Business

The Lano Company Refocuses After ‘The Profit’

The Lano Company introduces new products and a new direction after appearing on CNBC’s “The Profit.”

A sufferer of chronically chapped lips, Miranda Coggins started The Lano Company with a simple product in mind: LanoLip, a lip balm with ultra-moisturizing lanolin that could soothe lips like hers. But over the following 10 years came business changes and a slew of new products introduced to help the company stay profitable.

After appearing on “The Profit,” a CNBC reality show where businessman Marcus Lemonis invests his own money in companies on the condition that they take the advice he gives on bettering business, Coggins has refocused on her core business model. Lemonis wasn’t a fan of producing lanolin-free beauty products and tools, which he said confused the brand’s identity. (Watch the full episode online here.)

“I had definitely kind of fallen away from where my roots were, which was the LanoLip story,” Coggins says. “And that had always been my goal: to help people with chapped lips and develop a product that people loved and that was naturally based and of course included lanolin.”

“The Profit” typically focuses on businesses that are failing financially, but that wasn’t the case for The Lano Company, which is projected to reach $3 million in revenue this year. Instead, Coggins, who is a fan of the show, wanted to be featured so Lemonis could elevate her company and turn it into national household name.

Miranda Coggins, center, with Birchbox co-founder Katia Beachamp and Marcus Lemonis.

Still, the process was challenging. Lemonis criticized products and ordering practices, saying that the extra inventory they had ordered but couldn’t move was akin to throwing money in the trash.

At times, Coggins got emotional about his feedback on the business she grew from her kitchen stove and revealing its shortcomings to the world—and most importantly, her clients.

“I cried one time. I hate crying. Nobody likes to cry. But I’m very emotional about the business,” she says. “It’s something my heart and blood and sweat and tears and everything has been put into for the last ten years, so it was a worry of mine, how our clients would react.”

Lemonis bought a 20 percent stake in the company for $500,000 and pushed The Lano Company to introduce new products with natural ingredients and lanolin as well as upscale packaging. Coggins had just a few weeks to develop concepts for the line, which became the Pure Lano collection.

Pure Lano includes a matte lip balm, a hydrating lip gloss with a built in mirror and light (the subject of scrutiny during the episode, the light was tweaked to be less bright), a candle and skincare products. The lip balm and gloss are currently available online with the other products still in development or production. Coggins says they will roll out over the coming months and that she hopes to have a full launch in early 2016.

“The whole line has so much potential for growth, but it was great because he laser-focused not only the brand, but the story behind the brand, which I had always wanted to do,” she says.

Lemonis also pressed The Lano Company to focus on sales and marketing rather than manufacturing its own products, and Coggins is planning to outsource a significant portion of its packaging and fulfillment and meeting with companies to handle shipping and logistics.

Her new partner, who remained involved after cameras stopped rolling in June, also set up meetings with subscription beauty service and retailer Birchbox along with home shopping network QVC, which is set to go to air with Lano Company products in January 2016, getting Lano Company one step closer to being a household name. And thousands connected with the brand after the episode. The company has received more than 2,200 orders since the show aired and heard from many people who suffer from chapped lips.

“We’re super excited about the future and the new brand,” Coggins says. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but we’re willing to dig in.”