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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

OC Buys Increase Top Line For Society Brands

The recent acquisition of two Orange County-based brands, Cleanomic and Clarifion, has pushed the annual top line revenue of their new owner, Society Brands, by 32% to $100 million.

Founded in 2020 by three retail executives—including the co-founder of Tustin-based Mophie Inc.—who have built and managed multimillion-dollar businesses, Society Brands acquires smaller consumer-product startups to scale its market footprints and sales.

Society Brands now counts 11 brands under its umbrella. It has raised $230 million in funding.

Michael Sirpilla, Justin Sirpilla and Shawn Dougherty started the company in late 2020 at a time when in-store retail was tricky.

Consumer “patterns changed during COVID, and it made sense to focus all of our brands on the digital, e-commerce platforms,” Dougherty, also chief operating officer, told the Business Journal.

Along with Mophie, a maker of accessories for cellphones, Dougherty, an OC resident, also founded Newport Beach-based Volonic, a maker of high-end wireless chargers. Society Brands is based in Canton, Ohio, but has a local office.

Society Brands went on to acquire a group of companies with a significant presence on e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, Amazon or their own direct-to-consumer sites.

Cleanomic, with an office in Santa Ana, creates and sells sustainable products for laundry, cleaning, kitchen and bathroom use. It has amassed 130,000 customers and includes a subscription service model.

Clarifion in Newport Beach has developed a line of pocket-sized air ionizers and purifiers, selling from $39 to $43 online.

Both firms sell their products using Shopify and Amazon already, and Society plans to build more awareness through email consumer targeting and expanding into social channels before jumping onto additional shopping platforms.

“We work on maximizing the marketing funnel to drive digital demand,” Dougherty said.

“There is always a piece of the funnel that needs to be refined,” she said of the playbook the team uses when growing a new company.

The acquisition increases Society’s employee count to over 50.

Impactful Products 

Society Brands considers itself a destination for sellers who want to stay with their brand post-sale.

Startup founders are offered the position of “brand president” along with the offer of rollover equity in the firm for if or when the team decides to exit an acquired company.

Dougherty describes the business as a “shared resource model” or “an ecosystem of solid pillars that support the founder and their pursuits to grow the business.”

“Brands are seeing double and triple growth in [sales] percentage,” she said of the current portfolio.

Other acquisitions include Primal Life Organics, Club EarlyBird, Capsule Supplies and Barnesmith.

Companies like Cleanomic and Clarifion, founded by Paul Kraus, offer “impactful products,” she said. “I liked the products and saw how they fit into people’s lives.”

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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