When Tracey started Elegant Minerals in 2006, she did not know how successful her all-natural cosmetics line would be. She only knew that she had a business opportunity that allowed her to earn money while staying at home with her five children. At the time, Tracey and her husband, Joe, were supporting their family with his salary as a manager at 7-Eleven and money Tracey made from her eBay business. Not wanting to go into debt, they started with a modest budget of $145 a month to get Elegant Minerals started. Now, five years later, Elegant Minerals offers over 300 all-natural cosmetic products to women around the world.
Tracey became interested in all-natural cosmetics after having her third child. The cosmetic products she used at the time caused her skin to break out, prompting her to begin a trial-and-error period of testing countless cosmetic brands. She says she tried everything from the most expensive brands to the cheapest without seeing improvement. As she researched common ingredients used in cosmetics, she discovered that many brands claiming to be “all-natural” still use synthetic ingredients that can irritate skin. Only after switching to cosmetics with 100% all-natural ingredients did her skin improve. Tracey reasoned that she couldn’t be the only woman whose skin reacted to cosmetics with synthetic ingredients. With this assumption, she began building the business model for Elegant Minerals.
Elegant Minerals sells its products to people all over the world. Through online advertising, Elegant Minerals has become known for their affordable and quality cosmetic products. Recently, Elegant Minerals was recognized on the Martha Stewart Living Radio as one of the best all-natural cosmetic brands. This summer, Elegant Minerals will be featured in the independent movie “Liquorice.” Elegant Minerals has donated its products to be used for the actors’ makeup, and will benefit from the publicity of having their products placed in the movie.
Elegant Minerals has a diversified sales approach. While Tracey estimates that roughly 80% of Elegant Minerals’ sales are through their website, they also sell their products through salons, spas and independent contractors. Tracey says that the independent contractors tend to be stay-at-home moms wanting to earn a living without sacrificing time with their kids. Recently, Elegant Minerals reached an agreement with a large cosmetic corporation to sell Elegant Minerals products under the corporation’s name and label. Regardless of where Elegant Minerals is purchased, the price is always the same. This diversified sales strategy provides multiple avenues for market penetration.
Tracey and Joe recently built an addition to their house that will serve as their new office. The cost of this new addition has put pressure on cash flow they need to maintain their business. This loan will be used to order hairbrushes with their personalized logo. These hairbrushes are an accessory sold at retail outlets carrying Elegant Minerals’ products.
Accion Texas Inc. (www.acciontexas.org) is an award-winning nonprofit organization with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, Accion has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.acciontexas.org.