Due to a cult fan following, the indie beauty brand has experienced significant growth, transitioning it from direct-to-consumer to a key player in the global retail space.
“We’re thrilled to be officially launching on Sephora.com today and in select stores this August,” said company founder Shelby Wild of Venice, CA. “This is a big move for Playa and a clear indication of our growth in the market. As we thought about the move from direct to consumer, it was critical to choose a retailer that would work as a true partner and provide invaluable insight into their loyal customer base.”
As a former fashion stylist for Italian Vogue and Intermix in New York City, Shelby yearned for a lifestyle of simplicity, so she traded in her fast-paced corporate life and relocated to Venice Beach, California. Reconnecting with nature, studying herbalism and spending mornings out on the water, Shelby re-focused her energy to fuel her journey into the beauty world.
“Since I was young, I’ve always been happiest when I’m making things. But after spending years living in a tiny New York City apartment, I found I just wasn’t happy without space to create and well, just be,” she said.
Wild’s light bulb moment happened when a usual morning beauty routine ended in a product mess on her bathroom floor.
“My cabinet didn’t look cohesive, it was crowded, the sheer amount of products were overwhelming and the fact that the formulas were more or less the same forced me to ask why hadn’t anyone streamlined a daily routine?”
As the daughter of a scientist, Wild’s childhood memories of mixing and making products inspired her to create an “effortless” hair care collection.The range—which features shampoo, conditioner, texture spray, dry shampoo and hair oil spanning from $26-$38—was intentionally edited to simply the consumer’s routine so she’s spending less time in front of the mirror and more time doing what she loves. These five essentials are now available to shop online and via the mobile app.
“Playa is passionate about educating consumers on effortless, functional hair care solutions and we are delighted to bring Shelby’s vision of effective beauty to the Sephora client,” said Jessica Phillips Perez, senior director of merchandising for Sephora.
Standout SKUs include Ritual Hair Oil ($38, a weightless blend of apricot, kukui and a proprietary derived coconut oil to soften strands; Endless Summer Spray ($28) made with sea salt harvested in southern California to create a perfectly tousled hair texture; and a Pure Dry Shampoo ($26), a rare blend of botanicals and minerals to refresh and revitalize hair instantly—no shower required. Rose powder invisibly absorbs excess oil at the roots while keeping hair soft and star anise extract treats scalp and eliminates impurities, too, on this product.
Playa is currently formulating two exclusive products for Sephora set to debut in the Fall.
“Sephora has offered incredible guidance as we take the next steps in elevating our brand and expanding our offerings,” said Wild. “When I began the journey of making these products, I wanted them to be infused with the laid-back California spirit I love so much. The end result is something I never imagined I could create.”