Beauty Store Business magazine - September, 2019

First-Ever Indie Beauty Expo Is a Success

The first-ever Indie Beauty Expo, which debuted Aug. 27 in New York City, is being called a rousing success, as it surpassed even the most optimistic expectations.

“Finally, the category has a venue that is custom-tailored to meet its needs and to shine a spotlight on this innovative and unique collection of entrepreneurs,” said Jillian Wright, iBE co-founder.

“With a packed house, the Expo delivered on attendance with over 1,000 participants, including consumers, reporters, buyers and other trade professionals enthusiastically passing through the doors,” added Nader Naeymi-Rad, iBE co-founder.

iBE, By the Numbers

  • 80 exhibitors
  • 200+ retail buyers, including ABC Carpet & Home, Barneys, C.O. Bigelow, Credo Beauty, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Target and Whole Foods
  • 100+ members of the media, including Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, New York magazine, People Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Self, W and Yahoo
  • 300+ beauty industry professionals
  • 300+ consumers

The Expo’s co-founders underscored their commitment to supporting indie leaders with the announcement of the iBE Best in Show Awards, which are designed to highlight these “smart beauty” pioneers even further. The judging committee is comprised of the judging chair (and Expo adviser) Marie Watkinson of Spa Chicks on the Go and judges Andrea Nagel of CEW, Jeannie Jarnot of Beauty Heroes, Cheryl Kramer Kaye of SHAPE magazine, Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty and celebrity makeup artist Cynde Watson. Winners will be announced in October.

The Buzz
—Isa Brito of Isa Restoratives: “Such an amazing triumph. I can't wait for next year.”
—Laura Heilman of Stiks Cosmetics: “Flawless show! STIKS did great and made tons of connections.”
—Katie Hess of Lotus Wei: “I was astonished at the massive crowds that showed up for the expo. People were waiting in line on the street to get in before the doors opened, and the line stretched over two city blocks.”
—Chase Polan of Kypris Beauty: “The show was an absolutely wild success. [iBE has] officially pulled off what no one has been able to do for indie beauty with stunning grace and epic rapport. I'm thrilled we can say we were there from the beginning.”
—Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty: “It was absolutely amazing. I was so honored to be a part of it.”
—Annie Tevelin of Skin Owl: “How wonderful it was being a part of this memorable day.”
—Meredith Thalheimer, executive buyer at AHA Life: “For a retailer like AHA life, finding unique brands that separate us from the competition is paramount. iBE introduced us to product lines we've never heard of, all with fascinating stories. But what we loved most was that they have integrity, being clean, and are truly unique. Most were owned by women, and we love supporting female-owned businesses."
—CEW: “[The show’s debut] … exemplified what a trade show should feel, look and act like in the very competitive beauty trade show landscape.”

iBE’s mission is to provide a platform to recognize, showcase and promote independent beauty brands to retailers, consumers and the media. See the event recap video.

[Image and video courtesy of Indie Beauty Expo]