At the seed stages investing in a strong founding team is as important as any element of the business. Justine Lassoff, and Katie Bogue Miller are one such team worth getting to know more about. They come as seasoned domain experts in the beauty and skincare world.  

Justine after having huge success in selling one of her other co-founded companies, LoveEco in the beauty e-commerce space to famed John Paul DeJoria is at it again with a mission driven business that is winning over customers by the day. Katie also comes from LoveEco, where she was Head of Merchandising. She knows her stuff front and back when it comes to beauty and skincare products, which enables her to manage the growth of Love Goodly’s reach in the market with ease.

Learn more about what this awesome founding team is up to in our conversation below…

Funding Round Details

Love Goodly logo
Company: Love Goodly
Security Type: Debt
Valuation: $0
Min Investment: $500
Platform: SeedInvest
Deadline: Apr 27, 2018
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Justine and Katie, you both have such intriguing backgrounds and bring to the table lots of experience in the personal care market, so why Love Goodly and why now?

Justine: As you mentioned I have been down the road of founding a company before. My last company was LovingEco, which I was the cofounder and CEO of and Katie head of merchandising. It was an eco-friendly and beauty flash sales platform that was acquired just a year after launch by a company backed by John Paul DeJoria. You may know him as the founder of companies like Paul Mitchell.

Katie and I joined the team that acquired us, but we decided that we wanted to find ways to continue to build great companies serving the natural health and beauty category. We decided to found Love Goodly, which gives women an easy way to discover new products and brands that are vetted and researched by us.

The mission of Love Goodly is personal for me because I am a breast cancer survivor. What many don’t realize is that on an average day, the personal care and beauty products that women put on have in total over 160 chemicals.

With 60% of the body being skin that means that we are coating a large majority of our bodies in all these chemicals that can be toxic and lead to things like breast cancer. Unfortunately, in the US, there are only 11 banned ingredients not allowed in beauty care products, while in Europe there are 1,100 chemicals banned. This means that the large majority of making sure you protect your body from dangerous chemicals is on the individual, which can be overwhelming.

For those that don’t know, how do you define Love goodly as a business?

Justine: Love Goodly is a subscription box service that lets women switch to non-toxic beauty and skincare products and discover new brands. 

We provide a fun, easy way to discover products. Our bi-monthly full size products, unlike BirchBox enable our customers to really try the products out, and we have a full e-commerce shop too so they can shop their favorites.

Love Goodly is about providing vegan, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free, which is terrific for the customer but can be pricey. How are you providing these items at $29 while maintaining healthy margins, which by the way gross profit grew 200% last year?

Katie: We’ve been in this space so long and know so many of the brands really well. With these great relationships and growing volumes, along with the marketing exposure for the brands through our press coverage, bloggers reviews, affiliates and social media, we are able to negotiate product cost well below wholesale with the cost share model we have in place.  

Justine: Speaking to the point about exposure, we have garnered over 300M impressions for our brand partners, which is incredible visibility for them. We’ve also managed to get costs lower on the operations side. First off, we have found ways to reduce shipping cost dramatically through bulk shipping, and we have been able to reduce the cost of packaging by modifying the size and weight of the boxes.

How do you cut through the noise of so many subscription boxes and reach customers with your message?

Justine: Our key strategy is to partner with influencers and celebrities whose lifestyle aligns with our mission. For us, we really like influencers that are focused on living a healthy lifestyle, perhaps are vegan, or support a cause we support, and really care about living naturally.

For instance, with our next box we are partnering with Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory. She has a tremendous following, is passionate about giving back, and she’s a brand ambassador for PawWorks, an incredible animal rescue non-profit we will support. That kind of star power and influence helps our boxes to get more exposure and helps grow the reach of the incredible brands we work with while giving back to PawWorks.

How do you intake customer feedback and how has that shaped the boxes to date?

Justine: Our amazing customer support team listens attentively to all of the feedback we get from our various feedback channels. And we work hard to find ways to adapt our business to best meet our customers needs and wants.

It looks as though you are doing over 2,000 boxes per month. What channels have you used to grow the business to this size in terms of marketing?

Justine: In terms of marketing we have focused primarily on organic growth and that is where we are at with this capital raise. We have over 700 affiliates, which is made up of a mix of websites and blogs that want to promote us and then we pay a commission.

We are also focus on social media, Instagram, and also influencer curators and press. We get lots of press coverage to get the word out.

This year you are on pace to clear somewhere around over $400K. How do you take that to the next level and scale to a multi-million dollar business?

Justine: We see scaling Love Goodly by leveraging the communities that already exist around non-toxic, healthy lifestyles that exist on Google. People may not realize that there are already 15 million searches around finding healthier living brands, and subscription boxes in our space.

With that kind of market of people looking for products in this special market already, we see an opportunity to be there and fill that need. We want to show up during those searches, and we are working with Google to make that happen.

Katie: From an operations standpoint, we already have outsourced partners in place to help with fulfillment so that we can scale incrementally. We are also speaking with other distribution partners that already have audiences in the hundreds of millions, which to give you a sense, if we close even one of them that will quadruple our immediate box needs.

One challenge of subscription services is churn. What has that looked like to date and how are you keeping churn low?

Katie: We have a very low churn rate. On average it has been 8%. This is the benefit of providing a more manageable amount of product on a bi-monthly basis, and our efforts to curate the best products seems to be paying off. 

Justine: To embellish on Katie’s point, what we get the most feedback on from our customers is that we remain true to our 12 values and who we are. Our customers want clean, cruelty free products, and we continuously deliver that.

How did you decide on a bi-monthly cadence for the subscription boxes, which is not necessarily traditional?

Justine: We did bi-monthly because we provide our customers with full size products so it gives our audience time to use the products and not get overwhelmed with the quantity. This is unlike Birch Box that provides sample size products, which are much smaller.

But we do get some people in our community who really want monthly, so we are working on how we can meet their needs too.

You are nearing the end of your crowdfunding raise. How has the experience with crowdfunding on SeedInvest been to date?

Katie: We were attracted by the thought of allowing our loyal community to invest in our success who believe in our cause and passion. And it’s been an interesting experience in that it has been opening more doors, not just on the investment side, but we’ve also been approached by potential distribution partners, and people who can help scale the business too. The network effect is fascinating.

Justine: And SeedInvest has been amazing. They actually reached out and had asked us to launch on their platform, which was a huge honor because they only accept 1% of all applicants looking for investment. Overall, it’s been very positive.

One of the exciting developments we have seen as a result of equity crowdfunding is more females than ever are getting funded. How important and valuable is that  to you?

Justine: Hugely important, we see exactly what you say. Oftentimes you can not be taken seriously by traditional VCs. Either they don’t understand the market or they are used to seeing men pitch and they don’t engage well with a female. I think crowdfunding will open the investment field to more female founders!

Mission driven businesses with a keenly differentiated message are ones I like to take a deeper dive in because they are the types of the businesses that can quickly take hold of markets people don’t have their eye on.

This will open up doors for acquisition opportunities or recognition that a growing market opportunity is beginning to gain steam. As leaders in the space already, Justine and Katie are well positioned to be winners when it comes to the natural beauty and skin care e-commerce market.

Will you invest in this killer founding team? If so be sure to act fast and invest HERE, the raise ends in 2 days…