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Skyn Iceland Charts New Waters in Global Push

Skyn Iceland has its eyes on expansion.

Skyn Iceland has its eyes on expansion.

The fledgling natural skin care brand has partnered with distribution firm HTI Collection to grow U.S. and international distribution and is set to launch two new travel-friendly items in an effort to drive sales and increase market share.

In June, the four-year-old niche brand, which specializes in treating stress-related skin problems, will introduce its $15 Glacial Cleansing Cloths, designed to purify skin and soothe irritable complexions with ingredients like natural cucumber and cornflower extracts and Icelandic kelp. Next week, the brand will launch its Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, a smaller more affordable extension of the brand’s $45 eye cream in a $20 portable pen.

“We’re focusing on innovation but our whole theme this year has been beauty-on-the-go as we try to focus on value,” said company president, founder and former L’Oréal exec Sarah Kugelman.

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Plans call for the Icelandic Relief Eye Pen to launch at Sephora stores nationwide May 15, while the Glacial Cleansing Cloths are expected to hit the beauty retailer’s shelves mid-June. Industry sources project the firm, whose sales were less than $1 million in 2005, will have sales in excess of $5 million this year.

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Distribution firm HTI Collection, will be helping Skyn Iceland drive growth beginning this month, with its recently formed partnership with the skin care brand. Under the agreement, HTI will support Skyn Iceland’s existing retail distribution with a 40-person selling and training team and will open up an ambitious new distribution program in the U.S. and abroad. HTI also will represent Skyn Iceland in retailer negotiations, relationship management and strategic planning.

“As an indie brand, it’s almost impossible to build a sales force of that magnitude in-house,” explained Kugelman. “At this stage of growth it’s something that will be a cost-effective venture and will be able to take our brand to the next level in terms of distribution all over the world.”

Kugelman said Skyn Iceland, which is currently in all U.S. and Canadian Sephora doors as well as about 45 Dillard’s doors in the Midwest and Southeast, is eyeing the U.K., Western Europe and Australia. On May 21, the brand will make its debut in an hourlong segment on QVC in the U.K.