We love an entrepreneurial woman, and Hailey is all that and more. Hailey Baldwin Bieber is an international model, social media personality, and influencer — you name it. Even so, she seems to have no plans of slowing down as she launched her own skincare brand.
A comprehensive look at Hailey Bieber's Rhode can teach female entrepreneurs a lot. Aspiring businesswomen can learn strategic marketing, thoughtful human resourcing, and taking purposeful business ventures, among others. These steps guided Hailey's brand to what it is today.
Are you an aspiring female business founder and want to start a business à la Hailey Bieber way? Know Hailey's secret to her skincare brand's entrepreneurial success!
How Rhode Skin Started
Hailey Baldwin Bieber is undeniably popular. Ever since she started modeling, her journey to becoming a beauty and fashion icon hasn’t stopped. Her traction even doubled since she married singer Justin Bieber in 2018.
One of Hailey's beauty signatures is her flawless skin. Even though she is famous for her "glazed donut" complexion, she shares the same struggle with any woman concerning skincare — finding affordable and sustainable products that provide necessary nutrients to the skin. This struggle motivated the launching of her own skincare brand, Rhode.
Hailey conceptualized having her own beauty brand as early as 2019. She initially filed a trademark for it with the name "Bieber Beauty." Unfortunately, it was reportedly rejected as the trademark was already filed by her husband in 2010.
Around two years later, Hailey filed for another trademark based on her middle name, Rhode. Despite the rumors, she only confirmed the launch of her brand in the first quarter of 2022. On the 15th of June 2022, Rhode released three skincare products:
People Behind Hailey Bieber’s Rhode
Hailey never claimed she is an expert in skincare products or even running a business. Being such a no-bullsh*t queen, she admits to her limited knowledge in the field.
Hailey knew she needed to carefully select people to augment her skincare knowledge and business acumen. She partnered with the Founder and CEO of OBB Media, now Rhode's Founding Partner and Board Member, Michael D. Ratner, and started scouting for their "dream team."
Rhode also started utilizing social media in building its brand. Strategic marketing, together with Hailey's immense popularity, contributes to the success of the buildup of Rhode's social media presence.
A part of this achievement is also thanks to Hailey's close collaboration with Lauren Rothberg, a marketing expert who also happened to be Ratner's fiancée during that time. Rothberg, who was once behind the marketing team of brands like Reformation and Michael Kors, is an excellent addition to Hailey's heavily-loaded squad.
Shortly after, Rhode recruited One Luxury Group as its minority partner. Another recent addition to the team is the founding President of Versed, Melanie Bender.
Bender and Versed's background in providing clean skincare proves that Rhode is taking steps to pursue the same endeavor. With all these people in her corner, Hailey still ensures she's on top of things while she remains the Creative Director of Rhode.
Rhode's Website Technology Stack
Aside from social media platforms, having a website is essential to businesses. Websites are critical to a successful business and are crucial in the following:
Building brand credibility
Establishing brand identity
Directing organic traffic
Providing efficient customer service
That being said, Rhode's official website is well thought out as it uses different software to improve its performance. For instance, the website utilizes Shopify and cart functionality.
Shopify is practical and convenient for beginner sellers as it requires minimal programming experience. Additionally, the shopping cart software is advantageous for ease of selling and gathering information about customers' buying behaviors.
Rhode's website also features various payment processors. One of these is Apple Pay — a payment service that had a 92% market share in the United States last 2020. This payment method alone provides Rhode with a broad customer base.
Lawsuit and Controversy
The odds favor Hailey Bieber's brand in most aspects. However, like most brands, her newly-launched brand still faces some challenges.
Only a week after launching her skincare brand, a lawsuit was filed against Hailey for trademark infringement. The plaintiff was another brand of the same name, RHODE. This company, however, is a fashion line.
Founders Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers said in an Instagram post that Hailey's use of the brand name is hurting their company, employees, customers, and partners. RHODE clothing company put nine years of effort for their brand building to waste, the very reason why they turned down Hailey's offer to buy the brand in 2018.
The lawsuit, however, was unsuccessful. The court dismissed it and ruled in favor of Hailey's continuation of using the brand's name. Still, Khatau and Vickers are said to continue the pursuit of further legal actions about this.
3 Things We Can Learn From Hailey as an Entrepreneur
At the age of 26, Hailey Bieber successfully launched her own skincare brand. Hailey, as a rising figure of women in business, can give so much knowledge to women entrepreneurs interested in creating startup companies.
Do you know what the good news is? You can also do it. Even better news — it can be reduced to three digestible things!
Know Yourself and Your Market
Hailey knows she has the assets to launch a skincare brand — money, popularity, and influence. She used these things to penetrate such an overly saturated market of beauty products.
Hailey acknowledges that she'll have other celebrity beauty brands as competitors upon launching Rhode. From this fact, she developed her brand's values that separate her from others:
Quality Over Quantity
"Slow beauty" is a movement in production that emphasizes lesser and better quality items over larger quantities of products. It can be observed in Rhode as it only sells three hero products.
While these items are just a part of the brand's larger scheme of things, customers are assured that Rhode's skincare products are clean, high quality, and thoughtfully sourced.
Work With a Purpose
Rhode revolves around women's empowerment. Through the Rhodes Future Foundation, Hailey's brand supports initiatives involving women. Among the beneficiaries of this foundation are:
Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Inc. (BMMA)
LIFT Family Goal Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund
Customers who believe a brand serves a higher purpose will be more encouraged to buy. At the same time, businesses have a more defined path to take if it is run with guiding principles.
Rhode still has a long way to go regarding its growth and reach. It is yet to establish a more stable footing in the beauty industry. However, a comprehensive look at its establishment and the skincare products they offer will provide inspiring learnings to new female entrepreneurs in going forward with their business startups.
If you liked this comprehensive look at Hailey Bieber’s Rhode you might also like the weekly Female Startup Club Newsletter, which features the incredibly inspiring stories of 400+ female founders we have interviewed to date.