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Welcome to SoHo. The land of art galleries, lofts, trendy boutiques—and the Consumer Discovery Show. I traveled to New York City to discover innovative consumer brands in wellness, beauty, and food, but what I found was so much more. From spicy kombucha to Bobbi Brown’s words of wisdom, here are four, fun lessons I learned at this elite summit set amongst the city skyline.
I came to listen to the founders/co-founders of Yasso, Health-Ade Kombucha, and Spindrift talk about the shift in consumable nutrition brands, and what I walked away with was a new view on how to take ownership in anything I create. These big consumer brands are not only products of passion, but each industry leader pulled innovation and motivation from their roots—family, friends and their upbringing. They used what was familiar, focusing on staying close to what they knew, what was in their blood and creating something more significant that’s done well.
Smart beauty brand play: placing your product in the bathroom of this wellness-forward conference, so people like me get to check out first-hand what you’re working with. While washing my hands, I found Revival Body Care and instantly fell in love with their Lavender + Grapeseed Body Scrub. My hands felt like they just got a new lease on life (too bad I couldn’t slather the scrub all over). Fast-forward a few minutes—I am at Revival’s booth chatting up the owner. Based out of Cleveland, Ohio, this brand offers organic, fair trade 100% vegan natural skin and hair care products that smell like *heaven*. Plus, the honest, raw passion that’s put into Revival’s products is evident, and my skin is thankful for that. 40 pouches of body scrub, please!
I never thought I would say that. I was drawn into the bright Health-Ade Kombucha booth (and their GIF machine). Promoting their new Jalapeno-Kiwi-Cucumber kombucha combination, I have to admit I was more than hesitant to try this drink. But, all the gals in the elevator on the way up to the show were raving about it, so I figured, why not? Somewhere between spicy and refreshing, this booch might be my new go-to. A fun mix of heat and cool sweetness, Health-Ade embraced branding this combo and I am totally on-board. Disclaimer, if you aren’t obsessed with spicy things, you might want to stick to their classic Pink Lady.
Okay, so we’ve all heard of the Bobbi Brown makeup empire. When the 90’s were all about contouring and stark red lips, Bobbi brought it back to basics. Now it’s 2018 and Bobbi is killing it in the wellness industry with Beauty Evolution. Whether it’s tasty collagen “cocktail” or a new boutique inn in New Jersey, she is unapologetically making sure you know she is an expert in all things wellness. Oh, and did I mention she is curating some majorly cool content on justBOBBI.com? As Bobbi said during the closing fireside chat yesterday, “I do it simple, and I do it my way.” You can’t argue with that mantra.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!