Beauty Insider recently sat down with Jane Dailey, President and Co-Founder, Hollywood Fashion Secrets, who on Sunday is being honored by the National Retail Federation as one its 25 List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. HFS, the company that does everything from eliminating wardrobe malfunctions with its must-have Fashion Tape, to fixing common beauty emergencies with its Eye Makeup Corrector and Remover Swabs, has grown to 30+ products over the past 14 years with distribution in stores such as Ulta and Duane Reade. Here, Jane discusses the brand’s journey and how Stacy London, stylist extraordinaire and former star of “What Not to Wear” will correct the brand’s low product awareness.

Beauty Insider: Talk about HFS’s retail journey, when it first launched, how it’s evolved?

Jane Dailey: We started in 2001 as a boutique brand and grew very organically. Our boutique business was a great foundational start for us with our Style Essential products. We owe so much to these initial retail partners that were early adopters and risk takers, and we’re happy to report that the bulk of them remain our customers today. As the brand grew and awareness increased, many more women were asking, “Where can I find these solutions?” Consumers were looking for convenient places to purchase our clever products making our entrée into larger chains, drugstores and eventually mass retail a natural and essential progression.

We’ve also learned the importance of offering retailers a top-to-toe program versus single one-off products. It’s been our experience partnering with larger retailers that when we feature our assortment of products it really helps to tell the story at the shelf level as she engages quicker and understands the category better — all resulting in stronger sales. Merchandising at check lanes is working well for us, as well as in the beauty tools section where she tells us she expects to find our Style Essential products. As you might imagine, working in such diverse distribution channels has been a game changer for us given where we started and the journey has been very fulfilling and exciting to our entire team! There’s rarely a dull moment at Hollywood Fashion Secrets headquarters, which is located in Minneapolis, MN.

BI: Has it been difficult to define the best points of distribution? Tell us about what has worked and what hasn’t.
JD: We’re in a rather unique position as our product category sells beautifully in many distribution channels. Great merchandising fixtures, a full assortment of products and relevant in-store locations are the common denominators to a successful retail partnership.

We’re also investing a lot in our collaboration with Stacy London and enhancing our digital marketing and social media capabilities to increase our brand awareness and to share the news on these clever solutions and where to find this new product category at retail. Partnering with Stacy London is a game-changer. She is a style influencer with immense credibility as a style expert. Women love her and trust her and she is helping us share these secrets with women everywhere.

BI: How were you approached by HFS and explain how it’s a fit for you?

Stacy London: Hollywood Fashion Secrets approached me with the idea of the collaboration and I immediately saw great alignment. This collaboration is such a natural one because our goal is the same: give women the tools that allow them to look their best and feel their most confident. Women need to know they can Be Your Own Stylist (BYOS) – HFS gives them the tools that give them confidence to try new trends or silhouette they maybe never considered and to style themselves to look perfectly polished every day.

BI: Is Stacy the brand’s first ambassador? When did this happen? Please define her role.

JD: Stacy is our first brand ambassadress and we couldn’t be more honored to work with such a legendary style influencer. We announced the collaboration in early May 2014. Our collaboration is centered around brand and category building as a new and innovative retail product category does require just a bit more care and feeding. Stacy is a powerhouse when it comes to new product development given her extensive experience styling women; she really knows the challenges women face in beauty and fashion including the emotions that go along with style. She’s all about instilling confidence and certitude and that is our brand ethos, which makes this partnership incredibly synergistic.

BI: Who is your typical consumer? How do you best reach her to alert her of new products?

JD: Well, we know women everywhere of every age encounter these beauty blunders and fashion mishaps, but our main target is 16 to 40 years of age and an effective way to reach her is through digital and social channels. We also know that many women are making purchase decisions in the store, so effective retail merchandising is a powerful way to stop the shopper and connect with her.

BI: What is your best-selling item?

JD: Our first product, Hollywood Fashion Tape, the original fashion tape, is still our best performing product! In fact, we’ve sold enough tape to stretch from New York City to Milan and back. The great news is that our Hollywood Fashion Tape now comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to address any style of clothing and leave her feeling confident and looking fabulous. There are over 101 uses for Hollywood Fashion Tape from everyday clothing to special occasion and DIY. We need to publish this list! More importantly, though, we have a collection of Style Essential solutions — a wide array of products to solve a range of styling problems from Silicone CoverUp nipple concealers that de-perkify, to beauty swabs that correct eye makeup, a Deodorant Removing Sponge to clear streaks on tops with one swipe without water and a Hip Hugger back-belt that brilliantly closes the back-of-jeans gap so many of us experience.

BI: What’s your favorite product in the collection?

SL: That’s a tough one as I have many favorites. Hollywood Fashion Tape is an absolute necessity for getting dressed. I’m crushing on their newest secret, the Stylette, right now as it’s a sweet little bag filled with big style secrets — a sampling of their products from top to toe to prevent or fix a wardrobe malfunction. Genius.

BI: What has been the biggest challenge for HFS?

JD: We are growing at 30% plus year over year and that’s putting some stress on our internal systems. But this is a wonderful problem for us to have and we have a very skilled and experienced team that’s poised for the challenge.

BI: Where do you see HFS in the next three years?

JD: We’ve barely scratched the surface internationally so we have tremendous opportunities to open new markets outside of the U.S. Plus, some of our key customers are also on the path to international expansion so we’re excited to be a partner with them and to see the potential of international growth coming from key retailers. In addition, our brand is viewed by consumers as trusted, reliable and one that really understands women, which gives us such great opportunities to explore other platforms … but we can’t give away all of our secrets.

BI: As someone with an extensive fashion background, you must have some consulting advice as to where HFS should focus next. What is your advice to them?

SL: We do collaborate very tightly on new product ideas and we recently held our quarterly meeting and we discussed some great new solutions to some very challenging everyday problems. Sometimes I am amazed that these issues have yet to be solved and our team is poised to address them all. We also discussed some new ideas for retail distribution targeting new stores with a rather innovative merchandising strategy. Looking forward to sharing the results on this test sooner rather than later!

BI: What other projects are you working on in 2015?

SL: We just announced my new “makeunder” fashion reality show on TLC, “Love, Lust or Run,” which I am very excited about. It’s a 12-week show that premieres Jan. 23 and I am thrilled to be back on TV and working with real subjects to help them enhance their look and drive more confidence in their personal style. This format is unique because I will be helping women tone down their over-the-top looks. TLC just gave a sneak peek too. Check it out here.