Onda Beauty’s clean ethos and leadership team are getting new leases on life — but keeping existing leases on two storefronts.
Jane Fernandez, Onda’s president up until Amyris revealed its closure and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last month, has taken over Onda Beauty’s leases in Hampton Bays and TriBeCa. Her brainchild, Sommetbeauty, will present an evolved assortment similar to its predecessor’s, focused on clean beauty, with both stores currently open.
“My team and I rallied and said this was such an incredible business, and still was a great business with a great portfolio of brands. It was small enough that I could take it on individually. So I did,” Fernandez told WWD.
She came up with the name after starting over from scratch. “It’s called Sommetbeauty — ’sommet’ is the French word for summit and we are literally climbing upward,” Fernandez said. “But it’s a brand that’ll help you reach your personal peak. It’s figurative, too.”
Though Fernandez was new to clean beauty when she arrived at Onda, she’s become a personal and professional devotee to the movement, though Sommetbeauty’s value proposition won’t entirely mirror Onda’s.
“We’re still working on the brand identity and continuing to develop it, but we take inspiration from the European pharmacies where you can find some incredible brands, high and low, and which are just fun to shop at,” Fernandez said. “It was always important for Onda that our aestheticians would prescribe the right skin care regimen for you, but we’re taking that one step further to develop that as a pillar of the brand identity. We’re going to have prescription pads in store, and something similar online.”
The brand matrix will include previous Onda Beauty brands, in addition to new ones and more diversified price points. “It’s in our roots to be a little bit more upscale from the Onda days, but that’s not to say that we won’t have entry price points,” she said. “That’s the point of the so-called French pharmacy approach. You find something at an entrypoint, and then you upgrade.”
Among Sommetbeauty’s brands are Osea, The Outset, Epi.logic, Wonder Valley and Marie Veronique, according to its website.
Sommetbeauty has a landing page on its website, though the e-commerce component is still being developed. Fernandez’s big focus is on brick-and-mortar for the time being. “What I learned from Onda, it was kind of a race to the bottom,” she said, nodding to competitive pricing and an increasingly promotional ecosystem. “I wanted to become this marketplace of inspiration, aspiration, exploration, discovery and content to tell these founder stories. I’ve been renegotiating with our vendors and 95 percent are coming aboard this new iteration. New brands are interested in signing with us, too.
“I’m not here to do huge volume plays to start, but over time, we will get to that point,” Fernandez continued.