BYROE skin care was founded in 2019 as a clean, salad-inspired line. Since its launch, founder Amy Roe has grown the brand into several distribution points all while navigating the challenges COVID presented to small, independent brands. Here, CEW caught up with Amy to discuss how she grew her brand over the past several years, what salad-inspired skin care actually means, and an exclusive peek into BYROE’s late summer product launch.
Approaching Skin Care from a Health-Focused Mindset
While BYROE officially launched in 2019, the building of the brand started several years before then. Founder Amy Roe got the idea to enter the world of beauty upon entering Columbia Business School in 2017. When brainstorming ideas for a brand, Amy wanted to take a health-forward approach, which focused on a diet that included eating salad, and infuse that concept into peoples’ skin care routines. The idea for using ingredients typically featured in salad came from Amy’s desire to help people build an overall healthier lifestyle. BYROE’s latest collection, which launches on June 1, features tea-focused products also inspired by this mindset. The tea collection includes an English Breakfast Tea Treatment Essence, Hibiscus Tea Glow Mist, and Rose Tea Eye Cream.
Amy said, “When you go to Sweetgreen or any salad bar, there is always a selection of [green] juices and tea-infused beverages. It really inspired me to bring the concept of tea to our salad-inspired offerings. Also, tea is packed with great antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients, and can really help to restore the skin’s health. Tea overall boosts the immune support system.”
Building a Brand During a Pandemic
Starting a new company is never easy, however, the experience was made even more challenging considering BYROE launched several months before the start of the pandemic. For Amy, the hardest part of working on the brand during this time was not being able to network in person and build business connections.
“Of course not meeting with people was the hardest part at the beginning because everything was closed and I wanted to have my pop-up store in NYC, which was already set up in Showfields. But everything just suddenly closed. Also, we were planning to meet buyers and attend trade shows, especially starting as a small brand. That was the biggest challenge. But later on I just figured that I can’t sit in a room and wait for people to contact me. They don’t know the brand.”
A few ways Amy circumnavigated social distancing was by cold-emailing editors and buyers and introducing BYROE to consumers via subscription boxes. Birchbox was the first subscription box company to reach out to BYROE, followed by Ipsy and Boxy Charm. BYROE’s Tomato Serum was the first product featured and Amy was thrilled with influencer response and consumer feedback. Along with entering the world of monthly beauty boxes, over the past few years BYROE has also launched on Amazon.com and was the exclusive beauty sponsor for the 2022 Grammy’s after-party.
What’s Next In-Store
BYROE has many plans in the works and for winning in the long term. During May, which is also Asian American Pacific Islander [AAPI] Heritage Month, a portion of BYROE’s sales will go towards charitable programs including The Asian American Foundation, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and The National Queer Pacific Islander Alliance.
BYROE will also launch another new product on August 17, the Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser, which will retail for $38. It contains apple and kiwi seeds, and ingredients such as BHA, AHA, and PHA.
Amy’s other long-term goals for the business include entering brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., Europe, and eventually Asia, as well as selling through home shopping channels.