While many indie beauty brand founders intend to address unmet consumer needs, it’s quite challenging to define and develop a brand that truly stands up and stands out in the crowded marketplace. Knowing her niche, knowing her consumer, and knowing her brand’s unique strengths have meant Risa Barash has done just that.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Risa Barash, Owner and Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Fairy Tales Hair Care
Headquarters: Fairfield, New Jersey
Cash flow: Fairy Tales Hair Care is unique in todays world of business. We are self-funded, debt free and profitable! Sales from 2016-2017 rose 26% based on increased distribution [and the] expansion of lines in existing distribution. I’m most proud that we have grown our business slowly, steadily and we have acquired not just customers but fans.
Team work: 15 full-time employees
Distribution: Fairy Tales Hair Care is sold on our own ecommerce site, FairyTalesHairCare.com, Amazon.com, jet.com, as well as through thousands of doors including Target, ULTA, CVS, Wal-Mart, BBB, HEB, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Meijer, Hannaford, Shop-Rite, Hy-Vee, Albertsons, Safeway and in thousands of salons and beauty supply stores via SalonCentric.
Years in beauty: 19
Year at Fairy Tales Hair Care: 19
Entrepreneurial experience: I am a 4th generation entrepreneur. I worked in PR after college and I was a stand-up comic for 6 years. That is certainly entrepreneurial, but Fairy Tales is my first foray into business ownership.
The business: My husband and I launched Fairy Tales Hair Care with Rosemary Repel, the first natural product proven to prevent head lice with organic oils of rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, lavender and geranium. Today the brand goes beyond lice care, having grown into a multimillion-dollar business offering everyday shampoos, detanglers, curly care, sun and swim care products and more. As the #1 recommended hair care line by pediatricians, school nurses and moms – all formulas are free of harsh chemicals, pesticides, toxins, parabens and sulfates and are soy, dairy, gluten and nut-free.
The wow-factor: Fairy Tales was founded on the principle that we create products parents need, not just want. We are a problem/solution brand. Each category we cover provides a purpose – head lice, swimmers hair, tangles, curls. We are also incredibly proud of our formulations. We are soy, dairy, gluten, and nut free as well as free of sulfates, parabens and we use only phthalate free fragrances. Our price points make safe, quality hair care for kids affordable to all.
The customer: Fairy Tales is professional hair care for children—we provide affordable, high-quality products for families using natural, good for you ingredients. Our salon quality formulas are high end, we have many parents that use our products as well. Therefore, our target consumer is Moms and we need to be available wherever parents shop.
Milestone moment: Fairy Tales Hair Care is the #2 brand at Target behind Suave Kids. We do nearly 20% of the retail sales with less than 10% of shelf space.
It was also really special when the popular influencer Something Navy (Arielle Noa Charnas, with 1.1 million Instagram followers) told everyone she only uses Fairy Tales Hair Care on her daughter. Free publicity is the best!
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: Know your audience – you can’t please all the people all the time. Your point of differentiation must be strong in order to stand out.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Barash says, my Armani CC cream is my favorite skin care product. I’m blessed with good skin, so I like to keep my make up to a minimum, but this provides just enough coverage and of course, sunscreen.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.