The color cosmetics and skin care brand, founded by celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw in 1995, plans to more than double its distribution next year, thanks to two recently inked initiatives. The first will take Lorac into 290 Ulta doors nationwide in March. The brand currently is available in 185 freestanding Sephora doors, 47 of the Sephora/J.C. Penney joint stores, sephora.com and 16 independent cosmetics boutiques. Lorac is also giving its Web site, loraccosmetics.com, a facelift in January.
"The Ulta deal allows us to reach a new and different consumer," said Shaw. "It also gives Lorac additional sources of revenue and expanded promotional opportunities. It is helping to transition from being an entrepreneurial company to a bigger business."
Shaw gives Barry Alan, Lorac's senior vice president and chief operating officer (and, incidentally, her brother), and David Hirsch, an attorney with an MBA who does "everything from legal work to product development," in Shaw's words, much of the credit for the brand's growth trajectory.
"My intention, when I started Lorac, was to have a makeup line I could sell at Fred Segal in L.A.," said Shaw. "Being a working makeup artist and someone with extremely sensitive skin, I wanted to have a line that I could use on my clients and on myself. I'm lucky to have Barry and Dave — they're the ones who brought it to this level, not me. I love to create products and work with celebrities, but they are the business minds. They've helped me to move from 300 bottles of foundation in a one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood to owning our own warehouse. That's when I knew we'd truly made it — when we bought our first forklift!"
As part of the Red Carpet Authority positioning Lorac introduced earlier this year — a nod to Shaw's other career, making up stars for major Hollywood events and photo shoots — the brand will release what it is touting as the fastest runway-to-reality makeup ever, the Best Dressed Palette. The bejeweled $37 compact contains six neutral eye shadows and a rose-bronze blush. Shaw said she plans to use the palette on celebrity clients for the 2008 Academy Awards. It will be available at retail the next day, as an exclusive for Sephora.