NEW YORK — Blush Beauty, a retailer with two beauty boutiques in the Milwaukee area, exemplifies an up-and-coming channel in the beauty business.
Retail consolidation has compressed the options for beauty brands at a time when spas, salons, upscale pharmacies and specialty beauty boutiques find shoppers hungry for unique lines.
“We offer services and products that are very unique to the city,” said Jhousy Leon, the owner of Blush Beauty, referring to the stores’ makeup applications, lessons and services.
An obstacle for these operators, however, is that too often the owner is stretched thin running the business and can’t always be on the prowl for brands. There’s also tedious financial planning and training that is required to expand beauty sales.
The solution for Leon and many others within the new breed of beauty players has been to tap distributors to deliver brands that resonate with consumers. At the same time, these brands get exposure to fuel growth. Leon works in tandem with Beauty Fashion Sales to secure brands such as Ellis Faas, Kevyn Aucoin, Kinara and Jouer.
Finding and servicing the growing assortment of specialty stores can be a challenge for beauty brands, especially those organized around department stores, said Lindsay Crames, president of Beauty Fashion Sales. “If you are a [Estée] Lauder, you become a retailer of your own brands. But for smaller brands without that option, they are stuck between servicing in house, where the combination of local ‘touch’ and national coverage are not economical, or developing a network of regional representation that requires great care and servicing itself,” said Crames.
Beauty Fashion Sales is a full-service sales representation company for non-competing beauty brands. She said the company could help with short-staffed independent stores while also “vigorously” representing each non-competing brand. The company said it currently supplies 350 independent prestige boutiques, salons and spas in the country such as Hera Apothecary, La La Lipstick, Circe, The Beauty Mark and Arch Apothecary.
“Lindsay is the perfect middleman between vendor and boutique relations,” said Leon. “She can speak both languages: The language of the vendor, which consists of sales goals and product orders, as well as the language of a beauty boutique.”
Beauty firms said Beauty Fashion Sales has helped them with expansion goals. “Lindsay Crames and her team at Beauty Fashion Sales has played an integral role in our domestic retail expansion since contracting their services in January 2011,” said Desiree Tordecilla, executive vice president, global sales and marketing at Kevyn Aucoin.