A Beauty Innovation 30 Years in the Making

Color Street

One of this year’s Bravo Growth Award Winners is here to revolutionize the modern manicure.

Color Street recently received two-fold recognition for the company’s incredible growth in 2018. Direct Selling News honored Color Street for its first appearance on the Global 100 List, ranked at No. 78, and presented the company with the second Bravo Growth Award for achieving 881 percent growth in sales. While Color Street’s record growth is praiseworthy, the determination of the company’s leader is just as deserving of recognition.

The Inspiration

Color Street Founder and CEO Fa Park immigrated to the United States from South Korea in the early 1980s to pursue a career in opera. As a young music student in New York City, he would take the bus to and from his lessons and one particular day he noticed a woman polishing her nails in the back of a cab. Brush a coat on, blow to dry,
brush, blow. As he sat on his bus, stuck in traffic, watching this woman patiently polish her nails, he knew there had to be a better way.

Twenty years, sixty patents and millions of dollars in sales later, this “better way” is Color Street’s nail polish strip – a proprietary appliqué of 100 percent nail polish that includes a base coat, color coat and topcoat all in one layer. No brushing, no blowing, no waiting, and no mess.

An Education

From that fateful day in Manhattan traffic, it would take Fa nearly twenty years to develop a product he could bring to market. “It took seventeen years to realize my vision,” he shares. “I filed my first patent in 1988. My learning process was very difficult, as I had to learn nail polish chemistry.”

Melissa Soete, Color Street’s Vice President of Sales, describes the beginning of that learning process. “Fa began by purchasing bottles of nail polish from the drug store, applying them on paper and drying the polish with a hair dryer,” she says. “The New Jersey area has several nail polish manufacturers, so Fa would bring home five-gallon pails of polish that were going to be thrown out. There were years and years of trial and error.”

“We had so many new products developed but didn’t have the opportunity to introduce those to our customers through mass market retailers. So we said, ‘Let’s manage our own destiny.'”— Fa Park, Founder and CEO

Fate would step in once again, ten years into the journey. “I’m lucky that I met a retired nail polish chemist in 1999 and shared my story with him,” Fa recounts. “He was impressed and told me that he’d teach me everything he knew.”

Understanding nail polish chemistry was only part of Fa’s self-driven education. He also taught himself the engineering and metal fabrication skills he’d need to build a machine to produce his nail strips. From 1988 to 2005, Fa worked various jobs and taught music classes to support his family, while focusing the rest of his attention on creating what he was sure would change both his future and the future of the nail polish industry.

Incoco—The First Dream

The closer he got to success, the more interested nail polish companies were becoming in his work. Several industry giants – L’Oreal and Revlon to name a few – made offers for Fa’s technology, but he insisted on keeping his innovation proprietary. In 2005, he landed his first official order – 1,000,000 nail strips for Avon. The years that followed would see orders grow and new customer relationships formed, including private label orders from Sephora, Sally Hansen and OPI. However, Fa saw more for his life’s work.

He founded Incoco in 2007, which today serves as the parent company for Fa’s three brands:

  • Incoco—nail appliqués sold at Ulta Beauty locations across the country
  • Coconut Nail Art—nail appliqués sold at Walmart nationwide
  • Color Street—Incoco’s latest brand, launched via the direct sales channel in 2017

Incoco’s move into direct sales with the launch of Color Street speaks to the company’s constant focus on innovation and Fa’s larger vision for his creation.

“When I worked with mass-market retailers, I could only change designs once a year,” he explains. “We had so many new products developed but didn’t have the opportunity to introduce those to our customers through mass market retailers. So, we said, ‘Let’s manage our own destiny.’”

Today At Color Street

In June 2017, with just over 1,400 original consultants, or “Stylists,” on board, Color Street launched with 62 nail strip designs to choose from. Those first Stylists were offered the opportunity to participate in the company’s Presidential Founder Campaign where they could work towards the milestones of the program and be rewarded with
a 1 percent share of Color Street’s sales volume.

“We’ll work hard until every woman in the world is wearing Color Street.” —Fa Park, Founder and CEO

Today, there are more than 44,000 Color Street Stylists across the country. New Stylists joining the company learn everything they need to know to launch a successful business through a simple onboarding process and a sales practice called Color 10. “We keep it as simple as possible,” Melissa shares. “We encourage our Stylists to get our
nail strips on ten people each week.” Stylists share the product line through one-on-one shares, social media and in-home parties.

Collections are introduced every month and are often tied to seasons, holidays, or specific nonprofit organizations and causes Color Street supports through the company’s philanthropic efforts. This consistent stream of new products makes it easy for Stylists to share these new looks with their customers.

What’s Next

In 2018, Color Street recorded revenue of $119 million, an 881 percent increase from the prior year. Sales are on track for huge growth in 2019.

“It took seventeen years to realize my vision. I filed my first patent in 1988.” —Fa Park, Founder and CEO

Color Street’s overwhelming success is due to the product’s natural fit in the direct sales model, explains Melissa.
“There are several reasons why Color Street is great for network marketing,” she says. “Very few women are going to buy nail strips in a store and think it’s real nail polish. So, we’ve made the product very easy to sample.

Customers can test it easily and see that it works—and we’ve made those samples inexpensive for the Stylists to keep on hand. Our price point is accessible, and we have a built-in promotion of “Buy 3, Get 1” for every set we sell.”

With such rapid growth, Fa and his team are focused on refining the company’s processes, giving Stylists new and exciting designs to share with their customers and expanding Color Street’s brand presence in the market. “Our vision for the next five years is to grow ten times more,” he says. “We’ll work hard until every woman in the world is wearing Color Street.”