Investors Back Clean Makeup Brand Saie
Blogger Laney Crowell is behind the brand, which will launch with four products in the fall.
A motley crew of investors — including Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie and LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel — are joining Unilever Ventures in backing a new clean makeup brand called Saie.
Pronounced “say,” the label is launching in November with four products: a mascara, $24; brow gel, $18; lip balm,
$16, and lavender eyelash curler. It is the brainchild of blogger Laney Crowell, who has also worked at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. in digital communications, and web site Stylecaster, before starting the project.
Crowell said she got the idea when she went into the beauty closet for her blog, The Moment, and the there was no makeup — only skin care.
“Six months in, I went to the beauty closet looking to find some makeup because I was going out that night, and I opened the doors and was looking and looking and there was no makeup. That was like, my a-ha moment for the fact that there was a real need in the market. I went on Instagram that night and asked my community a million questions,” Crowell said.
In addition to Mycoskie and von Tobel, April Gargiulo, founder of cult skin-care brand Vintner’s Daughter, is also an investor in the brand. Crowell declined to say how much money she raised, but said it would be used for product development. In its early days, the brand has been sourcing product development ideas from Crowell’s community and a private 500-person Facebook group where members test products and give feedback.
She’s recruited heavily from the beauty industry for Saie, bringing in Sarah Tillman, who used to work in product development at Lauder, and Tina Gu, who formerly worked in business development at Lauder, to handle product development and finance, respectively. Wellness influencer Geri Hirsch, who has about 100,000 followers on Instagram, is the brand’s creative director. Hanna Wiegers, who previously worked in product development at Kjaer Weis and as a retail associate at Cap Beauty, is in charge of sustainability.
Saie is launching with four products — lip balm, mascara, brow gel and an eyelash curler.
Laney Crowell launches Saie, a clean makeup line.