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Crowdsourcing Beauty Innovation

An Interview with Brandy Hoffman, Co-Founder of Volition Beauty

— March 19, 2019 — Fashion
Volition Beauty is a start-up that was created by Co-Founders Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos back in 2016 to disrupt the industry by providing consumers with more agency and transparency. Do this, Volition Beauty created a community of beauty lovers from all backgrounds, who are able to utilize its platform to submit ideas and vote on the ones they’d like to see come to fruition. After much growth, the brand’s offerings are now available to Canadian consumers for the first time. To learn more about its unique development process and how it sets the brand apart from its competitors, we spoke with Hoffman.

What inspired you to create Volition Beauty? How has it managed to be disruptive in such a saturated industry?

It was both professional and personal. My Co-Founder, Patricia, and I had both been in beauty for years and we both experienced the same process; product development was made in a conference room full of executives deciding what the consumer should buy. It was so backwards to not have the customer involved until point of purchase.

The idea for Volition was stemmed from those frustrations in hopes of a change. We wanted to democratize beauty consumers’ intelligence and autonomy to let them decide and tell us what they want. Opening our entire brand to the public allows for real diversity and representation. By opening up our process, we can cut through the noise and hear directly from the consumer by utilizing true crowdsourcing. It’s revolutionizing traditional beauty and turning it on its head.

How does Volition engage with its consumers? How are these consumers able to get involved in the product creation process?

We have a platform that allows for anybody and everybody to submit their beauty ideas to us. From there, we vet those ideas based on differentiation, feasibility, and safety. If it ticks off all those boxes, we run with it. We work with the person who submits their idea (we call them Innovators) to collectively develop and share that idea with our community.

Our community is then open to vote on ideas that resonate with them the most. If enough members vote on a product, we’ll then make and sell it in our assortment. Our consumers are irrevocably involved at all stages of our product creation process. From submitting ideas, to voting, to making it into a reality — they’re the crux of our brand.

What does Volition consider before taking a product idea to market? How do the innovators behind the idea benefit?

Innovation, innovation, and more innovation. We strive to curate cutting edge products with clean, efficacious formulations sourced from our best ideas. We don’t want to come out with products that already exist on shelves. There are too many coffee scrubs and cannabis-powered products out there, so we don’t want to bandwagon and get lost in a sea of likeness.

Our Innovators are smart and typically ahead of the curve on trends. We’re constantly surprised with how we receive so many new and different idea submissions daily. We’re transparent about where product ideas come from, our Innovators. They’re featured on their respective product’s packaging, our site and social media channels. They also receive a royalty share on the sales from their product. We recognize it’s a true collaboration and we want that to show. We celebrate the women entrepreneurs and forward thinkers that share and trust us with their ideas.

Can you explain a little about what goes into the development process?

All ideas are partnered with a top lab or chemist to elevate the idea and create an efficacious game changer. We work with several labs with different specialties and pair one that aligns with our Innovator’s idea. The lab combines their own expertise with the Innovator’s idea to formulate. We give them constant feedback from the Innovator and our team until it’s perfected. Our internal team works on the packaging design. There are several revisions, reformulations, and reworks that take place until it is perfected.

A number of Volition products spotlight natural ingredients like turmeric and apple cider vinegar, have you noticed these ideas taking preference over others recently?

They don’t take preference per say, but hero ingredients tend to stand out and allow for more differentiation and desired benefits.

Now that Volition products are available in Canada, how can consumers get a hold of them?

Our Canadian Community members can purchase via volitionbeauty.com, sephora.ca and at Sephora stores!
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