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Spring 2012 Fashion Forward

The revolutionary cosmetics company, Bellapierre, has enjoyed meteoric growth through its specialty retail outlets. As it sets its sights on further expansion, the company stays true to its mission of delivering natural cosmetics for the fashion-conscious and savvy consumer.

With a sweep of a cosmetic brush, Bellapierre Cosmetics, makeup and skincare company, headquartered in Los Angeles, blossomed from a small operation to a globally recognized company and brand. On celebrities’ faces and in retailers’ bottom lines, the Bellapierre success story shines in every color of the rainbow.

The Founders of Bellapierre

David Oren (CEO and founder), Rick Hanson (Company Director and Founder) and Nir Einhorn (Company Director and Founder) became business partners in 2005 to develop a new concept: mineral makeup. Having been in the industry and working together in mall common areas for four years, they had noticed a subtle—yet important—shift in women’s cosmetics. “Everything was moving toward natural and organic cosmetics. Women were becoming more aware of natural products and seeking them out,” says Hanson. To fill this new niche, a new company, Bellapierre Cosmetics, was established and right away, started filling an important need in the cosmetics marketplace. Bellapierre delivers natural mineral makeup with mica as its star ingredient.

Soon after inception, existing RMU locations converted to Bellapierre Cosmetics and mall common areas in California were introduced to the first mineral makeup company to hit specialty retail. In 2006, company locations doubled, and the following year, doubled again. Numbers have only continued to grow since.

Palette of products

All Over Eyes Kits

Bellapierre has been in the manufacturing seat from the very beginning. “We produce, develop and manufacture skincare products, color cosmetics and an array of accessories for our line. Our research and development team is always looking for new and exciting ideas and trends to incorporate into the brand,” Hanson says.

Manufacturing the products themselves allows Bellapierre complete control and enables the company to produce the latest in high fashion: top-of-the line color cosmetics and age-defying skincare products. “Our product line is constantly evolving and our main objective is to stay true to our customer base and market demands,” says Hanson. All Bellapierre products fall into three main categories: color cosmetics, natural age-defying skin care, and accessories.

Bellapierre Cosmetics uses innovative high-end packaging for all its products creating a very high value image for its line. The company produces natural cosmetics with a punch and allows customers to choose from a natural to a high-fashion runway-inspired look.

“Mineral 5-In-1 Foundation,” known for its flawless finish, is the number one selling product, Hanson says. “We believe we have the best on the market,” he adds. In addition to working as a foundation, the product is a concealer, sunscreen, finishing, and setting powder.

Shimmer powders, which are pure mineral pigments, are also bestsellers. An array of over 55 colors of shimmer powders, in hues from neutrals to bright, is available; either sold separately or through Bellapierre’s innovative 9-stack design. Champagne, which recently won a natural health and beauty award, tops the color charts. “It is the best base color,” Hanson says.

“We use pure mica as the base for our entire color cosmetics’ line. Mica is the colorant for most cosmetics. Because we use pure mica, we can create a cosmetic on the fly,” says Hanson. In other words, because this product comes in its natural state, it can bind to many other base products, such as lip gloss, mascara, powder, etc. Shimmer powders can be mixed with a customer’s favorite moisturizer, lip balm or simply a drop of water to make this transformation.

Customers can create their own products with any color, or combination of color, they choose. “The beauty of this product is the versatility,” Hanson says. “The nine-stack of shimmer powder will create hundreds of colors, and eyes can match lips, nails, and so on.”

Dazzling demos  

Shimmer powders add the “wow” factor. “This is what creates an amazing presentation and why it works so well. It is highly demonstrable,” says Hanson. RMUs and kiosks transform themselves into mini cosmetics companies. Shimmer powders can morph into powder eye shadows, cream eye shadows, lip gloss, lip balm, nail polish and mascara. Customers pick a product, for example lip balm, pick a color, say Sunset shimmer powder, and in moments have an orange tinted balm to color their lips. Another example is to create a dramatic intense eye color by mixing one of the shimmer powders with water for a more dramatic look.

Bellapierre offers an extensive training program to its family of vendors and franchisees educating them about the various products, sales techniques and ways to create higher volume sales.

“You have to have big sales to be successful in specialty retail and that’s why our concept works so well. With our variety of products you are guaranteed success. For example a foundation purchase will likely lead to the purchase of a blush that complements it, along with the brushes used to apply the products,” Hanson says.

A successful demo is also an educated demo. Retailers and their staff need to know about the products, their ingredients and what their advantages are, to make successful sales figures. Today’s woman is a savvy, educated consumer. Because the cosmetics’ industry is self-regulated, explains Hanson (as long as it is not a food or a drug, the FDA is not involved), women educate themselves, reading labels, researching ingredients online, and staying informed.

Customers frequently inquire about ingredients used in products, so the salesperson at the RMU needs to be ready to address these questions. For instance, “’Do your products contain any harsh chemicals or preservatives?’ is a common question asked during a demo,” says Hanson, “The salesperson needs to have the proper knowledge to address the customer’s concern in order to effectively close the sale,” he says.

Bellapierre Compacts

The dollars and sense 

Once retailers express an interest in the Bellapierre concept, corporate employees assist in establishing locations. “We will contact the mall leasing rep, and then hand it over. We have good relationships with [the reps] in the market. They love our brand,” Hanson says.

Training starts once retailers open for business. “We send an experienced trainer to the location. The trainer coaches retailers and associates about the products and their advantages,” says Hanson. Retailer help extends beyond opening time. “We are always here to support them,” Hanson says. Retailers are given a very extensive training manual to reference independently, as well.

Bellapierre is not a franchise, but offers retailers, “basically everything a franchise would,” says Hanson, without the fees. Bellapierre is very active in the specialty retail market. They have been the premiere sponsor at SPREE for the last four years, where they establish contacts and acquire new operators. “We want to make ourselves appealing and accessible to entrepreneurs. That’s what SPREE is all about. It has always been a good show,” says Hanson. Bellapierre attends various shows both domestic and internationally.

Building the brand

Bellapierre Powders

Bellapierre’s continuing goal is to further carve out a niche for the brand. This is done through strict quality control, up-to-date packaging, far-reaching marketing programs, and most especially in 2012, sophisticated retail units. “We have a new concept we are introducing this year,” says Hanson. Specialty retail in its original form was a means of incubating a retailer from cart to kiosk to store and we are taking retailers to the next step, a cutting-edge new kiosk design, he says. Bellapierre works with kiosk manufacturers and designers all over the world.

Bellapierre offers brand consistency through high-end point-of-sale promotional displays in addition to marketing and media material for all retailers. Our brand identity is always our top priority.

As for other ways to build their brand, “We are focusing on celebrity endorsements, backstage fashion shows, and partnerships with high-impact sponsorships,” Hanson says.

Through their European division, headed by Guy Scetbon (Company Director) and David Oren (Company director) and Mirabela Toader (V.P. of European sales) Bellapierre is aligned with high profile venues such as London Fashion Week, The X Factor in the UK, and Legally Blonde, The Musical, in London, for which Bellapierre is the official makeup company. Bellapierre Cosmetics is sold in department stores across Europe and the Middle East, and is ranked Number 1 in sales in both Galleries Lafayette and House of Fraser. Bellapierre cosmetics are also offered in Whole Foods Market stores throughout the UK and Ireland.

In the United States, Bellapierre has even sponsored a Virgin America airplane so travelers hear “Welcome to Virgin Americas Air Bellapierre” when boarding. The idea is to position Bellapierre along with all the other high-end cosmetics brands, Hanson says.

Of course the product takes the cake in terms of glamor and style.  “We are always upgrading our packaging for a fresh look,” says Hanson. “We are constantly looking at the market and launching new and exciting products and packaging along with seasonal products for our retailers to take advantage of. This ensures that the customer always has a reason to return and see what’s new.”

In 2012 Bellapierre plans on expanding its already popular mineral lipstick collection and introducing a brand new line of lip-glosses. “We will also be adding multiple new palettes of pressed eye shadow to our successful compact beauty lineup,” Hanson says.

Bellapierre’s attention to detail and forward thinking bring them specialty retail success. “We don’t focus on our competition, we focus on ourselves, creating a great product with great customer service. This is a prestige line. Yes, we pay more for the ingredients in our products, and the products cost more, but consumers are willing to pay for higher quality products,” Hanson says.

Emily Lambert

Lambert, a senior writer for SRR, resides in Philadelphia. She can be reached at .

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