Meet the Woman Behind Your Favorite Beauty Brands

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If there’s a drugstore brand of cosmetics you adore, chances are, Joann Marks had something to do with it. Marks is the CEO of CosPro Marketing, an agency helping beauty brands reach consumers in drugstores and beyond. Her major clients include Walgreens and CVS.

"I was always interested in beauty and fashion and knew I wanted to be in that industry," she recalls. "When I was 16, I worked at Sears and got moved to the cosmetic counter where I could earn a commission. I spent my career training at Revlon/Almay, and other major cosmetic companies, before starting my own business in 1990.”

"When I was 16, I worked at Sears and got moved to the cosmetic counter where I could earn a commission."

Marks started building her company with a small budget but has since grown it into a 54,000 square foot warehouse, with 23 employees, and over $6 million in annual sales with a high net profit.

Her company not only helps brands stand out on a national and chain level but also specializes in event planning and experiential beauty campaigns. “The project I enjoyed the most over the years was when I created Glam Camp for Rite Aid stores,” Marks tells CircleAround. “We added a model search element to it for two years, and hundreds of young ladies applied”

“I got to speak to some very accomplished teenagers, and with the help of Seventeen magazine, we chose some great winners,” she continues. “I accompanied the winners to New York for their fashion shoot and they appeared in the next year Glam Camp Contest ad in Seventeen.”

During the pandemic, Marks has found new ways to meet her clients’ needs. “We used to send makeup artists into stores to perform demonstrations,” she explains, “but CVS and Ulta have postponed their demonstrations. So we are focused on building a new business, which will empower women to have their own business for very little investment.”

"So many people are out of work, but our new service is hot right now in Florida, and we want to bring it to other states."

"So many people are out of work, but our new service is hot right now in Florida, and we want to bring it to other states."

As Marks looks to build new territory in her industry, she knows it’s important to remember to always stay positive. “I have taken on projects that I never did before and figured out how to do it, and no one was the wiser,” she tells CircleAround. “If you have confidence and a great work ethic you can do pretty much anything."

Tags: Tips from Women Executives

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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