INC. BRANDED CONTENT/TSG CONSUMER
A TRUE PARTNERSHIP
Created by Inc. Studio and commissioned by
Seven years ago, IT Cosmetics was a startup with two co-founders
and a QVC-featured beauty line. Although the $35 million company
was pro;table and growing quickly, CEO and co-founder Jamie Kern
knew she needed more than a cash infusion. She needed a guide
with beauty industry expertise to take her company to the next level.
TSG’s consumer products knowledge base was a perfect ;t, Kern
says. Not only was TSG “exceptionally entrepreneur-friendly,” but
the team had the experience to help IT Cosmetics grow. Kern says
that having a value-added partner to help with the company’s stra-
tegic vision, improve back of;ce processes, and provide access to
professionals with decades of experience running some of the most
successful beauty brands in the world made all the difference.
“It’s hard to see anywhere we grew without their involvement, as
we worked so closely with them and they added so much value,”
IT Cosmetics is now the second-largest prestige makeup brand in
the U.S. and was the largest acquisition in L’Oreal’s history when
it was purchased for $1.2 billion in cash in 2016.
MORE THAN INVESTORS—TRUE PARTNERS
IT Cosmetics’ experience isn’t unusual. “TSG brings to the table
TSG is a leader in driving product innovation,
so much more than capital,” explains Hadley Mullin, TSG’s senior
managing director. “We view ourselves as a resource to help our
partner companies accelerate their growth.”
That partnership approach is just one way TSG
differentiates itself from other consumer-focused
private equity ;rms, says Jamie O’Hara, TSG
president. “We’re focused on tripling companies
in size through good, old-fashioned growth, not
Other competitive advantages TSG offers include
consumer and digital marketing expertise, a
global approach and reach, and true gender bal-
ance across the ;rm, adds TSG CEO and founder
guiding channel and geographic expansion, and
enhancing consumer loyalty by amplifying its
partner companies’ brand DNA. Many of TSG’s
investment professionals come from consulting
;rm Bain & Co. and leverage their operational
know-how to accelerate growth.
Esserman is quick to point out that while expertise
is important, so is integrity. “At TSG, the ethics and
lack of ego is very different [from other private
equity ;rms], which leads to real friendships and
relationships with founders,” he says.
A TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS
While the IT Cosmetics deal was certainly a home run for all, it is
just one of many successes for TSG. Planet Fitness, a thriving
chain of ;tness centers, is another TSG success story. The com-
pany has tripled its total number of gyms, has a market cap in
excess of $7 billion, and has seen its stock value increase almost
12 times since its partnership with TSG.
Since TSG invested in REVOLVE approximately six and a half years
ago, the clothing company’s revenue and pro;t have grown more
than seven-fold. REVOLVE was also able to build a portfolio of 21
owned brands. REVOLVE’s June 2019 IPO valued the company at
$1.3 billion, and the share price increased substantially immedi-
ately following the IPO. Many other companies, including Vitamin-
water, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Huda Beauty, and Duckhorn Wine
Company, have turned to TSG for help in building their brands.
TSG continues to seek out investment opportunities with fast-
growing consumer brands, Esserman says. He expects TSG to ex-
pand its investments around the globe in the coming years. “What
we’ll be doing is what we’ve been doing,” he says. Because it works.
TSG has a roster of brand-name investments. But its most valued assets are its relationships.
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