Susan Posnick, Founder, Susan Posnick Cosmetics, www.susanposnick.com
There’s a lot to be said for companies that start at the grassroots level. Projects are funded out-of-pocket, personal experience becomes career passion, and end results matter more because they are of one’s own design. For 20-year veteran celebrity makeup artist Susan Posnick, that’s the path she chose to follow when she was diagnosed with facial skin cancer.
After her diagnosis, she saw a key element missing in the cosmetics segment of her film and fashion career—a lack of mineral foundation offering maximum sun protection that doesn’t melt in the heat—a product she believed could have helped protect her from her skin condition. Not finding what she desired, Posnick met her own needs and the needs of women like her by launching the 100% natural Colorflo mineral foundation with SPF 26.
The foundation eventually expanded into a full line of sun care cosmetics (blush, concealer pencils, mascara, brow gel, lip products and more), which are available at apothecaries, spas, medi-spas and dermatological offices around the world.
“We take a holistic approach,” Posnick says. “It’s about health, beauty and science—similar to spa philosophy. Spas, however, have limited retail space, so our line was developed to be compact.” With interchangeable products that fit tightly into various retail displays, Posnick targeted the right brick-and-mortar fit for her company.
However, her e-commerce site has also fared well in the recent economy. “Most women would prefer to pick up a foundation color and match it to themselves. That’s why brick-and-mortar works so well,” she says. “but customers today are much more informed than they ever were before, from beauty blogs. It’s no longer just the woman at the cosmetics counter selling you a product or recommending one. So, for the Web site, we have an in-depth color selection and a guarantee.”
The bottom line is that Posnick sells what she deems simple, multipurpose and portable beauty. “Women aren’t looking for extravagance anymore; they’re looking for results,” she says. “I developed Colorflo out of my own experience. It made me extremely passionate about what products I put out there, and it gave me the impetus to say I want to make cosmetics better for other people.”
International distribution in Europe, Asia and North America, among other regions—through the Nordic Selfcare Institute—has made Susan Posnick Cosmetics globally recognized, as has the company’s focus on customer service. “The Japanese are concerned with service and graciousness. When I came back from Japan recently, [my experience there] reiterated that service sells your business,” she says.
Although Posnick’s constant travel has made it difficult for her to spend time with family and friends, at the end of the day she always finds quiet time for self-reflection. These moments have given her the chance to not only reflect on her health, but also to reflect upon the success of her company, which increased overall sales by 71% in 2007 and has experienced double-digit growth since the company’s inception in 2000. Such stick-to-itiveness even garnered Posnick Fashion Group International’s 2004 Rising Star Award, among other accolades. The true measure of her success, however, is her brand’s line expansion.
“I’m always aware of the end-user—that the product is portable and fits in with her lifestyle,” Posnick says. “So we’re launching a line of universal lipsticks—Perfect Berry, Perfect Red, Perfect Pink. We’re also working on a sun protection product that will work on multiple skin tones, and we’re developing portable fragrances.”