If you haven’t heard about Volition Beauty, this concept is about to blow your mind. This beauty brand uses the power of crowd-sourcing to help women create solutions to all their skincare problems. Users submit an idea to through the free, online community portal, ideas are then voted on by the community, and ones that receive the most votes are created. Innovators whose ideas get chosen work with top labs around the country to turn their idea into a reality and then share a portion of the profits from their product.

One of the latest viral products is their Strawberry C-Serum. The formula brightens and hydrates, and it sold out at Sephora in only ten days! We talked with product innovator Varika, who is a student, and Brandy Hoffman, co-founder of Volition about the success of the serum, the inspiration, and other exciting products from Volition!

Downtown: What was the inspiration for the Strawberry C-Serum?

Varika: My inspiration for this product came from summertime skincare with my sister because we love making our own face masks and washes.

Downtown: Did you think the reaction would be so extreme?

V: When I first saw it sold out and all the positive reviews coming in, I was honestly so thrilled but surprised. I didn’t think the reaction would be so extreme or happen so quickly (10 days!) because there’s a lot of products out there and people have a lot of choices when they shop; the fact that they love the serum so much is amazing. I am really humbled by the fact that it sold out at Sephora and all the reviews because I, myself, am a consumer. It’s crazy to think something I thought of a few summers ago, is now selling out, and I really thank Volition for the collaboration and formulating a beautiful and effective product.

Brandy Hoffman: It’s something we always hope for but is still a surprise when it happens. We knew we had a superior formula and compelling new Vitamin C source that consumers could get behind. The results are strong. 

Downtown: What’s it like working with Volition?

V: Working with Volition has been a much faster process than I expected because they contacted me very quickly, and the contract and updating process has been smooth and quick. I also really appreciate the company’s patience as I’ve been slow in responding, but they have stuck with my idea.

Downtown: Has Volition had other viral products like this one?

BH: Our Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50 had a similar reaction when it launched (and it’s currently sold out!). We couldn’t seem to keep it in stock and it sold out on sephora.com 5 times! It had a really big splash and everyone enjoyed the formula and finish – our community, editors and influencers. It addresses everything people hate about sunscreen and is a community favorite. Similarly, our Turmeric Brightening Polish for Face and Body became popularized quickly after its launch because of the intriguing hero ingredient and authentic Innovator behind it, Anuradha.

Downtown: What other new products are you excited about?

BH: We’ve also been really excited about our new Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads. Skincare junkies were using food-grade ACV as a DIY but it typically resulted in extreme irritation and redness when not handled properly. We took the resurfacing benefit and elevated it by making it safer, more convenient (no mess or measuring) and effective. The pads are easy-to-use and leave the skin feeling smooth, exfoliated and refreshed. Everyone falls in love after one use!

Downtown: How did the idea of Volition as a crowd-sourced company come to be?

BH: It was both professional and personal. My co-founder, Patricia, and I had both been in beauty for years and we both experienced the same process; product development, made in a conference room full of executives, was what the consumer should buy. It was so backwards to not have the customer involved until they buy. The idea for Volition was stemmed from those frustrations in hopes of a change. We wanted to democratize beauty consumers’ intelligence and autonomy to let them decide and tell us what they want. Opening our entire brand to the public allows for real diversity and representation. By opening up our process, we can cut through the noise and hear directly from the consumer by utilizing true crowdsourcing. It’s revolutionizing traditional beauty and turning it on its head.