Plant-based hair wellness brand Vegamour is expanding deeper into the Chinese market through Alibaba Group’s cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global.
The California-based company’s products target common concerns from hair loss to thinning and have amassed a cult following among celebrities like model Bella Hadid and actor Nicole Kidman since launching in 2016.
Vegamour founder and chairman Dan Hodgdon wants to bring these solutions to more Chinese consumers.
“You have to plant seeds for the future. And for me, China was always our future,” he said in an interview with Alizila.
Vegamour soft-launched in China in 2021 via Alibaba’s Tmall Overseas Fulfillment program, which provides overseas warehouses for direct fulfillment to Chinese customers.
Over the last two years, the brand has continued to scale, and today, its growth serums, shine-enhancing shampoos and conditioning treatments are available on the Vegamour Tmall Global flagship store.
“The solutions provided by Alibaba Group allow a brand to enter the market very efficiently and very quickly and also have the ability to scale,” Charlie Gu, founder and CEO of marketing company Kollective Influence, told Alizila. Vegamour worked with Gu to expand into China.
Below is a transcript of this video, edited for clarity and brevity
Dan Hodgdon: Vegamour is a clean, vegan, plant-based hair wellness brand that incorporates a holistic approach to addressing not only the symptoms, but the underlying root causes of most common hair concerns.
Hair wellness as a category is something that I think we sort of created. When we first started, there was no clean alternative to hair health or solutions for hair thinning.
The inspiration for Vegamour came from nature. When I made that connection between how things grow in nature and drew that line directly to how hair grows, it made perfect sense that you had to take a holistic approach.
I think the reason Vegamour was so successful so early was that I went out to prove that if you formulated for efficacy and if people felt the products were working and had a good experience with them, they would come back and repurchase them.
At Vegamour, our return purchase rate is 60%, so I think that speaks volumes.
As a young brand with limited resources and trying to grow the brand in America, that was a large task in and of itself, but you have to plant seeds for the future. And for me, China was always our future.
Charlie Gu: When I first met Dan, the thing that impressed me most was his passion.
After our meeting, we started to explore the possibilities of working together to help Vegamour enter China’s market. What Dan had emphasized was that he really wanted to do this right, do it smartly, and make sure the brand has long-term success in China.
So we explored different options. I believe Alibaba is the best platform for brands to go to China because the Chinese market is very expensive and very diverse. And I think all the solutions provided by Alibaba Group allow a brand to enter the market very efficiently and very quickly and also have the ability to scale.
Dan Hodgdon: The access to the Chinese market that Alibaba has creates massive job opportunities for our company here in the U.S. I mean — you’re talking about the second largest market economy in the world.
Consumer demand from Chinese customers absolutely has a positive impact on the economy here in the U.S., in southern California specifically. It has a ripple effect: the larger the demand, the more jobs we can create to serve that demand.
Vegamour’s growth has been meteoric. We’ve grown from a four-person team in 2016 to a hundred-plus people today.
I think what I’m most proud of with Vegamour is that we have been able to stick to our principles of causing no harm while also improving the lives of others.
We have the privilege of working with fair-trade partnerships all around the world that provide us with these amazing botanical active ingredients that we use in our products every day.
I think the thing that makes Vegamour stand out from the rest of the crowd, especially as this space becomes more and more competitive and more crowded, is that hair wellness has been a core part of our DNA from day one. And it’s in everything that we do. It’s been an incredible adventure.