Beauty Store Business

NOV 2017

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34 November 2017 | beautystorebusiness.com "Nothing could stop us though. Whatever obstacles were put in front of us, we just kept going," Tish adds. Eventually Manic Panic found a tem- porary home, again on St. Mark's Place, in a tiny basement. When Tish and Snooky were unable to renew that lease, they moved to East Village's 9th Street, in another basement with "cool vibes" (Jimi Hendrix was a previous resident). "It was down these rickety metal steps, so people were afraid to go down there," Snooky says. Manic Panic moved once more to a bigger loft in Tribeca, but outgrew that space over the course of five years as business thrived. Their most recent move in 1999 was to their over 15,000-square-foot headquarters in Long Island City (the company also has distribution centers in the U.S. and Europe, and about 30 employees). "Now that we've pioneered Long Island City, once our lease is up here, we hear that we're not going to be able to stay, so we're going to have to move again. So here we go pioneering not only the hair dye revolution, but there's the New York City real estate problem; you keep pioneering a new neighborhood and then you get trumped out of it as people with more money come in. That's the nature of the beast," Tish says. A LEGACY OF LOVE Manic Panic's classic and Amplified hair dyes have been distributed in beauty stores and salons since the beginning, but the new pro gel line is "no longer a back- room secret," Tish says. With the help of manufacturer rep group Jay Halaby and Associates, the company has recently penetrated the professional beauty world. With SKUs ranging from 44 shades of semi-permanent, High Voltage colors that condition hair (free of PPD, ammonia and peroxide) to dramatic lashes and nail lacquers, Manic Panic has made going bold easy and attainable. "It's amazing the looks we got beat up for are now popular," Tish says. "It's great that it's evolved into something way beyond everybody's wildest dreams as far as the color combinations, the rainbows and the melts. People were so put down for having roots in the old days, and now roots have been so popular. It's all fun, and people have to learn to have fun with their hair, enjoy life and enjoy experimenting—it always grows back." Despite bright hair colors gaining popularity, the downside for Manic Panic has been that the market, which once had 10 to 15 competing brands, now has hundreds vying for sales. But the sisters remain confident that most of their competitors won't last in this over- saturated market. And even if the trend changes tomorrow, the company will be unwavering in its message. Tish says, "We're not doing it because it's selling; we're doing it because we love it." Snooky adds, "It's great that what we've always loved, endorsed and pro- moted has finally caught on. It's finally acceptable, and it's finally safe." Manic Panic is also proud to be vegan— long before it was ever cool. The sisters are animal lovers and rescuers, and have held charitable benefits for animal rights. Because of their many contributions to the beauty industry, Tish and Snooky were recognized at this year's ICMAD CITY Awards in the "Industry Contributor: Entrepreneur" category at Cosmoprof North America. "We've always been the underdog in the beauty business, always the outcast and outsider, so it was great to be honored … we're still reeling from that," Snooky says. Tish and Snooky have started licens- ing the brand name, and there are now three Manic Panic Salons for those who prefer to get a cut and color by a pro (one is in Ricky's NYC beauty store on 39th St., the other two in Los Angeles and Fresno, California). They've licensed products in Japan, an eyeshadow palette for Hot Topic and even have their picture on the label of a bottle of wine called Rock 'N Roll Red, made at Blondie original bassist Fred Smith's winery. Though they're tight- lipped about product releases down the pike, one thing's for sure—they show no signs of slowing down after their unprec- edented 40 th Manniversary. ■ The original Manic Panic boutique has become famous as the fi rst punk store in America. Manic Panic's Tish and Snooky Bellomo share their secrets to success. Don't Just Follow Trends, Start Them "You have to be true to yourself. Happiness is about doing what you love. People who have done similar things in the beauty industry and have just been unique have stood out for that. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon after a while … but I think people should follow their passion. And usually if you do, you succeed," Tish says. Make Dreams a Reality "Never take no for an answer. People should be doing what they love and loving what they're doing. Listen to your heart. Follow your dreams," Snooky says. Get Connected! @manicpanicfans @manicpanicnyc manicpanic.com @manicpanicnyc Guy Furrow, courtesy of Manic Panic

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