Looking Good

A Canadian cosmetics franchise expands to the United States.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

A good face can charm a photographer, win a card game . . . or capture the attention of the business world. Take a look at FACES Inc., the Toronto-based retail cosmetics franchise and distribution system that has recently received a makeover.

Behind the upgrade of the 25-year-old company is new manager Flagship Capital Partners Inc., a merchant banking company which has re-branded and repositioned FACES. "We wanted a system that's exportable, universal and recession-proof, and FACES met all those criteria," says Flagship and FACES chair and president Grant D. Roebuck. Improvements include store design and packaging changes, a four-week certificate training program, and a detailed customer database allowing better franchisee/customer relationships.

Because the FACES concept consists of stand-alone boutiques selling only FACES brand cosmetics in regional malls, products don't vie for shelf or makeup counter space. Offering quality makeup, skin-care and bath products at affordable prices, FACES currently has more than 80 shops in Canada, China, Mexico, the Middle East and the Philippines. The company's new master franchise and franchise system expects the international system (including the United States) to grow to at least 2,500 boutiques over the next three years.

Look, Ma, No Lawyers!

Legal assistance without all the expense

Bringing order outside the court, We The People is a paralegal franchise providing legal assistance without the gavel or the expense. It offers customers who don't require the advice of an attorney help with nearly 100 legal documents (a bankruptcy, for example, costs $199; an incorporation, $399), all prepared at the Santa Barbara, California, headquarters and then returned to each store.

The company's current count of more than 30 locations in California, Florida, New Jersey and Virginia is especially impressive, considering founders and husband-and-wife team Ira and Linda Distenfield began the business in 1994 and just started franchising in 1995. Start-up costs are about $125,000, which includes the franchise fee, extensive training, the office opening and three months of working capital. But according to Ira, operating this franchise requires something far more important than money: "a unique compassion for people."

Contact Sources

FACES Inc., 2300 Yonge St., #400, Box 2400, Toronto, ON M4P 1E4 CAN, (416) 545-1010

We The People, (805) 962-4100, fax: (805) 962-9602

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