Glenn and Shannon Dellimore.
You know what they say: build a better mud mask and the world will beat a path to your door.
Consider the case of GlamGlow, founded by the Hollywood-based husband and wife team, Glenn and Shannon Dellimore. Launched roughly four years ago, the brand is on track, they say, to do at least $22 million in 2013, $75 million in 2014, and well into nine figures thereafter.
Impressive, no? This is the health and beauty industry we’re talking about, not Silicon Valley. In this industry, such entrepreneurial success stories are a rarity—especially when the entrepreneurs (a.) didn’t plan to invent a product, let alone a brand, and (b.) never devised a marketing plan for their product.
Instead, the market came to them.
Even better, though, is the fact that GlamGlow seems to have sprung out of a fairy tale love affair between Mr. Dellimore, an English entrepreneur, and Ms. Dellimore, a former Beverly Hills paralegal, who met rather serendipitously on—of all places—match.com.
A Brand is Born
Thanks to Mr. Dellimore’s work as a business consultant in the spa industry and Ms. Dellimore’s entertainment law background, the two had become friendly with celebrities like Keanu Reeves, Jeremy Piven, Lindsay Lohan and Beyoncé—and had heard repeatedly how air travel and late nights wreak havoc on celebrity skin.
Intrigued, the Dellimores began researching skin treatments that would close pores, tighten wrinkles and reduce signs of aging and stress.
Their first discovery was that mud made the best delivery system for the nutrients that skin needs to revitalize itself. Next, with the help of a chemist, they discovered how to stabilize green tea extract as an active ingredient—which they credit as the “magic” of their formulations today.
GlamGlow’s YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment.
“We don’t just put the tea leaf in there,” Mr. Dellimore explains. “It’s a very special, very complicated process that no one had ever been able to do before.”
Delivered to them in a plain white container, they describe with delight using a Ziploc bag cut at the corner to fill small jars of the first-ever batch to distribute to their bold-faced friends.
Days later, the excited celebrities began calling. “Every one of them came back,” Ms. Dellimore says. “Beyoncé wanted some for her sister and mother.”
The stars told their friends, who told their friends, who told their agents and managers and executives and producers, and soon a 20th Century Fox vice president asked the Dellimores to give their magic mud facials backstage for the judges and finalists of American Idol.
In a matter of weeks, the Dellimores had inadvertently created that most essential element in product marketing: buzz.
While the product’s reputation and distribution gradually grew to include spas and hotels, a call from a vice president at Neiman Marcus changed everything.
SuperMud Clearing Treatment
“Companies work half their lives to get into Neiman’s,” says Mr. Dellimore, still amazed, “and the other half dying to get placement like that”—in a corner display at the intersection of Chanel and Bulgari. “It was incredible.”
So were sales.
Ms. Dellimore was still at her law firm when the call came that turned GlamGlow from a product to a brand—and her from a paralegal to a full-time businesswoman. “I was in my office on a conference call with Neiman Marcus,” she remembers, “and they said that they wanted to put GlamGlow into all forty-one of their stores. I screamed.”
Neiman’s then featured GlamGlow in its holiday catalogue, which was itself a thrilling-enough pat on the back—except that Neimans’ customers then nominated GlamGlow for a Nieman Marcus Beauty Award. That, too, would’ve been cool enough, just to compete against 22 other brands—except that GlamGlow actually won.
Then Harrod’s called. Then Sephora called. Then Nordstrom called. And ever since, the awards and accolades have continued to pile up for this love story that became a product and is now a brand—including, most recently, a Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) 2013 Beauty Insiders’ Choice Award.
In the meantime, the Dellimores have added to their original YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, (1.7 oz., $69.00) with the launch of SuperMud Clearing Treatment (1.2 oz., $69.00) to treat problem skin. Sales are rapidly growing and international demand abounds in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Turkey and Russia—to name a few.
“Our customers are our best advertising,” Ms. Dellimore says, “and we intend to keep it that way.”
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