Una Cassidy

39, founder of Selph LLC in Los Angeles
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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Description: High-end beauty products for pregnant women

Start-up: $150,000 in 2001

2003 Projected Sales: $1 million

Biz Birth: The former international director of Kiehl's, makers of natural hair and skin-care products, had taken a year off to raise her newborn and didn't want to return to her intense travel schedule. But because she loved the company, she took a job as a Kiehl's sales associate at upscale department store Barneys in Beverly Hills. Cassidy considered a beauty line for moms-to-be after encountering numerous women searching for products for use during pregnancy only to find there were none. When Oprah Winfrey's assistant called asking for a pregnancy gift basket, Cassidy was convinced and launched her company, Selph- enough- Mother's Day.

Pampered: Cassidy removed all the usual ingredients found in beauty products that would be harmful to a fetus during pregnancy (like vitamin A), replacing them with superior ingredients that are gentle on skin. Selph's biggest seller is Body Balm, a stretch mark prevention treatment. "It's fine to have a concept, but you also have to have integrity and some sort of culture behind the product, something I brought from Kiehl's," asserts Cassidy. "I haven't come up with any patented new technology. I put together a line using pure, nature-based ingredients, taking the guesswork out of whether it's safe."

Baby Love: Sold in Barneys New York, Nordstrom and more than 100 other stores worldwide, Selph has received letters and phone calls from celeb moms like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker. The company has also found unexpected use among radiation and chemo patients. Look for future Selph products extending to the postpartum mom and baby.

Edition: July 2017

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