For more than a century, The Lenox hotel has been a landmark in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Rising eleven stories from the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets, the hotel is known for its elegance and celebrity guest list. Last year, the historic hotel began using Beekman 1802 products in its hotel rooms. It was the start of a collaboration between The Lenox and Beekman 1802 owners, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge.
Beekman 1802 is an integrated media and consumer product company that draws inspiration from the historic Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, N.Y. The business launched with one product, natural goat’s milk soap, and now carries a line of products ranging from soaps and lotions to furniture and gardening tools, all with a distinctive Beekman 1802 style. The company was named “the fastest growing lifestyle brand in America” by NASDAQ.
Purcell and Ridge initially sold their luxury soap B2B, cold pitching to upscale New York City stores. As demand increased, they moved production from the farm to a building in Sharon Springs, where they also opened a small storefront. “The Lenox Hotel started using our luxury skincare products in their hotel rooms last year,” says Ridge, “and the response was so positive from guests that we collaborated to create a full Beekman 1802 experience right in their lobby, where people can shop a curated assortment of our skincare, home decor and gourmet food items.”
The Lenox Hotel lobby shop isn’t Beekman 1802’s first pop-up. They’ve also operated pop-up shops throughout New York State, including Cooperstown, Corning and the East Village in NYC. Pop-up shops, by design, are temporary, and these shops ran for three months each.
“The leadership team at The Lenox is very creative, and they approached us about collaborating and even brought their entire team to the farm,” says Ridge. Sharon Springs is about a four-hour drive from Boston, but the distance isn’t a problem. “The shop is a true collaboration with The Lenox. Our team in Sharon Springs manages inventory, and the fantastic concierge staff at the hotel oversees sales.”
The shop at The Lenox brings Beekman 1802 products to a new city and further spreads awareness of the brand. “It’s also mutually beneficial,” Ridge says. “Having the Beekman 1802 shop in the lobby adds a bit of theater that surprises and delights their guests.” The Lenox hotel lobby shop opened in the fall of 2015. It was so well received by guests that Beekman 1802 decided to continue as a semi-permanent installation.
Ridge offers advice to entrepreneurs considering the pop-up shop model, “Like any real estate, location, location, location. Having a collaborating partner like The Lenox is also important. Never make the assumption that ‘if I build it, they will come.’ What makes the collaboration with The Lenox particularly successful is that there’s built-in traffic from the constantly flowing guest list in both the rooms and at City Bar and City Table.”
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse