Women Business Leaders: David vs Goliath in the Beauty Industry

Tulsa Payroll Services

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Big things do come in small packages!

And that’s what the new up and coming cosmetic brand Stow Away is shouting to the multi-billion makeup industry!

In an age where bags are getting bigger and bigger, and women seem to be losing more and more of their precious (and very expensive) Chanel lipsticks, these two experienced entrepreneurs decided enough is enough!

That is why in the February of last year, e-commerce expert Julie Fredrickson (who served as digital brand manager for Ann Taylor and created digital and brand marketing strategies for Pepsi, Nike and Gap) and makeup connoisseur Chelsa Crowley (formerly at Estée Lauder, Clinique and Bobbi Brown) decided to pair up to eliminate the ever-growing epidemic of long-forgotten lipsticks, crusty concealers, and neglected mascaras. 

Deciding to stand up to the 10 major conglomerates that control the cosmetic industry, these ladies are doing the impossible and selling a portable line of product that you are more likely to finish (and let’s be honest ladies, tell me when was the last time you’ve actually finished a lipstick!)

Their mission is to convert that fabulous purse into something more clean and organized. Something that will give more space to items you actually need, as it’s intended use is, instead of it being a bicep workout when you just want to go to a nice restaurant! 

So why haven’t other companies thought of this?

Well they have. It’s just that these companies have to worry about advertising, manufacturing and distribution, so the overhead cost overshadows the profit margin. 

That’s why these clever women business leaders decided to take the direct-to-consumer model to overcome this hurdle. That means they take care of manufacturing and distribution themselves!

By adopting this strategy, they are able to have a solid profit margin while making a product that you are more likely to finish. If that wasn’t enough, because their product attempts to be consumed within a reasonable time, they’ve cut out preservatives such as parabens and phthalates, typically used to increase shelf life. 

Once they had a solid idea of what they were attempting to market, they used the $1.5 million they gained from venture funds and angel investors to perfect their compact product line. 

“There are only a handful of manufacturers that work with these makeup conglomerates,” Crowley says. “We knew we had a business opportunity, but we didn’t want to move forward with it unless we had a product we were proud to put our names on.”

It took them a year of hard work to perfect their vision of creating cosmetics that are petite enough to fit in a slim purse or clutch as well as compliant with the European Union consumer safety standards, which are mighty strict.

They also managed to cut down on costs by creating minimalist packaging. What they did was fashion a matte-gray packaging that denotes the simplicity of the product, yet strives with an elegant complexity that is tactile with their overall vision of lightweight and sophistication. 

“What we think of as luxury is actually changing,” Crowley says. “The only luxury you cannot buy is time. We oriented our products toward that philosophy.”

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