The nonprofit trade association Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors is now a thing of the past. Well, kind of.
The organization, which was founded in 1976 as a response to shifting labeling laws in the U.S., is getting a makeover. It is now called the Independent Beauty Association, or IBA, and has a new web site and logo to match.
“The re-brand is part of a larger story of renewal at the organization that has been going on for the last several years,” said Chris Hobson, president and chief executive officer of Rare Beauty Brands and chairman of the board of directors at IBA. He also noted the appointment of Dr. Ken Marenus as the association’s president in May of last year, which presaged a variety of programs for members, as additional components of the association’s evolution.
“Over the last year, we’ve launched a ton of new programs. We always ask ourselves how this will benefit the small, entrepreneurial company. Everything goes through that fundamental principle,” Marenus said.
Recent programs include advice on everything from cash-flow management for small businesses to networking opportunities to correct manufacturing procedures for hand sanitizer. As markets outside of the U.S. have picked up in beauty sales, the association also provides import and export services to members.
The association was founded in 1974, as independent beauty brand founders and suppliers collaborated to offer regulatory help, liability insurance and lobbying efforts to members. One reason for the change in branding and services is the rapidly changing industry landscape. “The beauty industry has changed dramatically with the amount of indie brands in the past few years, and it’s time to put our foot down and make a real statement,” said Ian Ginsberg, board member of IBA and president of C.O. Bigelow Apothecary.
The association — which also counts new and established indie brands like Coola, the Honest Company, Beauty Bakerie and Patchology as members alongside retailers, suppliers and distributors — focuses on four pillars: education, networking, member service and advocacy. There will also be a renewed focus on mentorship, Ginsberg said, adding that members will have more access to board members and their respective expertise.
“I always believe that of all the industries, beauty is one of the most collaborative because we’re not competing with each other, we’re competing for spend. When the industry is good, it’s good for everybody, and when it’s bad, it’s bad for everybody. There’s more camaraderie here than any other business,” he said.
“At the board level, we’ve continued to renew with members representing a true cross-section of the industry,” Hobson added. “We want to represent the overall industry to serve our members as best as we can.”
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