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Styling success: Santa Barbara salon owner starts kids hair-care line

By   /   Friday, May 10th, 2013  /   Comments Off on Styling success: Santa Barbara salon owner starts kids hair-care line

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Andrea Ridgell, center, started kids hair-care line Glop & Glam while working at her Santa Barbara salon Mishay Salon & Spa. Glop & Glam is now sold in more than 500 retailers in the U.S. and recently hired its first national director of sales. (courtesy photo)

Andrea Ridgell, center, started kids hair-care line Glop & Glam while working at her Santa Barbara salon Mishay Salon & Spa. Glop & Glam is now sold in more than 500 retailers in the U.S. and recently hired its first national director of sales. (courtesy photo)

A Santa Barbara salon owner and mom has combined those two passions to create Glop & Glam, a fast-growing kids hair care products line that is sold in more than 500 high-end retail stores around the country.

Glop & Glam, started by Santa Barbara hairstylist Andrea Ridgell, recently hired its first director of sales, a veteran of the beauty products industry who previously worked with big-name brands such as Nexxus Beauty Products.

“One of my goals and one of the company’s goals is really to make sure more people are aware that there are safe, high-quality and natural products available that kids want to use and can call their own. That’s what’s different about Glop & Glam,” said Joe Schuster, the business’ new director of sales.

Schuster joined the company earlier this year and is now tasked with expanding Glop & Glam’s distribution throughout the U.S.

“The potential for growth is extreme. That’s what interested me about the children’s hair care market,” he said.

Glop & Glam products are geared to appeal to parents by being organic and free of harsh chemicals, alcohols and parabens, while offering kids their own products with names such as “banana spike molding putty,” “watermelon hard candy gel,” and “cake batter conditioner.”

Ridgell started the business out of Mishay Salon & Spa in 2007. She said she’s been working as a hairstylist since she was 16, but it wasn’t until the birth of her first child seven years ago that she realized there was a void in the market for products designed specifically for kids.

“My husband and I started looking into that side of the market and realized it hadn’t been tapped into, with the exception of baby products,” she said. “There was nothing really for kids of all ages that they felt was their own and could take ownership of. I wanted them to have fun combing their own hair and creating their own style.”

Still a stylist and salon owner, Ridgell spent two years developing Glop & Glam as a side project. She worked with a professional chemist and tapped industry connections to get in touch with factories. Her clients and the team of stylists at her salon provided feedback and helpful advice on what they’d like to see in a kids hair-care products line.

It took another year to bring the final formulations to market.

Glop & Glam products are now made in Southern California and distributed out of a facility in Ventura County.

Ridgell said manufacturing in the U.S. was important to her. “It’s not very common in the cosmetics industry anymore,” she said, “but we cared not just about creating jobs in California, but also about having a facility close-by so we could maintain quality control.”

Ridgell’s husband, Nathan, and sister, Allison Lee, also work with the business.

Schuster spent 15 years with Nexxus, most recently as its national director of sales, before starting his own consulting firm.

Ridgell said hiring an industry veteran means Glop & Glam is is now laser-focused on expanding its distribution in salons and speciality retailers. “For us, it’s huge to be able to have somebody like him,” she said. “It’s a compliment because he sees the potential in our little company and he has the connection in the industry to take us to the next level.”

Glop & Glam’s products, which retail for $4 to $16, are sold in more than 550 Ulta Beauty stores, at online retailer BeautyBrands.com, at GlopandGlam.com and at  salons such as Cool Cuts 4 Kids and Kids Cuts.

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About the author

Managing Editor

Marlize van Romburgh covers banking, finance, agricultural and viticulture. She writes a weekly column on commercial real estate and a monthly column on the restaurant industry. Follow her at @marlizevr

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