WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention – and in this case, necessity led to a Williamsville-based beauty supply company to develop a product that will be carried in thousands of Walmart stores across the country.
Alexandria Professional has been selling its proprietary sugar hair removal products to professionals and beauty schools for over a decade, but the pandemic shutdown forced them to rethink their model.
“Like everyone else worldwide, our distribution, our salon partners, our school partners, shut down,” Alexandria Professional founder and CEO Lina Kennedy said. “We got to a point where it was recommended that they sell the waxing products they had – some of them were doing drop shipments on their customers’ front porches.”
The company created an ambassador program to meet the needs of customers who couldn’t make salon visits, and to help the salons affected by the shutdown.
“We went to work really fast and created Kiss Waxing for the consumers,” Kennedy said. “I was preparing for the worst, and because of that, we got these beautiful consumer kits done, put them on Amazon and gave it to our salons to sell.”
Kiss Waxing® Strip Sugar® All-in-1 Hair Removal Kit is now sold online, on Amazon, and at partnering salons.
Through the product discovery and sourcing platform RangeMe, the company was connected with Walmart. They did webinars with the shopping chain and eventually met with a buyer.
“It not only provided a great experience but impressed me with how easy it was to use and clean up,” said Walmart Personal Care Merchant Jillayne Tompkins of the Kiss Waxing product. “The sustainability aspect is also something our natural consumers are really going to appreciate.”
According to a Walmart spokesperson, Kiss Waxing will be available on the Walmart website this fall and on shelves at stores in Winter 2023.
That’s good news for Alexandria Professional, which manufactures its line of natural skincare products at a facility in Clarence. They’re anticipating adding staff to the Williamsville headquarters and the Clarence production facility.
“I know anyone who takes this Kiss Waxing product off the shelves at Walmart to try it is going to fall in love with our brand – maybe they’ll want more,” Kennedy said. “It’s a triple win – a win for Walmart, a win for us, and a win for the customer – that’s what I live for, to help the customer.”