New Kid on the Block: ONDA Beauty

“It’s interesting that it took so long to get here,” says ONDA Beauty‘s Larissa Thomson about the trend toward natural beauty. “First, people started really caring about food—eating healthier, local, organic—and then they took a closer look at their cleaning products. But your skin is your largest organ, so why wouldn’t you be careful about what you put on it?”

Now you have the ideal resource at ONDA’s first brick-and-mortar store, at 117 W. Broadway. “We carry a curated selection of clean, non-toxic beauty brands for hair, skin, body, baby, and nail,” says Thomson. “And I test everything. It has to work for me on multiple levels.” (As a welcome gift to the neighborhood, everything is 15% off till October 1.)

Ready to leave the fashion-magazine business after 24 years, Thomson had the idea to launch a natural-beauty business three years ago. “I had a real lightning-bolt moment about what I wanted to do. I was working on decks and numbers—knowing nothing—and I started researching brands and doing testing. Friends soon began coming to me for advice. A year and a half in, I got an email from a friend who knew I was looking for my other half—someone with a background in business and digital.” That would be Sarah Bryden-Brown. “Sarah saw something bigger: She saw where natural beauty was headed.” After deciding to partner, they launched online in December. While doing pop-ups and other events, they also started looking for a location to open a shop; Tribeca was the perfect fit, even more so since Thomson lives here.

And the name? “I was walking on the beach in Tulum—I’ve been going there for 25 years or so—when I saw the word. I liked the look and the sound of it, so I asked a friend what it meant: Wave, but more like flow.”

Men’s products will show up soon, and the treatment room—for massages and facials—should be ready by year’s end. In the meantime, Thomson and Bryden-Brown are also developing their own line. “If I’ve learned anything from this process, it’s that things happen when they’re meant to,” says Thomson.

ONDA Beauty is at 117 W. Broadway (between Duane and Reade), 917-370-4744, ondabeauty.com.

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