|Area served||United States|
|Products||Nail polish, cosmetics, beauty products|
Julep Beauty, Inc. is a privately held Seattle, WA based cosmetics company founded in 2007 by Jane Park, a former Starbucks and Boston Consulting Group executive. The company sells its products online, which includes the company’s Julep Maven service, in retail and in its branded beauty parlors.
Julep opened four nail parlors in the Seattle area in 2007 that offer facials, manicures and other pampering. CEO Jane Park saw a rise in popularity for nail care products, prompting her to focus on selling new products online and through television. Park says she uses the parlors as a testing ground for new products.
Julep moved into e-commerce in 2008. The company’s website is now its main sales channel, making available more than 300 new products on its website in 2013. Julep products are also available through their Seattle parlors, through retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom and on TV though QVC. Also in 2013, it opened its first pop-up store in New York City. Julep reportedly tripled its revenue in 2013.
Julep is backed by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Altimeter Capital, Azure Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron, as well as celebrity backers such as Will Smith and Jay Z. Other investors include AFSquare, Alliance of Angels, Atom Factory, Creative Artists Agency, Overbrook Entertainment, Precedent Investments, Roc Nation, Troy Carter, Version One Ventures, and Western Technology Investment. Julep has raised $56M in venture capital financing to date.
Julep currently employs around 200 people and plans on using funding to accelerate the introduction of new products and other operating activities.
Julep designs, produces and sells its own products, working with scientists and manufacturers that also work for larger brands. The company sells over 200 shades of nail polish, each of which is given a woman’s name. It has also expanded its line into makeup and skin care products.
In 2014, Julep launched its Plié Wand, an ergonomic nail polishing brush that bends, pivots, and attaches to the top of nail polish caps. Demand for the wand was first tested through a $75,000 crowdfunding campaign.
The company promotes its products as free of fumes and toxins.
Julep introduced its monthly subscription service, Julep Maven, in 2011. Subscribers or “Mavens” pay a monthly fee to receive custom boxes of nail polish and makeup. To complement Julep’s crowdfunding campaigns, Mavens may also act as beta-testers in the company’s Idea Lab, answering surveys and posting on social media, allowing Julep to see how their products in development are being received.
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