Makeup by Mario founder on growth: We've 'only scratched the surface'

Celeb makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic is, after two years in business, carving out his own path with his Makeup by Mario brand.

Known for his signature glam looks for A-list celebrities, the founder and CEO said it’s just the beginning for his growing brand. “I worked for 20 years…with the dream of launching the brand … We've only scratched the surface,” he told Yahoo Finance.

Sales of the makeup brand year over year have tripled thanks to the company's website and revenue from some 1,200 Sephora locations. (The company wouldn't disclose sales.) Makeup by Mario, in addition, has expanded distribution to the U.K., Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Online sales are brisk, Dedivanovic said, but more of his customers tend to head to stores.

"Sephora, for us is huge," he said. "We have a really strong brick and mortar business with [it]."

He added, "We get incredible support from the beauty advisors in Sephora, which I actually used to be one … over 20 years ago."

Secrets to his success include his fanbase, which flocks to purchase new items around launches. For example, his MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum, priced at $24, sold out in 24 hours. The SoftSculpt Shaping Stick, $28, had a waitlist of more than 20,000 customers. There was also a 13,000-person waitlist for his Master Mattes palette, at $48. In addition, his limited-edition Ethereal Eyes palette, $68, pulled in two sales per a minute in the first week of sales.

Despite rising inflation, up 7.1% year-over-year in November, his customers don’t seem to be scaling back. “We're definitely not slowing down … If anything, we're definitely ramping up."

Social media proves "critical" to the brand's growth

An integral part of the brand’s growth strategy is, as you might expect, social media.

“When I started the brand in 2020, I actually sort of transitioned my personal account," which already had roughly 7 million followers, into the official Makeup by Mario makeup brand's accounts.

Now the brand has nearly 13 million followers across multiple platforms. Its Instagram has more than 12 million followers, and on TikTok there are nearly 650,000 followers.

Added Dedivanovic, “The next 10 years is about growing the brand, expanding, growing our team and fulfilling the vision."

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at [email protected].

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