retail executives: The Spa at the Joule spa director Virginia Acosta, Neiman Marcus beauty buyer Kim D’Angelo and Dermstore vice president of marketing Dawn Serpa. In their efforts to win over the executives, the brands were coached by expert merchant Kelly St. John, Oyl + Water founder Rachel Roberts and strategic growth consultant Joanie Taylor. Pao credits Taylor with helping her hone a triumphant pitch. “The idea of pairing a brand with a coach is genius,” she says. “Joanie was unbelievable. She focused on making sure the key points in my pitch really came out, and she was right every time.” As a result of her Race For Shelf Space victory, Pao secured official meetings with Dermstore, Neiman Marcus and The Spa at the Joule, and a free ticket to a future BeautyX of her choice.

A huge thank you our amazing speakers and all attendees that joined us in Dallas. Don’t miss the next BeautyX Capital Summit in New York, August 19-20.  (Early bird ticket pricing ends 6/14).