The story behind Marla Beck’s beauty empire starts right here in the Bay Area.
National beauty store chain Bluemercury (bluemercury.com) made a splash in the Bay Area last year with the expansion of its San Francisco presence to include locations in Embarcadero Center, Laurel Village, Burlingame, Redwood City, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Campbell, San Jose and, most recently, Berkeley. We spoke with co-founder and CEO Marla Beck to find out more about the beauty mogul’s Bay Area ties.
What are your ties to the Bay Area? I am a true California girl. I grew up in Oakland and went to UC Berkeley for college. Although I live in Washington, D.C., now, my obsession with beauty products started right here. The very first beauty store I ever shopped at was the Body Shop on College Avenue. They made this amazing perfume, China Rain, and had the most amazing body products. I started getting facials when I was a teenager and was in love with the homegrown L.A. brand Dermalogica and used to drive to Nordstrom for MAC lipstick. It was the only place that sold MAC for many years!
What is the significance of opening so many stores in this market? Since we opened our first California location—Corte Madera—15 years ago, we have been looking to expand to serve the rapidly growing community. The acquisition of the Peninsula beauty locations gave us an entrance into the area in line with our neighborhood-focused strategy. We cluster our store in neighborhoods where our clients live, work and play. We are never more than a 5-mile radius from them in our city locations and no more than a 15-minute drive in the suburbs. By opening multiple locations across the area, it provides increased brand recognition, as we hope to be a place of convenience as we join these new communities.
What’s next for Bluemercury? We adore clean beauty and wellness products, and continue to seek out innovation in these categories. We are expanding Bluemercury’s conscious beauty program to include new clean and green cosmetics brands Kjaer Weis, a 95% organic cosmetics brand that behaves like pigmented skincare; and Kosas, a consciously crafted brand powered by botanical ingredients—in addition to supplements! I have always believed that beauty comes from within, and I’m excited to bring this mindset to our stores. This past fall, we launched our BlueRewards program at all of our 190 locations! Our mission at Bluemercury has always been to be the best at giving beauty advice, and that will continue by providing our clients access to exclusive events, first access to new launches and new services! Shopping for beauty and finding new products is more confusing than it’s ever been. There’s more information and more products, so making it easier for people to find the right products is absolutely necessary, and our beauty experts are the best in the industry!
Photography by: Tony Powell