Headshot of Francesca Raminella, CEO of Beauty by Imagination.
Hair accessories brand Goody recently launched its Goody Tru collection, handpicking multicultural artists to design the products. — Beauty by Imagination/Goody

Why it matters:

  • Sales of the $1.5 billion mass-market hair accessories business are on the rise, as the popularity of ponytails, high buns, and hair decorations help fuel growth.
  • Consumers with textured hair, including multicultural consumers, comprise at least 56% of American shoppers.
  • In turn, iconic hair accessories brand Goody’s new Goody Tru collection from multicultural artists marks a push to bring authenticity to its product designs, differentiate from emerging influencer driven brands, and attract diverse consumers that value self-expression.

Call it the anti-celebrity launch. Goody, the iconic hair accessories brand, is flipping the script on developing new collections. At a time when social media feeds brim with TikTokers or celebrities extolling the benefits of products, Goody is getting artsy.

For the launch of Goody Tru, the brand's biggest collaboration and collection in its 116-year-old history, the company handpicked multicultural artists to design the products.

While Goody isn’t averse to celebrities or content creators and counts many in its stable, the company sought working artists who could lend authenticity to the designs.

The timing could prove fortuitous. There has been a backlash against influencers who post without expertise. Compounding that is the recent “deinfluencing” trend where creators pan rather than promote products, according to Allan Mottus, author of “Fashion Paranoia: Up & Down Beauty’s Rabbit Hole,” and an industry consultant.

“Goody made a shrewd move using actual artists for their creative input to distinguish its hairbrushes and accessories­­ … from competitive brands,” Mottus said. “The use of so-called influencers does not fit the second generation of social media users who crave more authenticity and people who champion their own works rather than shilling for others.”

[Read: How WOC-Owned Startups Are Tapping the Multitrillion-Dollar U.S. Women’s Market for Growth]

Leaning into the post-pandemic rise of ‘self-expression’

For Francesca Raminella, CEO of Beauty by Imagination, Goody’s parent company, the decision to use artists reflects the mood of America. Cultivated during COVID, Goody Tru mirrors how consumers changed while hunkering down at home. “COVID was all about self-discovery,” Raminella said. “That transformed into self-expression coming out of the pandemic. We knew we had to greet people coming back to stores with newness and fun.”

Goody’s search for artists landed it partnerships with Reyna Noriega, an Afro-Caribbean Latina visual artist, and author; Luisa Salas (also known as Hola Lou), a Mexico City-based artist, designer, and muralist; and a trio of dancer sisters from the Netherlands, Norah, Yarah, and Rosa Mukanga who call themselves Let It Happen.

The Goody Tru x Reyna Noriega, Goody Tru x Hola Lou, and Goody Tru x Let It Happen collections launched in February 2023 priced between $3.98 and $11.98, and are sold exclusively at 3,000-plus Walmart stores and Walmart.com.

The range of 97 hair products and tools includes traditional top sellers such as claw clips, headbands, scrunchies, barrettes, elastics, and brushes. Unique items such as hair charms and scarves have been added with input from the creators.

Goody Tru items are suited for people with textured hair, a market comprised of at least 56% of American consumers. That was important to Noriega who said she's always admired Goody because the products worked with her textured tresses.

"They all have a hair story," Raminella said of the trio of artists behind Goody Tru. "They express themselves through different mediums, but they all share a message of empowering self-confidence and happiness through art, including hair." Each artist, she added, was given free rein to express their personal tastes. Noriega’s products bear Caribbean-inspired hues, Salas incorporates gold geometric shapes, and Let It Happen is all about retro vibes reminiscent of their dance moves.

COVID was all about self-discovery. That transformed into self-expression coming out of the pandemic. We knew we had to greet people coming back to stores with newness and fun.

Francesca Raminella, CEO, Beauty by Imagination

Recouping its market share edge in the $1.5 billion hair accessories business

Goody Tru offers the brand a chance to recoup its leadership spot in the $1.5 billion mass-market hair accessories business in the U.S., as tracked by NielsenIQ.

For decades, Goody was the top, if not the only, hair accessories brand sold in most big-box stores and is credited with building the department. Goody commands the No. 2 spot, according to data from Circana (the newly formed company from the merger of NPD and IRI). Its dominance was challenged when the market was fragmented by new competition, specifically hair care appliance powerhouse Conair, which bought an emerging accessories line called Scunci in 2005 and is the No. 1 brand today. More recently, the pie has been further splintered with the growth of nascent brands like Hairitage from YouTube star Mindy McKnight, the Tangle Teezer, Evolve from Firstline, and Invisibobble.

Hair accessories dollar sales, according to data provided NielsenIQ, were up 4% for the 52 weeks that ended February 25, 2023, in mass-market doors. That was slightly higher than overall hair care and more importantly, noted Mottus, produced in a category with attractive gross margins. The popularity of ponytails, high buns, and hair decorations propelled sales of clips and barrettes, which posted the highest growth at 40% and play a prominent role in Goody Tru’s range.

The Walmart factor: Goody Tru increases basket size of existing customers, attracts ‘totally new consumers’ at the world’s biggest retailer

Walmart is a snug fit for Goody Tru. The nation’s largest beauty retailer is on a quest to add more brands, especially those that meet the needs of multicultural and Hispanic shoppers, according to Creighton Kiper, Walmart’s Vice President of Beauty, during a presentation.

Added Mottus, "Walmart has used its retail space and online presence to launch consumer-friendly products to differentiate itself from retail competitors."

Once considered a follower of Target, Walmart is now talked about as the retailer chasing new items. “Just watch them. They are doing big things,” said Sharon Chuter, founder of UOMA, a premium inclusive beauty brand. Chuter is so impressed with Walmart she created a mass offshoot of her brand called UOMA by Sharon C.

[Read: How Black-Owned UOMA Beauty Broke Into ULTA and Walmart]

“Goody is a brand our customers have loved and been loyal to for years. We are excited to collaborate with Goody and three talented artists to curate first-of-its-kind wearable art hair pieces that are representative of all hair types and different cultures. We are proud to bring this bright and beautiful collection to Walmart that we believe will resonate with shoppers of all ages and style,” said Jennifer Aguirre, Associate Merchant, Hair Care at Walmart U.S., in a statement.

Goody Tru is prominently displayed on dedicated end-of-aisle space at Walmart through April 2023 and then the items will be integrated into wall space. Noriega created a buzz when she visited her local store with her family and posted about the display. She also hosted a painting event for beauty editors to help gain exposure.

Goody’s Raminella is already seeing results from the Walmart partnership. “Goody Tru is driving the hair accessories category at Walmart, adding to the basket size of existing loyal customers and attracting totally new consumers to the category. By the end of February, our dedicated endcap had a 70% sell-through. These stats show us that this type of purposeful and engaging collaboration resonates with customers who connect with the unique, inclusive story behind Goody Tru."

Raminella promised Goody Tru is “just the beginning” of innovation in Goody’s pipeline.

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