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Make-Up Art Cosmetics
Make-up Art Cosmetics, also known as M.A.C. cosmetics is a highly unique
corporation. Its founders and business strategies are rather simple yet
extremely effective in contributing to the companies success. The company does
not use any fancy business schemes and it is truly concerned with its consumers.
In the beginning, the company struggled to get started, but now a multimillion
dollar (and still growing) enterprise, M.A.C. probably has some of the most
popular and most demanded for cosmetics available in the market. M.A.C.
Cosmetics is a dynamic company which produces skin and hair care, beauty
products, and cosmetics, created for everyone. Rich and poor, old or young,
conservative or trendy and even for males or females. Sales for M.A.C. are
growing rapidly. From 1985 ($600 000) to 1989 ($3 million), sales were steady.
Then in 1990 the money really started to pour in, hitting $8.5 million then $18
million in1991. Last years sales (1996) were $70 million and now this years\'
estimations are a substantial $160 million. There are currently 108 locations
between Canada, the U.S., and Europe, with extreme success in London, England.
Although the company could easily expand to may more locations, the company
would prefer not to, at least no so fast. They believe that in order to
maintain high levels of quality, staying in control, (which means going slowly)
is the key. Frank Toskan, 45, founder and CEO of Make-up Art Cosmetics, was
previously a Canadian hairstylist, make-up artist and photographer, who
developed his own professional cosmetics because he felt that the existing lines
couldn\'t link with the harsh lighting used in photography, stage , film and
video work. Over the last 10 years, 160 shades of lipsticks in 7 different
finishes, 150 eye shadows, 60 blushes and hair care have been created for the
public. Toskan first started at his kitchen table with the help of his high
school chemistry book. With Victor Casale, his chemist brother-in-law, he
blended a few new colours. One year later, Toskan formed a partnership with
Frank Angelo, a veteran entrepreneur (previous owner of a chain of beauty
salons). At first they were turned down by banks, they had to mortgage
everything in order to get the company going. M.A.C. was officially launched in
1985, in an old, run-down location in Toronto (Cabbagetown). For years M.A.C.
was looked upon as too \'weird.\' In1988, Toskan and Angelo had to beg downtown
Simpsons -now the Hudson\'s Bay Company, to take their line of products. They
were given a small corner and it soon became the most popular counter in the
department store. Currently there are 23 M.A.C. Counters in Bay stores across
Canada. Eaton\'s originally turned them away and now the partners won\'t deal
with them. The company hires people based on creative talent, not looks; a
novel tactic for this industry. Toskan is quoted saying:
"I don\'t have the luxury of communicating with my clients,
so therefore my salespeople are the link between my
philosophy and their customers."
M.A.C. reps behave more like friends or confidants than product pushers.
Without having company sales pressure, the laid-back management resulted in a
retail staff turnover of less than 7% last year.
M.A.C. Cosmetics has a great position on corporate and social
responsibility. The public image of this business is supported, due to many
different surroundings. M.A.C. is "cruelty-free" and does not test its products
on animals. They use simple black and white (recyclable) packaging and they
encourage Recycling with the "Back-to-Mac" programme. Customers are given a
free lipstick of their choice with the return of six empty containers. The
company offers good prices compared to other \'big name\' companies without any
false promises such as miracle (age reducing) creams. While some companies may
be nervous about linking their names to the specter of illness and death, M.A.C.
is upfront in promoting its support of the fight against AIDS, with its popular
lipstick -\'Viva Glam,\' 1992 (which also come with a condom) donated to various
AIDS organizations. In Oct. 1995, M.A.C. launched a charity lipstick for $16:
$6 of which, went to the breast cancer research. They also mix custom products
to match the needs of cancer and burn victims on the allergenically challenged.
Just recently M.A.C. introduced the "Kid\'s helping Kids" which, with the sale of
greeting cards (painted by the kids) will be donated to pediatric organizations.
M.A.C. Cosmetics has undertaken many strategies which resulted in the
successfulness of the company. Toskan and Angelo had their business strategy
figured out. At first they\'d sell their make-up to professional stylists and
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