says that, in the first quarter of 2005 alone, about 30 products will debut throughout Japonesque's nationwide network of hundreds of small independent and midsize chains of beauty supply stores, as well as at its high-profile retail clients - Ulta, Pure Beauty, Nordstrom
and the Trade Secret division of industry giant Regis Corp.
also is expanding Japonesque's
private label business, stepping up its production of brushes, makeup bags, studio cases and other items for such big names as Sephora, Clinique
and Laura Mercier.
Called Jem by Japonesque
, the brightly colored assortment of hairbrushes, portable mirrors, lip brushes, tweezers and nail clippers geared to teen-age Nordy customers indicate how Japonesque
has changed under the direction of McKay
"We have moved into bright colors for our new products," said McKay
, noting that the old Japonesque sold products in only two hues: black and chrome."We're developing new products, new clients and expanding business with longtime business partners."
For that, McKay
gives the lion's share of credit to his
wife, a former executive recruiter whom he
met while working in the British Isles for Monsanto Co. Shortly after the couple took over Japonesque, Karen McKay, who serves as the company's vice president, "hit the road" to visit existing customers and drum up business with new ones.Karen McKay
, who describes herself as "a born salesperson," traveled up and down the West Coast and to such locales as Chicago, Dallas and Miami to generate new energy and buzz around the Japonesque
husband also hired a manufacturer's representative, Greg Dawson & Associates
in Indiana, to help introduce Japonesque
products to potential clients nationwide, as well as in Europe and Australia.
And some of business was just waiting around - literally - to be sold to.