A charcoal and coconut-oil shampoo that smells like mint cookies flows into dozens of 8-ounce tubs at a contract lab in suburban New Jersey. Surveying the tubs is 33-year-old Nancy Twine, who created the shampoo, a scalp-exfoliating formula that retails for nine times the cost of mass-market shampoos like Head & Shoulders. This was a big one for us,” says Twine, founder of the hair-care company Briogeo.
In recent years, as more and more beauty products are manufactured at independent labs, dozens of women have launched their own brands, from makeup artists turned bloggers like Huda Kattan to celebrities like Kylie Jenner. But Twine says her seven years at Goldman Sachs have given her a leg up, prepping her to price ambitiously, source ingredients directly, combine orders to save money on production runs and build relationships with partners. On retail shelves for just four years, Briogeo has been profitable every year of its existence and brings in more than $10 million in annual revenue from sales at Sephora, Nord strom, Forever 21’s Riley Rose and sample services like Birchbox and Ipsy. “From the start,” Twine says, “I wanted to make sure that our margins were good, so that not only could we reinvest back in the brand but so that down the line we never had to compromise.”
Twine, who identifies as African-American, is attempting to appeal to all women. Unlike many brands, Briogeo targets customers by hair texture (wavy,