Online Exclusives

AII Nails It

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | July 28, 2010

Even in a rocky economy, American International Industries (AII) has the beauty market at its fingertips.

In a lackluster economy, women may stretch out costly hair coloring treatments and brown bag-it for lunch as they look to cut corners. But for many a modern woman, manicures and pedicures are those little indulgences that remain in the budget as long as possible, so say executives at American International Industries.

That’s good news for this privately held Los Angeles, CA-based firm which owns several nail brands including China Glaze, ibd, Seche and EzFlow.

We see tremendous success among our nail brands—ibd, Seche, EzFlow, China Glaze and more. Because a manicure and pedicure remains an affordable indulgence, the nail category is extremely hot right now,” Mark Moesta, vice president of professional sales told Happi.

 

According to Moesta, AII’s corporate structure has allowed dedicated marketing and creative teams to focus squarely on their varying categories. “So they become experts on their brands. Plus, we are niche savvy; we understand our market,” he said.

That means creating nail products consumers want on their hands and feet, and salon owners want to stock in their display cases.

In addition, AII is giving back. For example, China Glaze has earmarked 18% of its Rainbow of Hope display sales for cancer research organizations hand-picked by members of the China Glaze brand family. The 20-shade Rainbow of Hope collection, which debuted in May, includes Sexy Lady (pink), Frost Bite (royal blue), Unplugged (brown) and Liquid Leather (black).

“It was empowering for members of our nail team to determine what organizations would benefit from their hard work. They have seen their co-workers, friends and family struggle with cancer and they chose to fight back with this terrific collection that uplifts with color,” said Moesta.

 
AII's China Glaze is tackling breast cancer.

And China Glaze has more fight in it—the brand has created Fight Like A Woman, a special collection for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. There are three pink-hued shades—Encouragement (baby pink shimmer), Endurance (raspberry shimmer) and Empowerment (a cotton-candy crème). A portion of the proceeds from the collection will benefit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization dedicated to the science of cancer and promoting international collaboration in cancer research.

Fight Like A Woman will hit beauty supply stores and select salons beginning in September and will also be available on a limited basis internationally, according to AII.

Still Growing

According to Moesta, although the economy has been rocky, AII has fared well and will focus on acquisitions—its tried-and-true-method of growth—and the hot nail care market.

“Fortunately, we were in the middle of making changes that assisted us during the crisis. We have continued to grow,” Moesta said, noting the company’s May acquisition of Thermal Spa Products, a line of professional beauty products and accessories. He continued, “We will certainly continue to expand through similar acquisitions. In addition, we expect that the nail business will continue to boom. And we’re ready for it.”

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