Fresh & Fun
Contrary to popular belief, beauty isn’t only skin deep. In fact, it’s so much more. “It’s about self-confidence. Taking care of yourself on the outside and on the inside,” said Margo Gianos, owner of Honestly Margo and member of the Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 class of 2018.
At 18 years old, Gianos is pretty confident that she speaks for her generation when it comes to bath and body products. She began her company at age 13, creating and selling all-natural lip and body balms. In the past five years, she and her business partner, mother Irene Gianos, have grown the business to include tinted lip balms, aromatherapy balms and the enormously popular bubble fizz, an alternative to bath bombs. “We wanted something unique that would complement the existing product line and appeal to our demographics, which is primarily millennials,” Margo Gianos said.
The Honestly Margo demographic encompasses not only teens and millennials, but also the moms. “Since we are in this together, we really hit both generations,” Irene Gianos said. “A lot of my age group in the 40s are enjoying the products like the aromatherapy balms and the tinted lip balms …busy moms who don’t want to wear lipstick,” she added.
One of Honestly Margo’s best-sellers is the Roller Girls Roll On lip gloss, which launched last summer. This fun, fresh take on “kissing potion” is similar to the popular product of the ‘80s and ‘90s. “It’s retro and fun,” the younger Gianos said. “Girls remember those from when they were little and that is what it’s all about – people have nostalgia.”
Coming in January, Honestly Margo is expanding its aromatherapy line. To match the aromatherapy balms, it’ll have salt soak for the bath and a shower mist. Also available will be body wash that matches the scents of the bubble fizz and body lotions along with clear bags. “I designed these clear envelope bags that can be used as clutch or worn as a cross-body, that come with a gift set of products,” Irene Gianos said. “The new security rules regulate the size you bring in and require it to be a clear bag. Our bags complement our line and provide a useful solution for attending sporting events and concerts,” she added.
A common denominator among the Honestly Margo products, aside from its natural ingredients, is modern and fresh packaging. From the marbleized art on body lotions, to the hand-drawn unicorns on the fizzy bath dust, the unique product packaging makes a lasting first impression and is a good fit for a variety of stores. The products are currently found in more than 1,000 stores nationwide and also available on the Honestly Margo website.
Irene Gianos recognized Margo’s entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. When she saw Margo creating lip balms that sold as fast as she could make them, she suggested they take it further. “It’s super important to believe in yourself, because if my mom didn’t say ‘yes you can, you can totally do this,’ Honestly Margo wouldn’t be where it is today,” Margo said. “We live in Oklahoma, not L.A. or New York, but she said it doesn’t matter – you can still do it!”
“Strong women should support other strong women, that is super important to us as a brand and people,” Irene said. “Our followers appreciate that, too.”
Everyone wants to feel strong and beautiful, inside and out, says Margo. Honestly Margo is about pure ingredients, but it’s also about dreaming big and taking a chance.
Caitlin Abshier, owner and founder of Cait & Co. and also a member of the Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 class of 2017, is targeting her products to older teens and millennials. The company’s Aquamarine line appeals to a younger generation. “Our tweens and teens are looking for products that they can post about on Instagram and Snapchat. Our bath bombs create bath art that is very appealing for a social media post,” Abshier said. “Self-care is very popular currently, and self-care is also very popular to post about online,” she added.
“Indie beauty is so popular right now,” Abshier explained. “You can see that with the creation of indie beauty only-stores by big box companies. They are trying to get on trend because it is such a growing category. Our indie beauty line Luxe Apothecary is getting a completely new look for 2019 that I am so excited about. We are truly focusing on trends in the beauty marketplace to create an affordable line of beauty for the gift industry.”
In 2019, the rebranded Luxe Apothecary line by Cait + Co. is focusing on good aromatherapy products. “We are releasing a natural bath bomb scented with essential oils so you are able to enjoy a true spa bath at home. So many bath bombs on the market place are filled with hard ingredients or are made overseas. We are focusing on holistic body care with ingredients like coconut milk and therapeutic essential oils. On another note, we are also releasing bath bomb confetti under our Aquamarine line,” Abshier said.
Abshier also said that she thinks CBD-inspired beauty products will begin to emerge in 2019 and 2020. “Cait + Co doesn’t have plans to release any CBD beauty products at the moment, but I would not be surprised if we saw CBD beauty lines at the winter/spring trade shows.”
Leslie Bradford-Scott, from Walton Wood Farm thinks today’s millennials are not materially focused like Baby Boomers were. “They seek experiences or gifts that are usable – not things that will clutter their space or require maintenance,” she said. “They want to be able to eat it, wear it, or use it. Packaging should appeal to their individuality and the golden rule is ‘speak to someone or speak to no one.’ There is no ‘one size fits all’ with this generation.”
These beauty industry trailblazers all agree, today’s younger bath and body customers want products they can feel good about and that make them feel good, too. They want natural ingredients and products that celebrate their uniqueness and their strength. Look for the self-care movement to stick with this generation and those to follow.