Color Street: Where Creativity is Queen
Another year of explosive growth earns the Bravo Percentage of Growth Award for the second time in just three years.
It’s easy to notice Color Street’s creative approach to product design—the company’s innovative nail polish strips are available in a constantly evolving array of gorgeous colors, textures and playful patterns. But it’s their creativity in technology, manufacturing and marketing that’s behind yet another year of explosive growth, earning the company the Bravo Percentage of Growth Award for the second time in just three years.
Creatively Tackling Challenges
Color Street exploded onto the beauty scene in 2017 with its revolutionary take on nail polish application—a proprietary nail polish “strip” that includes a base coat, color coat and topcoat all in one layer. It’s basically everything customers love about polished nails without the brushing, drying, waiting and mess.
Color Street Founder and CEO Fa Park spent decades perfecting his invention, dreaming up both the concept and the technology to make it a reality. Today, he’s still innovating, leading Color Street as they pioneer new ways of producing the nail polish strips that he developed over 30 years ago. Color Street is frequently releasing new collections featuring fresh styles and patterns—many of which require new manufacturing processes to create.
“Anything we choose to develop, anything we create on our marketing side, we then develop the technology and engineering behind it,” Park explains. “We keep investing time and R&D and finance to improve productivity, quality, new product lines, automation and robotics and the many different challenges we’ve had over the last two years.”
Those challenges were twofold: managing nonstop growth and navigating manufacturing logistics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our challenges stem from growth,” adds Colby Waisath, Senior Vice President. “We have a brilliant product. Having complete control from all aspects of the product process in our New Jersey facility has been super-efficient, but keeping up with inventory and growth has been a challenge. [The pandemic] exasperated the growth, and it’s been in the first quarter of this year that we have finally been able to get ourselves in a position with the right team, better processes and inventory.”
Every piece of production is handled in-house at Color Street. “We are manufacturer, inventor, formulator—we’re our own creator,” Park shares. “Almost 99 percent, we do ourselves, production, packaging, shipping, all in house.” While much of the country shut down, NJ manufacturing facilities could remain open with dramatic reductions in manpower. This forced the Color Street team to make some quick adjustments to keep their business running.
Park and his team applied that same creative approach to these new manufacturing challenges, creating space in their facility so workers could operate equipment safely, educating teams on ways to stay healthy and creating smaller, more efficient shift schedules. By the summer of 2020, Park and his team had found a new manufacturing rhythm and began focusing on new ways to increase efficiency on the floor, in the corporate office and in the field. Color Street hired 40 new corporate team members—from executive leaders to entry-level employees.
“We are functioning stronger at this moment,” Park says. “Other companies in the last year had to decrease their staff significantly; a lot of people, they lay off, they fire, they reduce, but we were consistently and frequently hiring new employees who believed in our product and shared the vision for the future of the Color Street.”
An Unmatched Opportunity
No one can compete with Color Street’s unique product offering in the direct sales space. However, Park believes that the company stands alone well beyond the nail innovation he invented and the self-sufficient production process that makes Color Street so nimble. He sees the biggest differentiator in the incredible volume of product launches the company is now known for.
“We launch different SKUs and collections consistently; up to 3-4 times each month,” he says. “That’s why our market will never get old. We aren’t offering a catalog for the full month. More than 30 launches a year. That’s a key to our success.”
Waisath echoes that statement. “Product is QUEEN here at Color Street,” he says.
“Our Stylists are able to have a business that continues to be fresh, as we are constantly dropping new collections within a month to allow them a reason to connect with their customers and hosts. We’ve changed up our collection strategy for 2021 in that we have reduced the number of items in our everyday catalog and are focused on dropping smaller mini-collections within the month. All with the intent to reach the customer more, drive excitement and keep the base catalog active. We know that a base catalog can’t connect with all the holidays, themes, or mini-events that are taking place each month and because we control 100 percent of the product cycle here from our New Jersey facility, we can forecast, create, and adjust on the fly to what works and what might not work all the time.”
Stylists are clearly thrilled with consistent, frequent product launches, as the field grew to 135,000 Stylists in 2020. As recognized by the Bravo Percentage of Growth Award, Color Street recorded revenue of $597 million in 2020, an increase of 171 percent from the previous year.
No Signs of Slowing
While Color Street is certainly celebrating a year of overcoming challenges and incredible growth, Park and his team have their eyes on the next chapter for the company—one that includes more manufacturing innovation and future international expansion.
“We are only in the United States,” Park says. “We plan to launch Canada this year. And following that, we’ll go to European and Asian countries. We just achieved $600 million in sales in three years here, and we hope to expand what we’re doing here to Europe and Asia over the next ten years.”
In the short term, Park and his team are most looking forward to gathering with Stylists again in cities, as well as Color Street’s National Conference this summer in Orlando. The event will be a hybrid live convention and virtual experience to celebrate Stylists near and far.
“We decided that our 2021 conference due to COVID restrictions would be a live/virtual event,” Waisath explains. “We did not want to just create a conference and then stream; our team has really strategically looked at how we make that home viewer feel even more special, connected and energized to all of us who are in person at the event.”
Park is eager to congratulate his hardworking field of Stylists, who have brought his vision to life, sharing Color Street from coast to coast.
“This fall, I’ll be visiting city by city again,” he says. “That is the most exciting part for me. I’ve missed that.”
Generosity has always been at the heart of Color Street. Since its launch, the company has offered exclusive products that generate both awareness and over $3 million in financial support for over 30 organizations and causes. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Color Street has continued to support these charitable partners through additional donations, providing $10,000 to each to support their pandemic response efforts. Beyond these contributions, Fa Park personally sourced, produced and donated 60,000 KN95 masks to frontline organizations across the U.S. at the outset of the pandemic. These much-needed masks were donated to hospitals and frontline workers across New York and New Jersey, as well as to organizations nominated by Color Street Stylists throughout the U.S.
From the June 2021 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.