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Ph.D. In Engineering Leads To MOA Cosmetics Store

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — A Twin Cities company has quickly grown from the owners’ New Brighton home to an online retailer to a retail store at Mall of America.

The New Brighton-based business Sigma Beauty was started online by a veterinarian and an engineer, and now they have claim $25 million in annual sales.

“For a four-year-old company, it’s crazy. We would never think we’d get this far. It started as a hobby, a side-project,” Simone Xavier said.

She comes from a veterinarian background, and he came from engineering, but as Simone Xavier said, they both come from backgrounds emphasizing research and function.

In 2009, they started reaching out to You Tube makeup gurus, who helped spread the word.

“YouTube really launched this company. So when we saw the power and the viral effect of social media, we heavily invested in social media” Simone Xavier said.

Their Mall of America store is on the second floor, but Sigma is duking it out with bigger makeup names, selling more brushes online in 15 minutes than they’ll sell all day at the store. But that’s not why they opened the brick-and-mortar store.

Until now, most of Minnesota hadn’t heard of their business, much to the dismay of its owners.

“We want to present our brand to Minnesota, basically,” Rene Xavier said.

“We are very famous outside Minnesota,” Simone Xavier added.

Still, this isn’t just an ego trip. This is a real world product research lab, where the company can see how real customers use their stuff.

“Every time we bring a product into the store, we want to solve a problem for the client,” Rene Xavier said.

Sigma has 57 employees now — six in the MOA store, the rest in their offices. In a couple weeks, they’ll launch a new line called the Enlight Collection.

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