Premium Beauty News - You created your company in 2004, you were just 30. What were your motivations to embark on such an adventure?
Carisa Janes - After attending the Parsons School of Design, I started working for the Urban Decay brand and on the launch of their range of products for Generation X, which has since become iconic. In 1997, I created for Body & Soul their line of cosmetics inspired from the 40s and their Hollywood stars and then I founded ISA Design LLC, a consulting firm to support the launch of brands particularly niche brands. Quite logically this led me to the creation of my own company, Hourglass.
Premium Beauty News - On what concept did you create Hourglass?
Carisa Janes - On “modern luxury” and femininity. I wanted elegant, functional products and whose formulas would be tailored to the needs of most demanding skins. Where we are able, We make no use of parabens, phthalates, or perfumes. All our products for the skin complexion contain such anti-aging actives as hyaluronic acid, peptides, plant stem cells vitamins... Moreover, we pay special attention to packaging, its practicality and design. We work in partnership with component manufacturers like HCT Packaging with whom we have developed our lip gloss, Prodigy, with its ergonomic shape or our Lash Lacquer, Film Noir, with its paint-brush applicator. Our eye and face powders are contained in cases fitted with rotating mirrors thus providing an additional comfort of use.
Premium Beauty News - Since the creation of Hourglass, what has been its growth like?
Carisa Janes - The brand was launched exclusively in 2004 at Barney’s in New York. We had an offering of 50 products mainly lipsticks and glosses, foundations, powders and make-up palettes. Distribution remained very selective until 2007 when we entered Sephora and Sephora.com. From 17 stores at the beginning, our presence has skyrocketed since we are now present in 328 stores in the United States (Sephora and other retailers) but also in Canada, England, Germany, Singapore, Mexico , Australia and New Zealand and our range consists of 150 products. We now consist of a team of 30 people.
Premium Beauty News - Who are your main competitors?
Carisa Janes - Our competitors are such luxury brands as Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, Dior and Laura Mercier. We are positioned in upscale price ranges with our lipstick which is sold at around US$ 30, and US$ 65 for the serum. Our sales are mostly performed in Sephora stores but also increasingly on the internet.
Premium Beauty News - What are your expansion plans for the future? What about France?
Carisa Janes - We intend to establish ourselves in Brazil and to continue to expand and maintain our values hinged on “modern luxury” and femininity. The French market is attracting but we don’t have any specific plans in the short term.