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Corbin Chamberlin Is Bringing Good Vibes to Beauty

The Sage & Salt founder detailed his self-funded rise since his brand’s 2014 inception.

Corbin Chamberlin Is Bringing Good Vibes to Beauty

Sage & Salt founder Corbin Chamberlin

Sage & Salt was founded in 2014, but founder Corbin Chamberlin’s journey with mystical modalities started much sooner.

“If you knew my childhood, you wouldn’t be surprised that I started this company,” Chamberlin said during a presentation at the second annual WWD L.A. Beauty Forum, or L.A.B. “Growing up, we were encouraged to ground before school, to stand under a full moon and to sleep next to crystals.”

Sage & Salt — which he described as “your favorite new-age store with better branding and less Patchouli” — has gained traction in recent years.

“I started a company that’s built on the idea of good energy, crystals and moon phases. It wouldn’t be an L.A. beauty event without talking about all of those things. I think half the room is aware that Mercury is, in fact, in retrograde,” Chamberlin said.

The brand’s debut product, Smokeless Smudge, is a room mist imbued with the same energy cleansing benefits of a traditional sage smudge, no flames or smoke necessary. Chamberlin created it after pursuing fashion journalism in New York.

“At the time, I just made it for my friends. I couldn’t keep up; the fashion girls were obsessed, and I thought I was onto something,” he said. Chamberlin officially launched the brand in 2014, selling 15,000 units of the spray in the business’ first six months.

Other products followed, from Abundance and Love sprays to one specifically for Mercury retrograde. After researching ethical mines in Africa and Brazil, Sage & Salt also launched jewelry. “It was the early days of Facebook where you actually saw traction from ads, which is not how it is anymore,” Chamberlin said. “These items are meant to change your energy and could sit next to a beautiful face cream but coincide together.”

When Chamberlin held his first trunk show at Forty Five Ten, the Dallas-based retailer, the performance defied his expectations. “I was worried about no one showing up,” Chamberlain said. “I walked out on the floor, and in the first three hours, we did $65,000 in sales.”

Accelerated by the pandemic, the brand has grown more than 100 percent year-over-year for the last five years. “Our little brand of good energy really took off during COVD-19. People wanted their spaces to look beautiful, and also to feel beautiful,” Chamberlin said.

“People became very cognizant of how they were feeling, and how they could change that. We’ve never hired a marketing firm, I’ve always found the most success just aligning with influencers and editors and press that understood us,” Chamberlin continued.

Now, the focus is on brick-and-mortar expansion. Chamberlin hired distributor David Pirrotta, and Sage & Salt has launched in 60 doors in the U.S. with plans to add another 50 this year, as well as select doors in the U.K. and Asia. While he’s taking expansion slow and steady, Chamberlin expects the brand’s core proposition to find its devotees in any market. “Beauty is about magic, it’s so much more than smearing a red hue on your lips or spritzing a fragrance. It’s about changing your energy, maybe it’s about channeling a loved one with their favorite perfume,” he said. “Sage & Salt is just condensing that and the idea of having little rituals throughout your day.”

Tags

  • fragrance
  • retail
  • wellness

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