Madison Reed is doubling down on future growth in its salon and at-home hair color businesses which combined have had over 5 million customer interactions. The company, founded by current CEO, Amy Errett, has recently announced new executives to its board of directors along with internal management moves to further its mission of expanding Madison Reed’s access to more customers across the U.S. market. In an exclusive interview with Errett, it was clear that the company is on a mission to provide access to prestige beauty hair care for more people online, in salons and through its retail partners like Ulta Beauty
New board members provide experience and diversity
Michael Dubin and Stephanie Davis Michelman will be added as board members and both come with heavy experience in scaling beauty businesses. Dublin is the founder and former CEO of Dollar Shave Club, driving the company to a $1 billion dollar acquisition by Unilever. Dollar Shave Club revolutionized the men’s grooming business by filling a need in the marketplace for delivering razors direct-to-home on a monthly subscription basis along with other products. Errett said, “I have known Michael for years and was inspired by how he changed the whole men’s grooming industry.” Errett reflects on the fact that Dubin was very helpful and solicitous when she first started Madison Reed and while it took years to convince him to become a board member, Errett believes his experience is invaluable at this stage of growth for the company. Dubin also sits on the board of Stance and serves as an advisor for Liquid Death Mountain Water and Made by Nacho.
Stephanie Davis Michelman, global chief marketing officer of Benefit Cosmetics, brings more than 15 years of experience driving growth and profitability in public and private companies. Her track record includes growing internationally recognized brands such as Lancôme, NEST and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Errett said, “The process to find the right board member was long, over a year, but I wanted to find the right person with the skillset and experience that would fit culturally well with the company.” Having a diverse board of directors that can bring many perspectives to the company was an important consideration in recruiting new members. Michelman is the first black board member for Madison Reed.
Internal moves within the company
The company also announced internal moves to help bolster growth including adding Brad Lande-Shannon as Madison Reed’s chief marketing officer and promoting Tyler Wozny to the chief digital officer. The growth in the company comes from wholesale business with its retail partners, expansion of salons across the U.S. and continuation of its online direct-to-consumer business. These executive moves provide the company with the ability to foster its omnichannel presence and continue efforts to support what it calls its critical culture.
Errett discussed the company ethos with its two core principles: integrity of product and integrity of team spirit. Regarding the former, she has never wavered in terms of delivering products as promised using ingredients with integrity (the hair color formulas are free of ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide). She stated, “Customers look to Madison Reed for convenience and integrity and we have to deliver on that promise every time.”
When discussing team spirit, Errett talked about the importance of employee relations including paying higher wages, providing benefits, promoting from within and other initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to its workforce. Before Errett sat down with me to start the interview, she went through the entire salon and gave each employee a grand hello and a big smile. “We have to trust and respect our employees every day.”
The environmental factors play well for Madison Reed
The company is well-positioned to offer products and services as U.S. retail commerce slows for the first time this year. High gas and food prices have taken a bite out of discretionary spending, however, Errett believes that hair coloring is a regimen that continues even in a downturned economy. Madison Reed has worked to ensure products are delivered in a timely manner to customers by offering direct shipping and buy-online-pick-up-in-store. “Our products are time-bound, meaning customers need a product right away and do not want to wait for it, so we have to be there for them,” Errett stated adding that conversion of online purchasing is directly related to how quickly products can be received by the customer.
Security for the future
Most recently, the company announced a $33 million funding round led by Sandbridge Capital, LLC with participation from Marcy Venture Partners, bringing investment in Madison Reed to a total of $220 million in venture capital funding to date. Errett said, “I am very grateful that we get to do what we do every day and I am exactly where I need to be to make a difference in people’s lives.”