By and  on December 21, 2007

Pegasus Capital Advisors has become a partner in beauty brand Carol's Daughter, setting the stage for an investment-driven expansion that is aimed at growing the business as much as tenfold over the next few years.

Pegasus, based in Greenwich, Conn., has made available $50 million of the group's investment funds, said sources, allowing Carol's Daughter to open more stores, sharply focus its online platform and recruit marketing and operational talent to build the brand's infrastructure. "The popularity of the multiethnic market has been long ignored, and it is a huge opportunity," said Steve Stoute, who is Carol's Daughter's chairman, during an interview at his Manhattan offices. "Our partnership with Pegasus gives us the opportunity to take my vision and Lisa's [Price, Carol's Daughter's founder] to another level."

In fact, Stoute said, he plans to take the $20 million Carol's Daughter brand to $250 million to $300 million within the next five years. "We're not a brand that came around for two and a half years and then fizzled out," said Stoute. "We have Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige as believers. I'm being very aggressive because there is a huge opportunity there."

And he's definitely looking for help and is ready to hire. "If you believe in going against the grain and are aware of how the new generation's needs should be focused, I'm looking to hire you," said Stoute. "A lot of people are cutting back these days. We are aggressively going forward. We feel the market is ripe for growth. I want to turn what some consider a niche into mainstream. It needs to be managed as a best-of-class brand."

Stoute sees direct marketing — online and TV shopping channels — as one particularly ripe area for increased revenues.

"We want to touch the customer directly — that offers the best margins and the consumer prefers it," said Stoute. "The market has changed from consumers getting sprayed down at the cosmetics counter. You need to touch them in a different way. We know the value of telling our story directly, as opposed to letting someone else do it for us. And word of mouth is priceless. Like I tell movie guys, you've got to have a good trailer."

 

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