E.l.f. Cosmetics recently tapped one of the mass market’s most visible executives, Shawn Haynes, for the newly created position of vice president of retail sales. The move looks to grow e.l.f.’s retail distribution 35% over the next 12 months.

With more than 15 years of beauty experience, Haynes knows his way around building a brand. Most recently he served as senior vice president of sales at Markwins International, where he helped Wet ‘n Wild burnish its value image and grow distribution. Prior to Markwins, Haynes was president of Girl Cosmetics.

Making inroads into the retail world will be helped by e.l.f.’s top billing online, where it launched in 2004 with just 13 items. E.l.f., said Shawn, is the number one food, drug and mass brand in share of beauty traffic online. Only three brands/retailers have greater share of beauty traffic online: Sephora, Ulta and Mary Kay.

“We are in good company. [But] the market is ready for a new brand that connects with its consumers where they want to be reached via social media, mobile and online communication,” said Shawn.

A multi-year headstart provides e.l.f. with an immense competitive advantage within the category, including testing the performance of a product before it’s brought to retail, as well as sourcing consumer data.

But e.l.f. is not a complete stranger to brick and mortar: It’s sold chain wide at Target and Kmart, and is shortly to debut in Wal-Mart. About 63% of its $120 million in sales is generated from brick and mortar, with the balance coming from online sales. About 10% of sales are international.

With such success online, why expand further into retail, especially when online has much less overhead?

“From its inception, the brand was designed to be in retail, with its artistry inspired formulas, quality packaging and innovative products. The way to expand the distribution is to provide innovative solutions for entry that provide our retail partners the ability to experience the strong productivity of the brand. We have over 1,300 skus online and launch new items every month. We have the ability to spot a trend, test it and bring it to market faster than any other brand in our space,” said Shawn.

And, the firm is well financed for expansion: TSG Consumer Partners acquired a minority stake in the firm last year.