NEW YORK — SoCozy is on a growth trajectory encompassing expanded distribution, a new product collection and private equity capital infusion.
The team behind SoCozy — Cozy Friedman and Scott Gurfein — noticed the need for safe, children-specific hair care marketed to the ultimate purchaser — parents, rather than kids. Friedman has hands-on experience as the founder of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, which she started in 1992 when she saw the need for child-friendly salons.
Earlier this year, Target Corp. added the line and the chain will be among the retailers offering a launch in January for the estimated 60 percent-plus of children with textured hair, called Boing. “Kids want to look good, too,” said Friedman, who grew up with curly hair she thought was frizzy and unruly. “But they aren’t straightening their hair or blow-drying.”
With expertise garnered in her salons, Friedman developed a special curl shampoo, conditioner and gel cream. “I also have so many parents come into the salon with straight hair who have children with curly hair seeking advice. This isn’t just about adding products. It is about helping kids have strong self-esteem.”
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In addition to the new line, SoCozy is gaining distribution with the addition of Buy Buy Baby, Harmon Stores and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Gurfein said the brand will be in 2,250 stores by the end of the year. Additionally, SoCozy is sold on HSN, online beauty retailers, select children’s salons, specialty boutiques and independent beauty supply companies. To support its growth, First Trust Capital Partners took a minority stake in the SoCozy brand. The investment is expected to help SoCozy extend its operating infrastructure and gear up inventory for growing demand.
“SoCozy hit upon a void in the market for children’s products aimed at moms looking for a line that wasn’t too juvenile without harmful chemicals,” said Gurfein.
The formulas have no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color and propylene glycol, and are also free of gluten, wheat and nuts. The existing lineup includes Cinch (basic hair care), Behave (styling products) and Boo (lice preventative line).
SoCozy has thrived even against megaspending national hair-care brands, Gurfein explained, thanks to strong online community support and educational tutorials. Friedman also has a knack for uncovering needs such as the new Real Men Can Braid Class she started in her salons, where dads learn how to braid and style their daughters’ hair. The sold-out classes have received rave reviews from dads perplexed with how to care for their daughter’s tresses while offering a bonding opportunity. To complement the courses, SoCozy is adding a Styling Power Tools Kit for Dads with basic styling essentials she uses in the classes.