clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How the Bluemercury CEO Had Her A-Ha Moment in Chestnut Hill

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Prestige beauty retailer and spa chain Bluemercury has been sweeping Massachusetts this last year, opening its fifth store in the market this week at Chestnut Hill shopping center The Street—also notably Bluemercury's fiftieth location nationwide, just on the heels of its fifteenth anniversary. Founded in 1999 by Harvard Business School graduate Marla Malcolm Beck, today the DC-based company carries 90 brands including La Mer, Bobbi Brown, and Deborah Lippmann, as well as Beck's own highly technical, natural cosmeceutical line M-61.

Beck used to come to Chestnut Hill during her Harvard days in search of MAC lipsticks at Henri Bendel. She would also seek Dermalogica, a then hard-to-find brand she held in high regard from her California roots. Subsequently, she notes that her time in Boston was the genesis of Bluemercury, an experience which led to her concept of a one-stop shop full of spa-quality brands when she couldn't find them elsewhere.

The product mix at The Street is typical of most Bluemercury stores, though Beck reminds that each location's particular brand blend is dictated by its customer needs, whether that involves stocking more natural or more cosmetics. "In the suburbs we tend to do lots of gifts, like candles. And we felt this market would be excited about luxury fragrance," adds Beck.

Strong categories for Bluemercury in Massachusetts include skincare, which Beck attributes to our harsh seasonal weather changes, and the candle business, hinting at a "nesting, cozy instinct." She also identifies Boston as a sophisticated color market: "Sometimes people think of the New England region as conservative, but it's very fashion-oriented. A chic client."

With such rapid Massachusetts growth, how does the urban Newbury Street experience differ from that of say, Market Street Lynnfield or Chestnut Hill? Beck says: "Urban you get a lot more tourists and customers in a hurry, which we're used to, so it's a process. In the suburbs it's more leisurely, which is really fun. At The Street I know clients are excited to pull right up, come in, get what they need, and get out."

Stop in for tomorrow's grand opening event during store hours (10am to 7pm) for cupcakes, makeovers, mini facials, and deluxe sample bags for the first 100 attendees. RSVP to bluemercury@brandlinkdcrsvp.com.
· Boston's 38 Essential Spots to Shop All Things Beauty [Racked Boston]
· 15 New and Improved Stores to Keep on Your Radar [Racked Boston]
· Bluemercury [Official Site]

Bluemercury

160 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 424-0004 Visit Website

Bluemercury

33 Boylston Street, Newton, MA 02467