When Amy Errett first launched a beauty brand to sell non-toxic, salon-quality hair color products*, the male-dominated world of venture capital wasn’t exactly lining up to invest.
“The first couple of years that I started this,” Errett said, “I had a lot of my Valley VC friends who are like … ‘What are you doing? What a weird category.’ I’ve had VCs say to me — more than 10 of them — ‘Women color their hair at home?’”
Despite the disbelief of Silicon Valley elite, Errett launched Madison Reed in 2013 and quickly proved not only that do women color their hair at home, but also that they are in desperate need of a high-quality product that doesn’t contain ammonia, parabens, or other potentially toxic chemicals. In January 2019, the company raised $51 million in Series D funding.
Looking to the future
Although Madison Reed started as an ecommerce business, Errett continues to look for ways to meet customers where they are — even at brick-and-mortar locations. In just a few years’ time, they have launched more than 50 Madison Reed Hair Color Bars across the U.S. And the company has a partnership with Ulta Beauty and Ulta x Target, distributing their products at the retailer’s 1,200-plus locations in 50 states.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers wherever it is most convenient for them, be that at home, in our Hair Color Bars, or at a top beauty retailer such as Ulta,” Errett explained. “We are truly channel agnostic, which is a first for the hair color industry, as is our creation of a prestige hair color sold directly to consumers.”
Even as Madison Reed has expanded into the traditional retail space, they’ve continued to innovate with their ecommerce channels. The company’s in-house engineering team developed a chatbot named Madi that helps recommend the right hair color, introduced algorithmic learning to send notifications to customers based on how frequently they dye their hair, and is using A.I. to better understand what their customers need and want.
And through the implementation of augmented reality, their Virtual Hair Color Makeover Tool allows visitors to Madison Reed’s site to experiment with their hair color without a drop of dye. The technology allows customers to preview the company’s array of different hair colors simply using their phone, tablet, or desktop’s built-in camera.
“Our goal is to eliminate any fear factor and enable people to choose a new hair color with the confidence of having already witnessed the end result,” Errett said.
Madison Reed’s commitment to excellence doesn’t stop with their products and services. Madison Reed actively supports non-profit organizations such as Direct Relief, the American Red Cross, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Color of Change. (By the way, if you’re looking for an easy way to contribute to these charities, as well as many more, you can simply ask Alexa to make a donation! Check out a full list of charities.)
Find your new look, at home
If you’re looking for an exciting hair color upgrade, without leaving your home, Madison Reed provides you with a few options to get the ball rolling. You can schedule a video color consultation with a licensed colorist concierge. You can also check their hair color chart to learn the box color basics and begin to find the right shade for you. Or, if you’re looking to master the popular balayage technique, look no further — you can learn more about the technique while also consulting a how-to video and checking out recommended products.
Much of Madison Reed’s success is because they make it as easy as possible for customers to add some flair to their hair, through logistics, location, pricing, and technology. With Madison Reed’s beauty products available to purchase on Amazon, and with Amazon Pay available at checkout on the Madison Reed site, it’s easier than ever for people to get professional hair color at home, without worrying about the periodic table of chemicals that might be contained within.
*Amazon does not endorse any of the products or information provided by the Merchant in this video.
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