Making faces, making money

Crystal Findley’s eye for style is transforming women, not in America’s dressing rooms but at makeup counters. “I always wanted to help women look their best,” Findley says. Within the last year, the 25-year-old entrepreneur has opened three Color Me Beautiful shopping-mall-based kiosks in South Carolina: one in her hometown of Sumter and one each in Columbia and Florence.

Color Me Beautiful Brands Inc. is a beauty products franchise named after the bestseller Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson, which licenses entrepreneurs to sell name-brand cosmetics and skincare products. Product lines include Patti LaBelle, Iman, Flori Roberts, Interface, Adrien Arpel, and Gayle Hayman Beverly Hills. Findley says that with a predominantly African American customer base, top sellers are the specially formulated skincare products and cosmetic shades for darker skin tones.

The contemporary businesswoman acknowledges she never expected to get rich selling cosmetics, but says, “In the first couple of months, I had recouped my initial investment and was making several thousand dollars in profit.” In 2006, Findley generated sales of $300,000 and projects sales of $794,340 for 2007.

In addition to her hard work and ambitious drive, Findley attributes much of her success to how much the Color Me Beautiful corporate office has supported her businesses with training, location, lease assistance, and general business advice.

“Color Me Beautiful offers entrepreneurs a variety of turnkey operations to meet the growing demand for quality cosmetics among women of color,” says Chairman and CEO Steve DiAntonio. Color Me Beautiful provides would-be business owners with four money-making opportunities: home-based, salon sales, kiosk ownership, and international distribution.

Home-based consultants and salon owners can earn up to a 61% profit by selling cosmetics directly to their customers and as much as 45% commission through the “At Your Service” no-inventory program that mails cosmetics directly to customers who place their orders with consultants or online. Consultants can get started with an investment of $119 for their choice of two Career Packs that include a training manual, tester products, makeup trays, mirrors, and a carrying case. Home-based consultants working part-time earn on average $500 a month. Full-timers have the potential to sell between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of product a year.

Kiosk owners sell to customers shopping in busy malls across America. Aspiring entrepreneurs can open up shop for an $8,000 investment that covers four days of training, the Color Me Beautiful product license, business license, insurance, first month’s rent, and $5,000 worth of cosmetics, fragrance, and skincare supplies as well as ongoing training support. They also receive help selecting a mall and negotiating a lease contract. Kiosk owners with a single unit can generate annual sales starting at $150,000.

Color Me Beautiful provides international distributors with wholesale pricing, training, and promotional marketing support. These distributors report earning 15% to 20% of their annual sales, which range anywhere from $300,000 to $2 million. With independent owners throughout the U.S., Color Me Beautiful Inc. (, 800-606-3435) realized sales of $12 million in 2006 and projects $16 million for 2007.