NEW YORK — Stockkeeping optimization has resulted in a few inches of footage available in mass market doors, and a young entrepreneur is out to nab some of that real estate.
Just a few years out of business school, 30-year-old Angie Parlionas has created a line called YoYo Lip Gloss. Her story is reminiscent of the legendary Hard Candy founder Dineh Mohajer, who launched a breakthrough beauty line from her home (Recently, Hard Candy was repositioned as a mass line and will enter Wal-Mart stores later this year). She also embodies the spirit of Fun creator Kristin Penta, who tried to court more teens to the mass market.
The reality is today’s marketplace is tougher to crack than in the free-spending Nineties, but Parlionas believes her ideas are unique enough to convince buyers to give her a shot.
Her first item is a lip gloss attached to a clip, and the concept came out of necessity — much like Mohajer and her blue nail color to match her blue sandals. “I was really into sports and could never find my lip gloss in my bag,” said Parlionas over a recent lunch. Having studied successful product launches at St. Johns University, Parlionas decided to put her theory into practice and invented the YoYo Lip Gloss. By affixing a string to a clip, Parlionas invented a gloss users can easily find. “I knew it had to be more than cute and clever, but also a great formula, and I worked with experts on the formulas and flavors,” she said.
YoYo Lip Gloss Minis are available in four flavors — Girly Green Apple, Cha-Cha Chocolate, Big Bounce Bubble Gum and Kissable Kiwi, retailing for $2.99. A larger lip gloss retails for $4.99 and is available in the Minis’ flavors as well as Bodacious Blueberry, Crazy Cotton Candy, Power Packing Pineapple and Super Strawberry Cheesecake.
Realizing retailers need more than one item to justify space, Parlionas has created an entire line set for launch in spring, which includes an SPF lip balm, blush, eye shadow and nail polish. Prices range from $2.99 for a mini lip gloss to about $7 for a nail polish. Each item has a unique property such as a key chain for the balm.
Also, Parlionas knows the power of promotion and is shooting 30-second TV spots set to air on MTV and Nickelodeon using real girls who were culled from a casting call to describe what teens loved about their gloss. The tag line plays off the YoYo idea: “Never at a Loss for Your Gloss.”
YoYo is obviously a young brand, but the target market is older teens. “You can always get younger girls to want to go up, but not the other way around,” Parlionas said.
The lip gloss already has attracted attention in apparel chains such as Rainbow and Joyce Leslie as well as independents in several major markets, and the young founder has her sights set on a major chain. She says she knows the risks and cost of entry associated with mass chains and that won’t deter her from trying to be the next hot item that could perhaps get the teen engine purring again. “Although a lip gloss on a string might sound like a minor breakthrough, so was a blue nail polish and look what that did,” said one buyer.
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