‘Beauty ecologists’ selling Pangea products

BOULDER – Pangea Organics has 700 “beauty ecologists” who hold parties to sell organic skin-care products to friends as part of the company’s new “social selling” division, said founder Joshua Scott Onysko.

Boulder-based Pangea also sells its products through about 2,000 retail locations, including Whole Foods Markets (Nasdaq: WFM) as well as on the Pangea Organics website, www.pangeaorganics.com. At the same time, Pangea, which is incorporated as Pangea Naturals Inc., has stopped selling its products to online retail companies, Onysko said.

The number of “beauty ecologists” signed up to host parties is expected to grow to about 2,500 by the end of the year, said Onysko, who launched the division in April. Anyone can sign up on the company website to host the parties. Such independent contractors receive 25 percent of the products sold at parties as well as 35 percent of sales, he said.

Onysko said he decided to focus on social selling when he realized that Pangea’s existing customer base was “highly passionate” about the organic products, which are made with ingredients from around the world. About 100,000 customers are in Pangea’s network base, either reading an online blog written by Onysko, receiving a Pangea newsletter, following the company on Facebook, or a combination of all three.

“Going to a party is really fun, but you can also just buy (products) from the website,” Onysko said. “We all know that online sales are growing exponentially, just in general.”

With the focus, Pangea also plans to double its 16-member staff in Boulder to about 30 people by the end of the year, Onysko said. Additional headquarters employees will focus on customer service, he said. Pangea also is outsourcing its production to manufacturing companies in the United States.

The new strategy is being financed in part by angel investors, Onysko said, without giving specifics. Pangea received a $50,000 equity investment from the Denver-based venture capital firm Galvanize in July 2012.


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