According to WWD, celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes is discontinuing his namesake cosmetics brand after a relationship with investors soured, but he is seeking new funding to revive the brand as early as spring.
The Scott Barnes beauty brand was introduced on QVC in 2003 before entering traditional retail channels. It received roughly $1.4 million in investment from Lake Forest, Ill.-based Oryx Capital International Inc. starting in 2007. Two months into Oryx’s involvement, Barnes said he began to sense the private equity firm wasn’t a good fit.
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“Literally, it was a constant battle to get stuff into the stores. Within three weeks [on the shelves], it was gone. I was like, ‘Can you all see there is a demand for the product?’ It was just common sense stuff,” he said. “This happens so much with a start-up business, especially with makeup artists in the press because [investors] expect that everything is going to run without putting in effort.”
A representative at the company said that Oryx is dissolving. Scott Barnes was not Oryx Capital International’s only business connection to the beauty industry. In 2003, the firm acquired private label manufacturer Cosmolab through a business unit called Specialty Packaging Holdings.
Barnes has wrested control of his license back from Oryx and has hired Peter Chong, who has a finance background with stints at Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and Citigroup, to be his chief financial officer. Barnes’ current objective is to find a new partner who can initially invest $2 million to $5 million in the Scott Barnes brand but would have a long-term strategy to put some $20 million into the company to upgrade the packaging, expand the product lineup and grow a broad retail network.
Scott Barnes cosmetics contained approximately 140 stockkeeping units and was carried at Saks Fifth Avenue, Holt Renfrew, specialty boutiques and on QVC. Barnes estimated that the brand generated $2 million to $5 million in sales annually. Body Bling, a shimmering body lotion, Eye Ice, a loose eye shadow and Chic Palettes have been among his most popular items.