BusinessWeek reports that Angie Onassis Parlionas admits she was “obsessed with lip gloss as a kid.” But between softball games and wrestling matches, she often ended up having to buy yet another tube after losing the one she had been using.
Today’s generation of girls can be flighty, and it won’t cost them.
Parlionas, 31, has patented a tube of gloss that’s attached to a retractable string inside a “yoyo” that can be clipped to a belt, lapel, or bag, like a fashion accessory. Her YoYo Lip Gloss comes in several colors and flavors, such as “Girly Green Apple” and “Kissable Kiwi,” and retails for $3.
Parlionas says she has had the idea for the product since she was young, but it was not until studying for her MBA at St. John’s University in New York that she decided to develop it into a business. She found suppliers in China and tested the products in labs in the U.S.
After graduating in 2006, she established YoYo Lip Gloss in New York, with the help of her family and a private investor. They have so far spent $1.2 million and will invest an additional $650,000 this year, in part to buy ads on Nickelodeon and MTV.
Since the product went on the market last October, her team of four employees and 30 independent sales reps has brought in more than $78,000 by selling 260,000 tubes of the sweet, shimmery gloss through YoYo’s Web site and retailers such as Joyce Leslie, Ricky’s NYC, Rainbow Shops, and Discovery Clothing. Parlionas expects sales to reach $500,000 by yearend and projects that the company will be profitable by 2012 with sales of $2 million.
She is now developing other cosmetics, such as lipsticks, eye shadows, and nail polish.
Photo by YoYo Lip Gloss.