New year, new beauty brand! Welcome to the scene, Volition Beauty, whose mandate is to engage the public (read: you!) to co-create its portfolio of products. How it works? Through their online platform the company's founders, Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos, seek suggestions for products from consumers and behind-the-scenes cosmetics creators and, after vetting the suggestions for feasibility, quality and safety, let consumers vote on whether the product should be made. With seven offerings currently on the market (from a Detoxifying Silk Gelée Mask to a Snow Mushroom Water Serum, all available at Sephora.ca), we chatted with Brandy and Patricia about this cool concept—and teamed up with them to give away a great Volition prize pack! —Noa Nichol
Hi Brandy and Patricia! Please tell us a bit about yourselves/your background in beauty!
We are two beauty insiders who became friends over our love for food and our gripes about the beauty industry. We were tired of the status quo in beauty—under-represented customers, same products making the same, over-hyped claims. So with almost 40 years of combined experience, we started building a new kind of beauty company with the lofty goal to redefine the industry.
What is Volition Beauty, and what is a "consumer-led" beauty brand?
Volition Beauty is an online beauty platform that engages with real people to co-create the brand’s portfolio of products. We wondered why some beauty products don’t do well and why consumers are only brought in at the end to try a product. We believe that to develop the right products for consumers, they need to be brought into the process at the very beginning. Thus, was the start of Volition Beauty where we seek suggestions from consumers and encourage people to vote on products that they want to be developed and put on the market.
How does the co-creation process work?
The co-creation process begins in the hands of our consumers. Anyone can submit an idea on volitionbeauty.com, whether it’s an exotic ingredient discovered while travelling or a beauty product that they wish was on the market but isn’t, all ideas are welcome. After submitting the idea, we work with the top labs, chemists and formulators in the industry to determine if the concept is safe, feasible and if it’s already available in the market. If the idea passes all of those steps, it enters the campaign phase where we welcome real people to vote online for the products they want to see come to life. The voting threshold to determine if the product is able to be produced is dependent on numerous factors, for example, what are the economical viable quantities needed to manufacture this product, or is tooling and special testing required? When the product receives enough votes, it will then be produced and sold on volitionbeauty.com or through our retail partner, Sephora Canada.
Who are you looking for feedback/input from, and what type of feedback/info are you looking for?
Necessity is the mother of invention so we’re looking for anyone who has a unique idea or has experienced certain products and have discovered a need to change or introduce new ideas into the beauty space.
Why, in your opinion, should consumers be more intimately involved in the beauty products they use?
The beauty industry is always evolving as everyone, including the consumers, are becoming more knowledgeable, discovering unique innovations or experiencing new challenges in their routines. We want to bring the consumers, real people, to the forefront because they are, ultimately, the ones to experience the product and our brand. By listening to everyone’s ideas and feedback and highlighting those behind the products on all our platforms, we want to create “the next big thing” together.
Personal question for each of you: your favourite Volition product that's available now, and what would your ultimate dream product be?
Brandy: Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads because of the immediate change in my skin when I use just one pad. I have paid for facials that did not leave my skin this soft and smooth … seriously. My dream beauty product would be a manicure machine that would do all the hard work in half the time!
Patricia: How can I pick?? I don't have sensitive skin and I am borderline addicted to exfoliation to constantly regenerate my 40-something-year-old skin. So my current cleanse routine is the Turmeric Brightening Polish (everyday instead of cleanser) followed by Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads (instead of toner). Yes, both are gentle enough for me to use every day. For hydration, I use our Ultimate Anti-Aging Custom Trio—Dual Cream Base and Rose of Jericho Renewing Elixir. Since I'm over 40, I rely on our high-performance age-defyers (versus our amazing hydrators, which I would've used in my 30s). My biggest skin concern in hyperpigmentation, so my dream product would be something completely radical in both form and function to get after that. (Note from Brandy: Patricia is already late to the game because our Community of Innovators has already unearthed these ideas!)
Win! A $110 Volition Beauty Prize Pack!
We have a winner! Congratulations Clare O. of Oakville, Ontario, who won a Volition Beauty prize pack valued at more than $110, including a Turmeric Brightening Polish and Oceanene Youth Boost Gel!