In episode 306 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Emilie Hoyt, founder and CEO of LATHER, top quality products for the body, face, hair and home made from unique, natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Hoyt discusses LATHER’s business, what led her to start the brand, and to what she attributes the company’s 20-year growth. She shares insights into LATHER’s customer demographics and acquisition strategy, how the business had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how its omnichannel strategy has evolved over time.
In addition, Hoyt discusses why she believes LATHER’s retail locations give the brand a competitive advantage, the importance of interacting with customers in person to collect feedback and foster relationships, and what she’s focusing on going forward to continue scaling the brand’s growth.
Decades before the “clean beauty” movement, Emilie Hoyt was inspired to take her cues from nature. As a young girl, Emilie suffered from debilitating migraines, sometimes so bad they would visually impair her sight. When medical experts were unable to provide relief, Emilie rolled up her sleeves, deciding to take her remedy into her own hands. Digging into extensive research, she became awakened to the idea that her personal care products were the most likely culprits behind her migraine activation.
Of the hundreds of alarming findings from her research, one disingenuous and dangerous “ingredient” stood out among the rest: synthetic fragrance, otherwise known as toxic, petroleum-based compounded chemicals that are permitted to be used in 95 percent of beauty products. It was then that Emilie made it her life mission to make natural and safe products accessible to people looking to feel the very best they can in their own skin. Emilie channeled her passion for wellness and aromatherapy into LATHER, and opened the brand’s first store in Pasadena, CA in 1999.