Amalie Beauty Changes Hands As Its Founder Focuses On The Private-Label Side Of The Beauty Industry
Both Cox and Anderson had been engaged in professional soul-searching preceding the deal that brought them together. Anderson, whose resume includes stints at Coats & Clark, Hershey and Diageo, longed for an entrepreneurial opportunity to enliven a career spent in corporate environments. Cox realized it would be difficult for her to commit the time and money needed to take Amalie Beauty to the next level while escalating her other business.
“Running your own company is very up and down, and you can feel really stressed out, but someone else can see the value in what you are doing. The selling process put that into perspective for me. I wish someone would have helped me find that perspective a while ago. It had never even occurred to me that I could sell my business. I didn’t know my business was liquid,” says Cox. “When I sold the brand, I was able to have more cash and move on to bigger ideas I had in the back of my mind.”
Before she acquired Amalie Beauty, Anderson purchased its signature Wink Lash & Brow Oil with no clue that it would play a large role in her future. After eyelash extensions resulted in Cox’s lashes being one-third of their former length, she developed Wink Lash & Brow Oil to return her stubby lashes to their native state. Amalie Beauty launched with the product in 2014.
“Running your own company is very up and down, and you can feel really stressed out, but someone else can see the value in what you are doing. The selling process put that into perspective for me.”
“I bought Wink and used it as a consumer for my eyebrows, and it worked. Then, I saw that Megan’s business was up for sale, and I contacted the broker to arrange for a phone call with her. This was a product I really believed in. It was destiny,” says Anderson. “She had a few offers, but we hit it off on the phone. She’s created products that really work, and I see my role as getting the word out so people try the products and the business continues to grow.”
Cox was convinced by Anderson’s understanding of Amalie Beauty that she was the right person to lead it. “With the rest of the buyers I had spoken to, they wanted me to sell them on my product line and why it was the best, but she already knew that because she was a customer,” she says. “When I found out she had marketing experience, had worked at big companies and done so much, I knew she was exactly who I wanted for the brand.”
For around a year prior to purchasing Amalie Beauty for an undisclosed price, Anderson was on the hunt for a company to buy that purveyed a tight assortment of products with high margins that were efficient to ship and had the potential to be profitable. “I wanted a business that was well-established and had good bones, and one that I could learn from the bottom up,” she says. “It was a pretty tough list. There were a lot of companies I looked at that I was like, ‘Nope, nope, nope.’”
“I wanted a business that was well-established and had good bones, and one that I could learn from the bottom up. It was a pretty tough list. There were a lot of companies I looked at that I was like, ‘Nope, nope, nope.’”
Upon her assumption of its assets, Anderson shares that Amalie Beauty was profitable with steadily climbing sales and a base of loyal subscribers accounting for about 20% of its revenues. The brand’s product portfolio consists of Wink Lash & Brow Oil, Calm Face Oil, Shine Organic Brightening Face Oil, Rewind Toning Face Oil and Persimmon Anti-Aging Night Crème. The products are priced from $40 to $90.
Amalie Beauty has suffered from some brand confusion. It’s known primarily for its Wink Lash & Brow Oil, and shoppers buying the product may not realize it’s part of an Amalie Beauty collection of products. Anderson is attempting to rectify the confusion by updating the packaging and website to make it clear that Amalie Beauty is the brand, not Wink.
Anderson is also focused on strengthening Amalie Beauty’s distribution. The brand is available in a handful of U.S. stores today. In a bid to win over additional stores, Anderson has developed displays that communicate Amalie Beauty’s story. One-fifth of the brand’s sales come from outside of the country, and it has distributors in Mexico and New Zealand. Anderson identified the U.K., Australia and Canada as possible markets for expansion.
“Through my soul-searching, I said to myself, ‘What am I waiting for?’ Do it. It’s a big adventure, and I hope to bring customers through the adventure with me.”
For this year, Anderson’s goal is to increase Amalie Beauty’s sales 25% to 30%. She declined to divulge the sales the brand generated last year. Anderson is busy optimizing Amalie Beauty’s existing operations to reach her 2018 sales target. For example, she’s now shipping products five days a week compared to the three days a week Amalie Beauty previously shipped products. On top of that, she is having the shelf lives of Amalie Beauty’s products tested to verify those shelf lives for retailers and distributors, and evaluating price reductions on select products to encourage replenishment.
“This business is a big challenge, but it’s amazing, and I believe in it. Through my soul-searching, I said to myself, ‘What am I waiting for?’ Do it,” recounts Anderson. “It’s a big adventure, and I hope to bring customers through the adventure with me.”
Meanwhile, Cox is confident she can scale Genie Supply, which was started in 2016. “I’m looking to do a minimum of 10 times what I did at Amalie in the same timeframe. I’m really looking at aggressively growing,” she says, noting, “Something I ran into at Amalie is that I tried to do everything myself, and I felt so overwhelmed. Now, with Genie Supply, I’m delegating. Delegation has been a game changer.”