Morphe Cosmetics Launches Canadian Store Expansion

Square One store in January of 2019. Photo: Craig Patterson

Square One store in January of 2019. Photo: Craig Patterson

By Mario Toneguzzi

Fresh off of opening its first store in Canada at the Square One shopping centre in Mississauga, California-based Morphe Cosmetics is launching another location this spring at the West Edmonton Mall with plans for further expansion across the country.

Emine ErSelcuk, Vice President, Global Retail for the brand, which specializes in makeup brushes, brush sets, and eye shadow palettes, said the company is driving a younger generation of customer to malls where it is located.

“We looked at other locations in the Greater Toronto Area. This particular team impressed us and this particular space and location was right for the brand,” she said, adding there is more potential to grow the brand in Canada.

Square One store. PHoTO: Craig Patterson

Square One store. PHoTO: Craig Patterson

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

“We currently don’t have a store targeted yet but there are absolutely other locations in the Toronto area and there are other areas throughout Canada that we’ll be looking at. We’re fortunate to have a thriving ecommerce business. We were predominantly an ecommerce business even a year and a half, two years ago. We’re able to look at the data and very closely monitor and measure where the customer is today. We have a very enthusiastic customer in Canada.”

ErSelcuk said Morphe was founded in 2008 by brother and sister duo Linda and Chris Tawil in Los Angeles in the Burbank Studio area.

“Which is not by accident. The brand was developed originally to develop professional quality makeup and artistry tools at an acceptable price, really with a focus on brushes. So our heritage is really about brushes originally,” she said.

“Chris and Linda both recognized the brushes had a huge mark up and they both felt very strongly that they wanted anyone and everyone who was passionate about beauty or who wanted to get creative that they would have the ability to participate, meaning they could afford the tools of the trade which is our brushes. So they started with the brushes and then they started to expand into other categories and other products.”

Record-breaking attendance: More than 10,000 fans Descended on Square One to see Morphe spokesperson  James Charles . He has 14.3 million Instagram followers. Photo: Square One

Record-breaking attendance: More than 10,000 fans Descended on Square One to see Morphe spokesperson James Charles. He has 14.3 million Instagram followers. Photo: Square One

Another shot of More than 10,000 fans that mobbed Mississauga’s Square One on January 12, 2019 to see Morphe spokesperson  James Charles . Photo: Square One

Another shot of More than 10,000 fans that mobbed Mississauga’s Square One on January 12, 2019 to see Morphe spokesperson James Charles. Photo: Square One

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

Photo: Morphe Brushes Facebook

The company has two headquarters. One in the Los Angeles area and one in San Francisco. ErSelcuk said having the two offices on the West Coast has allowed it to tap into some of the best talent in the area. If you are a student of the beauty industry, she said, you would notice that many of the brands over the last 10 to 15 years that have really delivered innovation in the business have been West Coast brands.

The company has 26 stores currently which will grow to 29 by the end of June.

ErSelcuk said the thing that makes Morphe so unique is that the Tawils from the beginning recognized the power of social media in the early stages of building their company and they aligned with other beauty makeup artists, aspiring makeup artists, and bloggers who were all figuring out social media at the same time.

“This was a time when people didn’t really know the power of social media and they certainly didn’t know how to commercialize it. But this community really supported one another and consistently shared their love of Morphe products with their own growing fans and followers and that really catapulted the brand to where we are today,” she said.

“There’s an authentic love of Chris and Linda and the brand and the mission to really deliver professional, quality product at very accessible prices. So many of these makeup artists when they were learning the trade and trying to build their tool kits they were all sort of intermingling at various trade shows and nobody was anybody at the time. Chris and Linda gifted them a lot of product, helped them get off their feet. Now where we are we have over 300 affiliates who are makeup artists with large fan followings that advocate for this brand. It’s a huge win for us because they’re like a megaphone.”

ErSelcuk said Morphe products have become the tool of choice for so many influencers in the community who are advocating for the brand which allows for a greater reach for the brand.

The James Charles and the Jaclyn Hill Palettes for example have been hugely successful for Morphe.

“We do influencer collaborations that are true to the vision of that beauty influencer and we give them a lot of creative freedom and we’ve been enormously successful by delivering them the best of product development, the best in supply chain to help manufacture, deliver, develop, launch, execute. And we’ve been very, very successful with this formula. Jaclyn was the first. We did an anniversary collection with her this last year. We’ve had the James Charles Palette. We’ve had others but these are the most successful,” said ErSelcuk.

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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com  

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