Beauty makeup supply wholesale Beauty makeup supply coupon code Beauty makeup supply promo code Beauty makeup supply reviews Beauty makeup supply ebay Beauty makeup supply promotion code Beauty makeup supply store Beauty makeup supply online Beauty makeup. Banking On Beauty: How Toni Ko Built NYX Cosmetics Into A $500 Million Brand

She's since paid back her family, with interest: FORBES estimates her net worth at $260 million. It's a far cry from 1999, when she was a one-woman band. "She started off by herself, doing everything," says Jim Bland, a partner at Chicago-based private equity firm Beauty makeup supply.

& Co. and an investor. "She was lugging boxes. She was paying the bills."

Her first products were eye and lip pencils, sold for $1.99 apiece -- a bargain when hot brands such as Urban Decay and MAC Cosmetics were selling theirs for $10 or more. Ko called her young company NYX Cosmetics, pronounced "nix" and named after the Greek goddess of the night. That year she generated $4 million at retail. "I didn't know how significant that was," she says, adding that NYX grew "like crazy" in the early 2000s. "A business selling value? You can't go wrong."

She pushed her suppliers to create each product to her exacting specifications. She also cut out extraneous costs. "I did R&D myself," she says. "These other cosmetics guys, they were old men. They were in the business to make money. A lot of them couldn't tell the difference between a lipstick and lip liner."

The economic crash of 2008 forced shoppers who had happily spent hundreds on department store makeup to seek drugstore alternatives -- or, fortunately for Ko, to discover NYX. At the same time, nascent video platform YouTube had given rise to a growing cadre of beauty vloggers: young people conducting makeup tutorials, unpacking their purchases or reviewing cosmetics onscreen.

It was the start of what is now a lucrative industry that's turned its best-known stars, such as Vietnamese-American YouTuber Michelle Phan, into multimillionaires. Once, Ko watched sales of a discontinued white eyeliner skyrocket based solely on its popularity with influential vloggers. "We realized this is the future," she says. NYX started sending freebies to social media stars.

Ko knew that to build NYX into a mass market brand, beyond the cult world of connoisseurs and teen fanatics, she'd have to get her products into mainstream stores. She set her sights on Ulta Beauty, then a mostly Midwestern chain of 200 or so outlets that's like a less-pricey

NYX tested so well in 2007 and 2008 that by 2009, Ko had 6 feet of space in each store -- unheard of, according to Michael Eckert, the consumer-products broker hired to help NYX break in. "Everything changed for NYX," he says. After Ulta came

, perhaps the ultimate "get" for a beauty brand looking to go mainstream. NYX ramped up its e-commerce operation to handle demand.

Bland's firm took a stake in 2010, setting in motion a plan to sell the company within five years. It went up at auction in 2014, and L'Oréal, the world's largest beauty conglomerate, was the highest bidder.

It was a $500 million deal -- sales were on track to reach $120 million that year -- and as the majority owner, Ko suddenly found herself richer than she'd ever imagined. She was also only 41 years old and jobless, having decided not to remain at NYX. "I wasn't going to sell a company to work for somebody," she says. "I didn't know a single entrepreneur who stayed on and was happy. I got paid and said farewell to my baby."

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After a brief retirement, complete with beachside margaritas, Ko decided to get back into the game. She'd signed a noncompete clause, meaning she couldn't work in cosmetics for at least five years. She weighed her other obsessions and chose sunglasses.

Ko had more than 100 pairs herself and had paid upwards of $300 for most of them. She knew the eyewear sector was almost entirely controlled by Luxottica, the Italian giant that owns retailers Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters and Pearle Vision, as well as top brands Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol.

"Once I studied the industry I realized it was a dinosaur," she says. Ko was sure she could apply her mastery of the supply chain to the sunglasses sector. She started cold-calling plastics manufacturers. Last September she flew to China, where she visited 11 factories in three cities in five days. By October she'd opened a Los Angeles office for her new brand.

Perverse Sunglasses launched in March. With its bold colors and kooky frames, it's already the official eyewear sponsor of hip music festival Coachella. Each pair retails for between $40 and $60. Says Ko: "The quality and look is like $150 sunglasses."

Ko is bankrolling Perverse for now, but says she'll raise capital once she hits $40 million in sales. Her aim is to open 125 stores in five years; she'll need ample funds for growth. She's signed five leases, and come August the line will begin testing at her old stomping ground, Ulta.

NYX continues to thrive; L'Oréal reported 78% like-for-like sales growth in 2015. Those who've worked with Ko over the years see no reason Perverse won't prove just as big a hit. Says Bland: "I would never bet against Toni, that's for sure."

For full coverage of Forbes' Richest Self Made-Women, see here.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Toni Ko spent hours at department store cosmetics counters, testing out creamy foundations and prettily packaged blushes. Then she'd head to the nearest drugstore to try and replicate a high-end look on a teenager's budget. "I loved beautiful makeup but couldn't afford it," she says. Ko bought "cheap, terrible" brands and improvised: "I remember having to burn the tip of my Maybelline eyeliner."

Luckily for Ko, her formative years were also spent learning the ins and outs of the beauty supply chain. Her family moved to California from South Korea's southeastern province of Daegu in 1986, when Ko was 13. They'd been in the fabric business but fell into perfume and cosmetics in L.A., first at retail, then as wholesalers. She worked for her parents after school and on weekends, then full-time after dropping out of Glendale Community College.

At age 25, armed with industry know-how and $250,000 in seed money from her parents, Ko set out to close what she saw as a potentially lucrative gap in the market: department store beauty at drugstore prices.

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She's since paid back her family, with interest: FORBES estimates her net worth at $260 million. It's a far cry from 1999, when she was a one-woman band. "She started off by herself, doing everything," says Jim Bland, a partner at Chicago-based private equity firm

& Co. and an investor. "She was lugging boxes. She was paying the bills."

Her first products were eye and lip pencils, sold for $1.99 apiece -- a bargain when hot brands such as Urban Decay and MAC Cosmetics were selling theirs for $10 or more. Ko called her young company NYX Cosmetics, pronounced "nix" and named after the Greek goddess of the night. That year she generated $4 million at retail. "I didn't know how significant that was," she says, adding that NYX grew "like crazy" in the early 2000s. "A business selling value? You can't go wrong."

She pushed her suppliers to create each product to her exacting specifications. She also cut out extraneous costs. "I did R&D myself," she says. "These other cosmetics guys, they were old men. They were in the business to make money. A lot of them couldn't tell the difference between a lipstick and lip liner."

The economic crash of 2008 forced shoppers who had happily spent hundreds on department store makeup to seek drugstore alternatives -- or, fortunately for Ko, to discover NYX. At the same time, nascent video platform YouTube had given rise to a growing cadre of beauty vloggers: young people conducting makeup tutorials, unpacking their purchases or reviewing cosmetics onscreen.

It was the start of what is now a lucrative industry that's turned its best-known stars, such as Vietnamese-American YouTuber Michelle Phan, into multimillionaires. Once, Ko watched sales of a discontinued white eyeliner skyrocket based solely on its popularity with influential vloggers. "We realized this is the future," she says. NYX started sending freebies to social media stars.

Ko knew that to build NYX into a mass market brand, beyond the cult world of connoisseurs and teen fanatics, she'd have to get her products into mainstream stores. She set her sights on Ulta Beauty, then a mostly Midwestern chain of 200 or so outlets that's like a less-pricey

NYX tested so well in 2007 and 2008 that by 2009, Ko had 6 feet of space in each store -- unheard of, according to Michael Eckert, the consumer-products broker hired to help NYX break in. "Everything changed for NYX," he says. After Ulta came

, perhaps the ultimate "get" for a beauty brand looking to go mainstream. NYX ramped up its e-commerce operation to handle demand.

Bland's firm took a stake in 2010, setting in motion a plan to sell the company within five years. It went up at auction in 2014, and L'Oréal, the world's largest beauty conglomerate, was the highest bidder.

Beauty makeup supply wholesale Beauty makeup supply coupon code Beauty makeup supply promo code Beauty makeup supply reviews Beauty makeup supply ebay Beauty makeup supply promotion code Beauty makeup supply store Beauty makeup supply online Beauty makeup

It was a $500 million deal -- sales were on track to reach $120 million that year -- and as the majority owner, Ko suddenly found herself richer than she'd ever imagined. She was also only 41 years old and jobless, having decided not to remain at NYX. "I wasn't going to sell a company to work for somebody," she says. "I didn't know a single entrepreneur who stayed on and was happy. I got paid and said farewell to my baby."

After a brief retirement, complete with beachside margaritas, Ko decided to get back into the game. She'd signed a noncompete clause, meaning she couldn't work in cosmetics for at least five years. She weighed her other obsessions and chose sunglasses.

Ko had more than 100 pairs herself and had paid upwards of $300 for most of them. She knew the eyewear sector was almost entirely controlled by Luxottica, the Italian giant that owns retailers Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters and Pearle Vision, as well as top brands Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol.

"Once I studied the industry I realized it was a dinosaur," she says. Ko was sure she could apply her mastery of the supply chain to the sunglasses sector. She started cold-calling plastics manufacturers. Last September she flew to China, where she visited 11 factories in three cities in five days. By October she'd opened a Los Angeles office for her new brand.

Perverse Sunglasses launched in March. With its bold colors and kooky frames, it's already the official eyewear sponsor of hip music festival Coachella. Each pair retails for between $40 and $60. Says Ko: "The quality and look is like $150 sunglasses."

Ko is bankrolling Perverse for now, but says she'll raise capital once she hits $40 million in sales. Her aim is to open 125 stores in five years; she'll need ample funds for growth. She's signed five leases, and come August the line will begin testing at her old stomping ground, Ulta.

NYX continues to thrive; L'Oréal reported 78% like-for-like sales growth in 2015. Those who've worked with Ko over the years see no reason Perverse won't prove just as big a hit. Says Bland: "I would never bet against Toni, that's for sure."

For full coverage of Forbes' Richest Self Made-Women, see here.

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