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Startup Finding Success in Natural Products

PERSONAL CARE: Hume Supernatural Growing 2x to 3x YOY

ENCINITAS – Science-focused personal care company Hume Supernatural is setting itself up for super success with its line of deodorants and body oils.

Founded in 2020 by former San Diego Padres counsel attorney Jeremy Horowitz, an investment officer; chemist Melissa Christenson; Blair Marlin and Adam Francis, former CEO and co-owner of Sun Bum; Hume Supernatural was created with the goal to create “a new category of highly effective, clean personal care products that people could feel good about,” Horowitz said.

Jeremy Horowitz
Co-founder & CEO
Hume Supernatural

Its plant-based deodorant, made in and shipped from California, is a clean blend of prebiotics and probiotic-powered ingredients that work with the body to nourish skin, support the skin microbiome and prevent odor before it forms.

In 2021, The Wall Street Journal named Hume’s fragrance-free deodorant the “Best Deodorant Sans Scent.”

Horowitz said the company has always believed that a formula free of fragrance “is the true test of the efficacy of a deodorant, without any scents to ‘cover up’ odor” and said that the nod from the WSJ early in the company’s tenure validated Hume’s plant-based, probiotic-powered formula.

“It was a clear game changer in the industry, and people were noticing,” he said.

“With this very public nod to our credibility, we emerged as a quick leader in the category… Sales exploded, friends and investors reached out, and we gained distribution quickly.”

The company has put itself in a science-forward position behind Christenson, a board member with the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. Christenson was a chemist at Sun Bum/Baby Bum (now a product of SC Johnson) with more than two decades of experience in R&D, product development, marketing and management.

Melissa Christenson
Co-founder
Hume Supernatural

Over the course of her career, Christenson has launched hundreds of new products as a lead brand strategist and product developer for health/beauty and lifestyle brands including Aveda, Intelligent Nutrients, J.R. Watkins, St. Ives and Aussie Hair Care.

Behind Christenson, Hume formulates its proprietary, breakthrough formulas from scratch using novel ingredients and technologies.

Hume’s study of emerging science related to the human skin microbiome made it clear that the technical approach for its deodorant formulations must support a healthy skin barrier and balanced microbiome for optimal performance, Horowitz said.

“Our science-led approach to innovation has led to breakthrough products for deodorizing plus skin benefits,” Christenson said. “Our award-winning new All Body Deodorant Balm is a novel formulation that supports a healthy microbiome and skin barrier – for all the parts of our body where odor occurs – not just the armpits.”

Horowitz said the company came about to fill “an obvious gap in the market for a product that actually works and a brand that resonated with our lifestyle,” and that no institutional money has been invested in the company yet, as Hume has been funded by friends, family and its network “to this point.”

“We’ve taken a disciplined, intentional and methodical approach to scaling the brand to ensure winning performance at each stage of growth,” he said. “We’ve been experiencing 2x-3x increase year-over-year and supporting the explosive growth we’ve had, especially as demand continues to build in retail.”

According to a May 3 SEC Form D filing, Hume Supernatural is also nearly 80% of the way through a fundraise round with a $1 million goal.

A Fastest-Growing Product

Horowitz said Hume Supernatural is the fastest-growing natural deodorant in the natural channel nationwide and growing six times faster than the natural subcategory according to SPINS, the Chicago-based organization that provides some of the most recognizable data and insights in the CPG industry’s natural space.

“When we started the brand, there were only three of us working on it full time,” Horowitz said. “We’re proud to have grown our team of 10 full time employees, along with a network of partners and advisors.”

As he founded the company, Horowitz said he was surrounded by “tremendous” mentors and friends, including co-founder Francis, who grew that business to its eventual exit to SC Johnson.

Horowitz credits Francis with building and scaling the Sun Bum brand in the CPG space “against much larger heritage brands which formerly dominated the category… reinventing the suncare category” and said that Francis has been instrumental in leading Hume’s team’s approach in the personal care category “with a similar winning strategy.”

The company has a few investors who have also been invaluable business mentors, he said, citing Cardiff’s Seaside Market owner John Najjar, Pendry Hotels co-founder Michael Fuerstman; and Vuori founder Joe Kudla.

Francis, Kudla and Fuerstman sit on Hume’s advisory board along with Naomi Gleit from Meta and Eduardo Esquenazi from Sirenas Marine Discovery. The company’s leadership team also includes athlete-agent and executive vice president at Wasserman Blair Marlin; celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque and DEI activist Selema Masekela.

Business at the Forefront

Horowitz is no stranger to business. He and his brother, Michael Horowitz, have been investing together for many years.

“We typically form SPEs and raise money with friends, family and our networks, make investments and sit on boards to help direct the investment and company strategy,” he said. “We were seed investors in a few successful companies with exits like Saint Archer Brewing, Balter Brewing and several others that have been success stories such as Basecamp Hotels, Scout Distribution, Harland Brewing, Caddis Eye Appliances, and others. Hume is the first business that we raised money for that we decided to operate as well.”

Michael Horowitz is co-founder and CEO of Modulo Bio, Inc., a Sorrento Valley-headquartered biotech company developing drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS by harnessing the brain’s immune system to protect and repair neurons.

Hume Supernatural products can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ralphs, Seaside Market, Frazier Farms, Lazy Acres and Cream of the Crop as well as specialty locations like the Pendry Hotel, Vuori stores, and select boutiques and surf shops.

Horowitz said he expects this year to be another year of “massive growth” for Hume.

“We are primed to scale, which includes evolving our DTC strategy and going broader and deeper with our retailers while continuing to have best in class sell-through data,” he said. “We are expanding into over 3,000 new doors in 2024, as well as growing our product lines to include our brand-new all-body deodorant within our current retailers. We are forecasting to be in 7,000 doors by the end of 2024.”

Hume Supernatural
FOUNDED: 2020
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO: Jeremy Horowitz
CO-FOUNDERS: Melissa Christenson, Adam Francis and Blair Marlin
HEADQUARTERS: Encinitas
BUSINESS: Personal care/Consumer goods
GROWTH: 2x to 3x YOY
EMPLOYEES: 10 FT and a network of partners and advisors
WEBSITE: humesupernatural.com
SOCIAL IMPACT: The company seeks to demonstrate messages of positivity and inclusivity, and invests in sustainability pillars that include social consciousness, human health and environmental stewardship.
NOTABLE: Hume Supernatural makes conscious decisions to preserve diverse ecosystems, microbiomes and all living species with ingredients that are plant, mineral or probiotic-based, safe and non-toxic for people and the planet.

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