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Trademark Beauty's Joseph Maine on Architecting Success, One Hair Tool at a Time

Published October 26, 2023
Published October 26, 2023
Trademark Beauty

Joseph Maine freely admits that Trademark Beauty, the brand he co-founded with his sister Sabrina, has a slightly less arduous path to profitability in the indie beauty space for one simple reason: they’re selling hair tools, not miracle creams.

“In the realm of beauty, the competition is vast,” Maine says. “But there are fewer hair tool brands than some of the other categories.”

A celebrity hairstylist, artistic director for Color Wow, and budding real estate mogul, Maine launched Trademark Beauty in 2019. The goal, he says, was to make pro-level tools affordable, and put red carpet looks within reach of the average consumer.

“We constantly look at ways to simplify styling, making it more enjoyable and cost effective,” he says. “This could involve designing a tool that reduces styling time, demystifies a popular hair trend, or streamlines existing tools.”

Cast in bubblegum pink long before Barbie-mania took over, tools like Babe Waves hair waver, Easy Blo Dryer, and Sunny Styler two-in-one styling iron are priced between $49 and $99 and have not only nabbed the attention of hair-obsessed consumers but several prestigious awards as well.

In addition to its signature tools, the brand also sells a line of cruelty free makeup brushes and a handful of skincare SKUs, including Mojave Face Mask and a range of serums dubbed Daily Elixirs that are built around star ingredients such as jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and retinol. On the Trademark website, several Color Wow products are also featured.

Despite the other product categories on offer, the emphasis is on hair tools, and it’s clear Maine has analyzed the category from every conceivable angle.

“A predominant challenge in this sector is the elevated product costs coupled with the frequency of purchases,” he notes. “We’ve always focused on education, inspiration, and content to lead our sales. We emphasize organic growth and primarily leverage channels such as public relations, television, social media, and email for our marketing efforts.”

Game plan notwithstanding, Maine and his sister have had to be nimble and willing to switch tactics, especially as the brand has expanded to retail from online-only on its own site,,, and In 2022, Trademark Beauty entered 1,400 Target doors and will add 186 CVS BeautyIRL locations this year.

“Originally our pricing model was designed with a direct-to-consumer approach, intending to extend maximum savings to our customers,” says Maine. “However, as we transitioned to brick-and-mortar locations, this posed certain complexities. Consequently, we had to be strategic about which products could exist at a retail level at our current pricing, and we worked with our manufacturing partners to optimize costs through increased minimum-order quantities.”

And then there’s the age-old problem every small beauty brand faces: staying afloat while it waits to get paid. “Partnering with retailers has extended the time gap between initiating a production order and receiving payment,” says Maine. “It can span anywhere from six months to a year.”

“In the realm of beauty, the competition is vast, but there are fewer hair tool brands than some of the other categories.”
By Joseph Maine, Co-Founder, Trademark Beauty

To navigate those time lags, Maine and his sister are disciplined about not getting in over their heads.

“We maintain a lean operational model by engaging consultants across various business segments, allowing us flexibility to scale our resources as demand dictates,” Maine shares. “We only leverage debt for inventory financing and have taken no outside financing, aside from a friends and family round of $285,000.”

So far, so good; 2022 revenue for the brand was $2.8 million.

Not that it’s all about the bottom line for Trademark Beauty. With this year’s rollout to the CVS BeautyIRL doors, one of the chief objectives is an increase in visibility. Distinguished by offering what Maine describes as a more “expansive, sophisticated” beauty curation than standard CVS stores, they enable Trademark Beauty to showcase seven items in a high-traffic environment, reaching an audience that may not have been accessible via its other channels.

“Given that CVS attributes 95% of their revenue to their pharmacy, our motivation was primarily geared towards enhancing brand visibility and customer engagement rather than direct profitability,” says Maine.

As for what the future holds, Maine says he and his sister are hoping to add both more retail partners and enter additional product arenas. “We would love to have a presence at Ulta in the future, and we’re currently developing a capsule collection with intentions of presenting it to Walmart,” he says. “We’re also excited about expanding our range into other categories, such as facial tools, beauty accessories, and, potentially, formulated products.”

Until then, Maine and his sister will continue to execute their business plan and monitor customer feedback at every conceivable opportunity. Since the brand’s inception, the duo has dialed in to consumer feedback, personally reading every customer service email and social media comment.

“Recognizing where we might have fallen short is crucial, as it allows us to implement real-time improvements,” Maine says of the brand’s above-and-beyond level of attention to detail. “There’s also an undeniable happiness when a customer goes the extra mile to post a picture. You need those small wins as a founder to stay motivated.”


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