Blaze Skincare Wins 2019 EDENS Retail Challenge and the Opportunity to Bring Retail Concept to Life


WASHINGTON, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — EDENS, a leading national retail real estate owner, operator and developer, announced that Blaze led by Jessica Holton is the winner of the 2019 EDENS Retail Challenge, an annual competition aimed to discover and launch the next generation of retail.

Blaze was selected after an intensive competition, which evaluated some of the best and most innovative concepts from entrepreneurs and students across 29 universities nationwide including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.

Jessica Holton of Stanford University’s winning concept, Blaze, is reimagining skincare for today’s consumer: what would skincare look like if we designed it from scratch, forgetting everything we know about the skincare industry, to be ridiculously intuitive? On a mission to make skincare intuitive and joyful for ‘the rest of us,’ Blaze is an innovative D2C brand introducing daily-dose skincare: a daily, tailored routine that fits in the palm of your hand. Because skincare is not just for ‘beauty people’ – we all deserve to feel confident in how we take care of ourselves and like we’re part of the wellness club. Trailblaze on.

The Retail Challenge culminated on Friday, March 8th with final presentations hosted at Angelika Theater in the Union Market District in Washington, D.C. During the competition, the finalists worked with business mentors and EDENS leadership for mentorship, concept innovation and business plan development and refinement.

“EDENS purpose is to enrich community through human engagement. It is because of this that we have always celebrated entrepreneurship and innovation in the retail industry,” said Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS. “Our panel of judges and mentorship teams were inspired and energized by the level of excellence, passion and talent exhibited by all three finalists today. We are excited to see the next chapter of their innovation and growth. I commend Jessica Holton of Blaze on her incredible win.”

The final pitches were made to a panel of industry luminaries:

Taryn Jones Laeben, Former SoulCycle COO
Jenny Abramson, Founder & Managing Partner ReThink Impact
David Hall, Partner Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS

Sponsor partners included CORE, Deloitte and COMO.

The other finalists of the 2019 EDENS Retail Challenge were Tall Order and Vegetable + Butcher.

Previous winners include Rhoback (2016), a high-end, activewear lifestyle brand; Follain (2013), a wholesome beauty store curated with health-focused products; and Artis (2013), coffee retail store and café introducing America’s first live-roast experience.

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EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator and developer of a nationally leading portfolio of 125 places. Our purpose is to enrich community through human engagement. We know that when people come together, they feel a part of something bigger than themselves and prosperity follows— economically, socially, culturally and soulfully. EDENS has 250 employees across offices in key markets including Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, Columbia, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Houston and Denver. For additional information about the company and its retail real estate portfolio, visit or follow @WeAreEDENS.


For further information: Shari Misher Stenzler, London Misher Public Relations, Inc., [email protected], 212-759-2800