Skin in the game: Couple ready to compete in beauty care industry

Justin and Shannon Covello have launched Sympan Beauty and brought to the market ONE moisture cream, a product Shannon developed using natural ingredients. The Grand Junction couple got a jump start on their venture when ipsy, a popular online makeup delivery service, agreed to send out 25,000 samples of the cream to subscribers. (Photo courtesy Sympan Beauty)
Justin and Shannon Covello have launched Sympan Beauty and brought to the market ONE moisture cream, a product Shannon developed using natural ingredients. The Grand Junction couple got a jump start on their venture when ipsy, a popular online makeup delivery service, agreed to send out 25,000 samples of the cream to subscribers. (Photo courtesy Sympan Beauty)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

 Shannon and Justin Covello aren’t the least bit deterred by the prospect of a business battle of David-and-Goliath proportions.

The Covellos are excited, in fact, to bring to market a moisture cream Shannon developed using such natural ingredients as aloe vera, pomegranate seed oil and red bell peppers. And thanks to the growing influence of the Internet and social media, the Grand Junction couple expects their tiny startup to fare well, even against giant corporations that traditionally have dominated the beauty care industry.

After a popular online makeup delivery service sends out 25,000 samples of the cream this month, ipsy could help turn the itsy-bitsy operation into a real deal for subscribers who try and then buy the product. That will further distinguish Sympan Beauty and its ONE moisture cream in a crowded environment, Shannon says. “There’s definitely room for quality affordable products that work.”

Moreover, Justin brings to the endeavor his experience with another family enterprise, albeit a far different one, in running a fishing lure manufacturer that sells products to retailers nationwide. He figures the same business basics apply whether he’s selling bass jigs or moisture cream. “We’re providing a service to the customer offering a quality product.”

Sympan Beauty, a company the Covellos named after the Greek term for universe, constitutes the end result of two years of product development for the couple.

Unhappy with skincare products on the market using synthetic ingredients, Shannon says she began researching on her own the properties of various natural ingredients. “I love natural products.”

She says she discovered many natural ingredients offer proven benefits. Pomegranate seed oil, for example, calms irritation and redness while improving skin tone. Red bell peppers are among the most beneficial natural ingredients of all, she says, in offering a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory product loaded with vitamin C. While many skin care products are made with water, she says she prefers aloe vera, another natural product that moistures skin while also making skin more supple and smooth. “Every ingredient has been picked for a reason.”

Shannon took her research to the next level in working with a formulation laboratory in California to develop a moisture cream made from natural ingredients. Family and friends tested the mixtures to determine how well the cream works on different skin types.

Shannon says ONE moisture cream works well on every skin type, from oily to dry, as well people with sensitive skin and uneven skin tones. The cream not only moisturizes, but also firms skin and reduces wrinkles, brightens skin and evens skin tones. The cream also works well with foundations, powders and primers, she says.

ONE moisture cream is made for women as well as men and works especially well after shaving, Justin says.

The Covellos designed their own packaging for their cream, including a pump dispenser with 1 ounce of cream and what’s branded as a travel-size tube with 10 milliliters of cream.

The couple says their product has received positive reviews not only from family members and friends who’ve used it, but also bloggers who play an increasingly influential role in helping consumers sort through all the products in the beauty care market. Building brand awareness through the Internet and social media is critical, Justin says, in competing in an industry that’s traditionally been dominated by big companies.

The Covellos received another boost for their business when ipsy agreed to send 25,000 samples of ONE moisture cream to subscribers. Shannon says that kind of opportunity could result in one month the kind of brand awareness that might otherwise take five years to develop.

The online makeup subscription delivery service sends monthly packages of makeup called a glam bag filled with samples of various products. Millions of subscribers pay $10 a month to receive glam bags. People who try products and want to buy them are directed to the Web sites of the companies that sell them.

One review on the ipsy Web site heaps praise on ONE cream in describing the brand as “the bomb.”

Along with selling ONE cream on their own Web site, the Covellos have established a relationship with Lock & Mane, an online hair and beauty products retailer that also sells through Amazon. In addition, Shannon says they’ve contacted a leading beauty product retailer with stores across the country.

At the same time, the Covellos are working on additional products for their skin care line, including a cleanser, mask and anti-pollution solution.

Sympan Beauty isn’t the first family venture for the Covellos. Justin runs Pepper Custom Baits. The Grand Junction company manufactures a variety of lures for bass fishing that are distributed nationwide and sold in such outlets as Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Justin’s father, Eugene, a dentist who operates Specialty Dental in Grand Junction, became involved with Pepper Custom Baits about 16 years ago and what was at that time a fledgling operation.

Justin says he learned from his father the importance of doing your best work, offering quality products and taking care of customers. Justin expects that same approach, along with brand awareness developed through social media, will work well as Sympan Beauty battles against giant companies in the beauty care industry.

For more information about Sympan Beauty and ONE moisture cream, visit www.sympanbeauty.com.