NEW YORK — Kiss My Face, a renowned brand in the natural beauty space, has teamed with industry veterans Lisa Yarnell and Ron Gordon, along with financial partner Caltius Equity Partners.
The deal will help Kiss My Face take advantage of the forecasted rapid growth in the natural products category. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the instant infusion of resources will enable the 30-year-old company to fuel plans for growth in not only natural stores, but the mass and specialty retail doors across the U.S. and abroad.
“National independent market research showed that Kiss My Face had the third most recognized brand name among all natural products including those 10 times the size in sales and distribution and the second most recognized among women 24 and under,” said Yarnell who will serve as the new chief executive officer.
“For a relatively limited distribution brand, this kind of unaided brand awareness is enormous and can unlock tremendous potential for retailers who want to grow and develop natural product segments in their stores,” added Yarnell.
Kiss My Face was founded by Bob MacLeod and Steve Byckiewicz, and includes a wide range of items from liquid soaps to oral care. The brand is sold in specialty shops, a selection of mass stores, natural food outlets and online merchants. “Bob and Steve are the best at what they do and now they have added Ron and me to their resource list as well as Caltius’ expertise in growing profitable niche brands,” said Yarnell.
Michael Morgan, a managing director of Caltius, added, “We are all very excited to have this winning team assembled to participate in the double-digit category growth forecasted in naturals in the future.”
One industry expert singled out Kiss My Face as one of the pioneers of natural beauty. “Kiss My Face was natural before it was in vogue,” the industry observer said. “While many companies are just going natural, Kiss My Face made it a business. With people waking up to natural, the brand is in a fabulous position.”
A major vehicle for growth is the launch of Kiss My Face’s Peace Soap, a partnership with Seeds of Peace, a nonprofit organization that brings teens together from regions of conflict. The teens attend a summer camp in Maine where they meet the “so-called enemy” for the first time and learn how to understand each other to build what the organization hopes is the new generation of peace. Ten percent of the profits from the new line will go directly to the program.
Yarnell joins the founders, who will remain instrumental in the company’s growth. Gordon, a veteran of beauty giants such as Beiersdorf and Goody, will function as non-executive chairman.