An Australian-owned skincare brand started by three 25-year-olds has scored a whopping $2 million in inventor funding just eighteen months after launch.
Hey Bud Skincare is a boutique skincare brand that produces hemp clay masks, hemp facial moisturisers, and hemp face oils. The brand was founded in 2019 by friends Alex Roslaniec, Fedele D’Amico, and Ollie Watts.
The trio reportedly started the brand after D’Amico’s mother (a beauty therapist) experimented with using imported hemp oil. Hemp oil is commonly used to reduce inflammation and redness on the skin, as it contains a high percentage of fatty acids that help retain skin moisture.
After realising the benefits of hemp oil, Roslaniec, D’Amico, and Watts invested $30,000 into a trial of 500 hemp clay masks. These sold out and Hey Bud started to grow quickly. Hey Bud is now projected to make $4 million in revenue over the next year. The business also achieved month-on-month growth last year with sales increasing 21% across twelve months.
Recently, Hey Bud also received $2 million from a private investor who wants to help them grow the brand. This new money will be used to drive sales. The founders are also working on new hemp products and expanding their product line into brick-and-mortar stores.
While it’s exciting to see a small business succeed in the hemp space, hemp-based products can be difficult to sell. Although both industrial and consumable hemp products are fully legal, hemp is marked with the stigma of cannabis. Global research has shown that many people don’t know the difference between hemp and cannabis. Platforms like Facebook and eBay also remove listings for cannabis-derived goods (often, for no good reason).
Hey Bud seems to have a unique strategy that helped them work around anti-cannabis stigma: social media. The brand currently has over 139k Instagram followers and a loyal cult-like following of skincare addicts and micro-influencers. Still, Roslaniec says that their products still experience anti-cannabis stigma.
When people think of cannabis they think of getting high.
Hey Bud’s mysterious $2 million investor has remained private, but the business’s founders say they have a large presence in skincare.