Wednesday 26 November 2014

Irish fake tan firm targets Hollywood A-listers

Barbara McCarthy

Published 02/03/2014 | 02:30

Shows such as Glee have come to try Cocoa Brown's products.
Mark Anthony gets a Spray Tan from Marissa Carter at her Beauty Salon ,Carter Beauty in Blackrock...KOB...3/5/12
Marissa Carter
Marissa Carter wears a dress by Irish designer Gay DePaor. Photo: Barbara McCarthy
At the Enterprise Ireland launch of the New Online Networking platform for Female Entrepreneurs are Sonya Lennon from Frockadvisor and Marissa Carter, Carter Beauty with the product Cocoa Brown Tan Ð Three bottles of Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan sells every minute in Ireland. Photo Colm Mahady Fennell PHotography No fee for reproduction

'THIS time next year we want to be on the shelves of Wal-Mart across the US," says Marissa Carter, creator of Cocoa Brown, the top-selling Irish fake tan.

Having launched the product line just over a year ago, the beauty salon owner was invited to the Beverly Hilton during Oscar week to promote her top-selling brand. "It's been insanely busy and numerous stars from TV shows like Glee  have come to try our products," she says.

"We want to crack the US market. We've had excellent media exposure and got a mention in Variety online, which led to an invite to the launch of the Unite 4 Humanity dinner. It was hosted by Bill Clinton and honoured Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Alicia Keys amongst others."

Carter says not only was it surreal and incredible to be invited to a Variety event – a stalwart of the Oscar calendar – but it also gave her a huge networking opportunity. "In Hollywood, it's all about networking and celebrity endorsement. Once a product comes with a celebrity recommendation, half your battle is won.

"We are already supplying all Aer Lingus flights, which means people flying to and from the US are familiar with the brand. Aside from that, it comes at a great price of just €7.99 and it works."

In the past year Carter and her team have penetrated the Irish market.

"We are available in 98 per cent of pharmacies. A deal with Superdrug in the UK, means eight different products will be available in 800 stores and we are working on cracking the European market. I aim high, and with tenacity and vision, the US market is there for the taking."

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