Show report: Lifestyle and Beauty edit gives fashion show JATC new makeover
Fashion trade show Just Around the Corner (JATC) dipped its toes into the booming beauty market at January’s trade show at The Truman Brewery on East London’s Brick Lane in February 2023, but a dedicated ‘Lifestyle & Beauty’ section at the new Tobacco Dock venue that took place on 16-18 July took it up a notch.
It’s clear there’s an increasing demand in the sector, as JATC organiser Juls Dawson knows too well. He said: “Given the positive response of our Lifestyle and Beauty zone launch last season, we allocated a dedicated hall for the category at this week’s SS24 event at our new home of Tobacco Dock.
“As lifestyle becomes a more prevalent as a category in many retailers expanding their offering on the shopfloor, it felt only right that JATC mirror this trend by giving their buyers the opportunity to discover brands in this sector.
“Not only has the zone welcomed buyers from a fashion background sourcing these incremental categories, but also the more traditional buyers from stores specialising in these product ranges.”
The brands showing backed up Dawson’s enthusiasm, and it’s fair to say that we can expect more of the same at JATC going forward. Here’s what a selection of exhibitors had to say.
Nicola Jones, Founder, Face Junkie
We only launched at the end of September 2022, though I started formulating with my chemist in 2019. For 25 years prior to that I was a beauty therapist and I used to do product knowledge training. This is my first time showing at Just Around the Corner, it’s local to me as I only live half an hour away and the venue is very cool. It’s been great to network with other brand owners, and I’ve got loads of contacts from being here. The buyer from Fenwick was in on Sunday and we talked for half an hour. He wants to meet up with me in September, so that could be a life changing thing for me.
Face Junkie consists of my own formulations based on the brands I used to work with, including SkinCeuticals, Medicay and Dermalogica – all the acclaimed brands. In 2019 I decided the time was right to go out on my own, and I used all the products on myself for a year before I went to market.
The ’Hero’ collection consists of six pieces, three morning products and three evening products. They are numbered one to six to make it user friendly – used in order as so many people get confused with how to layer skin care. Customers have been very grateful for that! It starts with #1, a brightening cleanser, and finishes with #6, a pro collagen night cream, which is the star of the show. It has peptides which stimulate cell renewal and health. They are all antioxidant and anti-pollution – all made to defend against the environment. All the morning products are preventative and all the evening products are regenerative. They are unisex and for all skin types. We sell them individually or as a bundle. I’d say #2, a vitamin C and neroli antioxidant serum, and #4, a green tea antioxidant cleansing oil, are the most popular ones that get bought singularly. A bundle of six retails for £94.50, and wholesales at £56.
As the brand evolves, I will move in to targeted skin types, such as sensitive, dry, acne-prone and ageing, but they will all be the same concept. I am also implementing a lifestyle element to it as well, such as the ‘Sun Salute’ candle that you can burn during your morning skin routine. It has an uplifting combination of neroli, lemon, lime and amber.
Jane Harley, Sales Director, Margaret Dabbs London
Margaret Dabbs is a London-based podiatrist and she has been carrying out medical pedicures for clients in London for the past 20 years. Our products go across hands, feet, nails and legs, with feet obviously being the core of the brand. I’ve only been with the brand since November, but I’ve known Margaret Dabbs since she launched her own products, as I actually launched her brand on QVC many years ago, where I was a buyer not a presenter!
We’ve not done a Just Around the Corner show before, but I have visited as a buyer previously when I worked for TK Maxx as a beauty buyer. I’ve been in the retail industry for 28 years, over 20 years of which as a buyer. Now I’m on the sales side – I’ve come to the dark side! I really enjoy it, but then I’ve been really lucky that I can choose to work with brands that I really believe in. It’s not a problem to sell a product that works.
Our products are cosmetic, they are not medically licensed products, but they are about health and wellbeing of your feet, legs, hands and nails – so we are a beauty brand. I think the first ‘Lifestyle & Beauty’ edit at the last Just Around the Corner was more wellness and candle driven. This is the first time they’ve brought in a true beauty offer to the show. It’s a great section for us. What we wanted to get out of this show was to meet the smaller independents, as they are the businesses that really want to work with brands like ours. They are passionate and you get a lot of attention. Dare I say that in the big businesses, you can become just another number on a spreadsheet that monitors sales.
Our brand is founded, owned and run by Margaret – it’s her brand in its entirety and we want to work with like-minded businesses. I think Just Around the Corner brings those smaller independents to us. Everybody we’ve met so far has been a smaller independent, or a boutique owner, which is perfect for us. By lunchtime on day two we’d already had about a dozen leads – a variety of boutiques and people we could collaborate with. For example, we met a young couple who have a sock brand who we are going to collaborate with.
Margaret Dabbs now has 11 clinics globally, but we are also available in department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges, Fenwick and Liberty. We are also feature in five star spas around the world, such as at Sandy Lane, Barbados, where you are able to purchase Margaret Dabbs London products post-treatment.
Each of our of product categories has hero products which all have trademarked ingredients in them. One of the hero products is the foot hygiene cream, a multi-tasking product that will sort out any issues with your feet, including dry skin on your heels. We also have one of the best foot files in the world that will last a lifetime as you just replace the pads on it. Another favourite is our firming legs serum which cools and calms puffy legs.
Sarah Addis, Area Sales Manager, Scottish Fine Soaps
Scottish Fine Soaps will be 50 years old next year. It was established in Falkirk, Scotland, in 1974. We manufacture bath and body products and supply customers ranging from department stores and garden centres to gifting focused retailers. I look after sales for the south of England and Wales and we’re here at Just Around the Corner to attract some new customers. It’s been good for us and we’ve had some quality leads. It’s not been crazy busy, but the footfall has been steady and the people who have been here have been the right ones for us.
We have met some great buyers and contacts that we've been trying to connect with for some time, and you’ve never known who was going to show up - especially the guy from Fenwick at 4.45 on a Sunday! It’s definitely been quality over quantity, and I’ve loved the organisers introducing us to key people throughout the show. It’s also an incredible venue and handy that you can get a free cuppa and a bite to eat when needed.
For this show, I’ve talked a lot about sustainability, the environment, and how important our environmentally conscious packaging – which incorporates 100% recycled plastic bottles - is with increasingly conscious consumers. They are actively looking for vegan-friendly and sustainably sourced ingredients. Our products are made in the UK and we take our inspiration from around the British isles, with a nod to Scotland. We do a huge catalogue of products for our varied customer base, but the core ranges that we have here include our sea kelp, a very well established range, which is sustainably sourced sea weed and sea kelp which goes in to a whole range of bath and body products.
I’ve also brought along our ‘Thistle & Black Pepper’ men’s grooming products. They include a facial wash, hair and body wash and an eau de toilette. That range is carried by independent department stores and some of the luxury pharmacies which have gone back to selling more fragrance and beauty ranges since the sad demise of department stores like Debenhams. The high street has now lost out on the desire to find those products, as men are looking for affordable but luxury grooming products and fragrances. We sell to the likes of Jarrold department store in Norwich, Bobby’s in Bournemouth and Banburys in Tiverton, Devon.