For thirty years, Lynn Power worked in advertising for some of the world’s most well-known brands, including American Express, Pizza Hut, and Hershey’s. In 2018, she was running a large global agency in New York when she realized just how unfulfilled she felt in her career. Power is passionate about building brands, but running an agency meant she spent more time dealing with meetings than doing the work she loved. Bravely, she made the decision to step away from her role and, as she says, the universe dropped her business partners right into her lap.
Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer James Hammett had been working for nearly a decade to perfect formulas for ultra-hydrating, clean hair care that utilized Mekabu, a Japanese ocean botanical they call their hero ingredient. Hammett didn’t have the background to commercialize the business, but Power certainly did. Throughout her career she had worked in the beauty industry on and off and even launched the Gillette series Hair Care for Men in the 90s. Together, they joined forces and launched the brand, naming it MASAMI after Hammett’s husband who had been the one to introduce him to their hero ingredient.
MASAMI launched in February of 2020, just one month before the first wave of COVID lockdowns came to NYC. Their original strategy of getting their brands into salons was no longer going to work–salons weren’t open for business–so Power pivoted to brand partnerships, which she says was critical to helping the business get off the ground.
Since then, they’ve taken the concept of brand partnerships even further, launching the Conscious Beauty Collective Pop-Up in 2022. The idea came to Power when she was going through breast cancer treatment. She explains, “I was thinking about how to reprioritize my life and my business. And I really enjoy working with other founders, and I wanted to think about how I could scale that because we had been doing kind of one-off partnerships. So, this idea of creating a pop-up store with 30+ brands was born.”
They are now running their third iteration of the pop-up in Rancho Cucamonga at Victoria Gardens in Southern California, after successful runs in San Francisco and Boston. She’s proud that the pop-up is able to bring exposure to so many small independent brands, all of whom have some element of being values-based, which Power explains could be “giving back to the community, sustainability, fair trade, cruelty free, vegan, those kinds of things.”
Her Clover Go has been an integral part not only of these pop-ups, but other markets and events throughout the country. She was first introduced to Clover when she saw a women’s entrepreneur group using it at an event. Ever since then, it’s been her preferred method for taking payments at events, which she says they are doing more and more of. “[The events] are just a great way to connect with our customers who have a lot of questions around clean beauty or conscious beauty. So, I’m a big fan of getting out there, meeting people and having those conversations. And so, the Clover Go is perfect for that because as I said, we are doing more and more, and we need an easy way to interact with customers for these kinds of sales.”
She not only loves that Clover charges a lower payment processing fee than some other POS systems, but also how easy it is to bring the Clover Go along with her. “It’s small, it’s Bluetooth, so I can just literally throw it in my bag and not worry about it and not think too much about it.”
While she’s not interested in opening a permanent store front, she does have other plans for the future of MASAMI. She wants to continue to grow organically, bringing The Conscious Beauty Collective Pop-Up to new customers across the country. Power and her team will also continue to focus on the work of the MASAMI Institute, which they created to support their ocean-friendly mission. On certain days of the year, they donate their sales to ocean research and education, working closely with a partner in Northeast Japan who focuses on documentation of the ocean and ecosystem in the bay where they source their main ingredient. Power sums it up by saying, “We take from the earth, so we need to replenish, and we need to give back.”
Read more stories about how Clover is helping merchants flex to meet changing market conditions and grow their small businesses.
Sign up and learn more about Clover.