FairyGene Cosmetics moves to Bristol and eyes growth
When the owners of cosmetics-making startup FairyGene first settled in Newtown in 2017, little did they know a global pandemic would nearly derail their efforts before they could shed their first batch of personalized body creams. .
Luckily, FairyGene co-owner and CEO Yong Liu has 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical chemistry, and he and his team were able to quickly pivot to produce hand sanitizer, helping to sustain FairyGene during the height of the pandemic.
“Our company does not have a long history; we just established (the company) four years ago, almost at the end of 2018,” Liu said, noting that the process started a year earlier with the purchase of mixing and testing equipment. “But as soon as we started working with clients in 2020, COVID hit. In the first half of 2020, we had nothing to do.”
“So we had to make hand sanitizer” which FairyGene donated to local churches, hospitals and local community groups, Liu added. “The first half of the year was very, very difficult. But after that everything went well and customers started to come back.”
FairyGene’s business as a maker of skincare and cosmetics for private label companies has since stabilized and its customer base is growing, Liu said, which better positions FairyGene for future expansion into its new home. in Bristol Township.
And by bringing core services in-house – such as research and development, manufacturing, bottling and quality control – FairyGene is able to offer its customers aggressive pricing and end-to-end support. at the end. In fact, earlier this year, FairyGene’s business exploded to the point where he had trouble filling all of the orders. It was this continued growth that made Liu and his team think about expanding even further.
Liu has not decided on a possible location for a second FairyGene expansion.
Liu said companies dictating expansion “is a nice problem to have,” but said FairyGene would be practical in its approach to expansion. For now, it is looking to improve its processes and efficiency.
In other words, Liu wants to focus on helping single entrepreneurs achieve their dream while FairyGene simultaneously aims to become the leading batch cosmetics manufacturer for top brands.
“We are delighted with our growth,” Liu said. “We have a great quality control lab, as some customers have their own formulas and we can add and remove ingredients as they request.
“Our vision is to provide contract manufacturing for all major cosmetic brands.”
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State loans help FairyGene expand from Newtown to Bristol Township
Liu, co-owner Angie Li and FairyGene chairman Qinzhen Li established a 5,000 square foot operation on Friends Lane in Newtown Township in 2018 but outgrew that location. To secure the financing to purchase its current location at 2 Pearl Buck Court in Bristol Township, FairyGene’s management relied on bank loans and financial assistance from the state.
“We felt the Newton facility was too small and thought we would need a much larger facility,” Liu said. “At first we just wanted to buy (the location in Bristol) but we didn’t have enough money. So we took out a loan and received state aid which gave us access to some programs, and we bought this venue in 2021.”
FairyGene has grown its company from three employees to its current roster of 30 full-time employees.
Last week, Acting Secretary of the State Department of Community and Economic Development, Neil Weaver, visited FairyGene to tour the facilities and talk about the benefits of the various state plans available to companies such as FairyGene.
FairyGene received a total of $450,000 through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, the Keystone Innovation Zone program, and the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority.
From this sum, in 2021, FairyGene received a loan of $100,000 to fund working capital to restart its skincare manufacturing. FairyGene also used the loan to secure inventory, workforce development, salaries and employee benefits.
“The Wolf administration has been steadfast in its support of Pennsylvania manufacturers, and it’s wonderful to see the positive impacts our investments are having on businesses and their communities,” Weaver said. “From disinfectant wipes to cosmetics, a wide variety of products are made here in Bucks County. It’s very encouraging to see these businesses continue to grow and succeed.”
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Bucks County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Jeff Darwak said, “The prosperity of our local businesses is critical to maintaining a healthy economy in our part of the state,” and the impact on the community is immeasurable.
Liu and his team now plan to expand again.
“We want to grow the business more and more and improve our systems and equipment,” Liu said. “This place is already starting to look small.”
The future of FairyGene
In the meantime, Liu has positioned FairyGene to help other cosmetic entrepreneurs realize their own dreams of creating a cosmetics brand.
FairyGene, as a turnkey wholesale operation, provides customers with a full line of cosmetics, as well as full-scale marketing and packaging. All a customer needs to do then is sell their unique product, Liu said.
FairyGene focuses on three main products: skin care, hair care and body care, and directs its research and development resources towards improvements in the areas of hydration, anti-aging, skin lightening and hair growth. FairyGene does not produce or commercially sell its own products.
Indeed, a customer contacts FairyGene wishing to create a product that achieves a distinct end, such as 100% all-natural products with unique ingredients specified by the customer.
At this point, Liu said, FairyGene will embark on a series of samples and quality checks before delivering a working sample to the customer. This work sample may also include labeling, packaging and marketing materials.
Finally, the customer accepts the final product, makes the bulk purchase – 2,000 units is the minimum quantity of any product FairyGene can produce per customer – and steps closer to becoming the next Estée Lauder.
After all, it is the vision of the founders of FairyGene to become the wholesale manufacturer for the biggest cosmetic companies.
“For anyone who dreams of having their own cosmetics brand, this is a very good opportunity right now and our platform will help you,” Liu said, citing the expansion of online sales and FairyGene’s ability to interact with Asian markets. “Maybe you’re only spending a few thousand dollars. So here you come to us and we’ll help you out.
“From here you can start realizing your dream.”