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EXCLUSIVE: Gisou Gets in on Hair Repair with First Serum

by News Desk

Gisou is in growth mode.

Since closing a Series B funding round led by Eurazeo last year, the honey-infused hair care brand has launched new iterations of its cult-favorite lip oil and hair perfume, doubled its Sephora at Kohl’s door count from 400 to 800 and is now introducing its first hair repair product.

Retailing for $45, the Honey Infused Hair Repair Serum incorporates the brand’s highest concentration of encapsulated honey — Gisou’s core ingredient — as well as hydrating meadowfoam oil and keraguard, a plant-based complex that offers heat protection and strengthens strands.

“This is our first product that is focused on repair,” said Negin Mirsalehi, who cofounded Gisou in 2015 with her partner, Maurits Stibbe. The brand’s debut stock keeping unit was its Honey Infused Hair Oil, which tackles frizz and boosts shine. While hair care is still the main driver of the business, Gisou has steadily expanded into body care, lip and facial skin care.

“We don’t launch many products — we sort of let honey guide us to what make sense,” said Mirsalehi, who first gained prominence in the early 2010s as a beauty and fashion influencer and hails from a long line of beekeepers.

“We only go into products where the honey will really make a difference,” Stibbs added.

Though Mirsalehi and Stibbs did not comment on sales expectations for the serum launch, industry sources estimate the Honey Infused Hair Serum could do $10 million in first-year retail sales.

North America — where the brand is in more than 500 Sephora doors and 800-plus Sephora at Kohl’s doors — generates half of the brand’s business. In the Middle East, there are 60 points of sale, and Gisou is sold in 100 Mecca outposts in Australia and New Zealand.

“The U.S. is our most important market right now — it’s one where we resonate very well,” said Stibbs, noting the brand’s hair perfume is its fastest-growing sku in the U.S.

South America, Southeast Asia and India could be on the horizon for the brand, but the focus is on “building through the markets we’re in right now, rather than expanding,” Mirsalehi said.

“It’s easy to expand into new markets, but it’s important for us to focus on being successful where we are — creating a better experience in stores, getting more [associates] trained within stores, there’s still so much to do in our current markets,” Stibbe said.

In April, Gisou hosted its first Los Angeles pop-up to commemorate the launch of its lip oil at Sephora; in June, the brand opened its second bee garden in Amsterdam — where Gisou is based — helmed by Mirsalehi’s sister and Gisou beekeeper in chief, Negar Mirsalehi.

“A lot of brands today have honey-infused products — it is a very hot and happening ingredient — but our [family beekeeping] story is not only a great marketing tool, it’s a true story and I do think that sets us apart, too,” said Negin Mirsalehi, who occasionally meets the Gisou community members at the bee garden and uploads educational beekeeping content to the brand’s Instagram, which counts 781,000 followers.

The brand is also eyeing a potential foray into stand-alone retail down the line.

“That’s something we’re looking into and feel super excited about — after doing these pop-ups, you feel like you’re ready for the next step,” Mirsalehi said.

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