After struggling for years to find the ideal product to care for her prematurely silver hair, Angel Cornelius began making her own.
When friends asked the Houston resident what she was using so they could buy some for themselves, Cornelius decided to bottle her plant-based, chemical-free regimen and sell it through an Etsy storefront.
At the time, Cornelius was working as a hospital administrator. She would print shipping labels at home, then prepare orders and take them to her local Post Office while on her lunch break.
Today, Cornelius’s business, Maison 276, is a fast-growing force in the beauty industry, with sales on track to surpass $1 million this year.
And she’s still a loyal postal customer.
“USPS has been a trusted partner since the business grew from my kitchen to a manufacturer,” Cornelius said, adding that she appreciates the “personal touch” she receives whenever she visits her local Post Office.
Mary Anderson, the Postal Service’s small-business engagement director, said the organization wants to help more small-business owners like Cornelius.
In addition to offering multiple shipping options, USPS helps businesses promote their products through a variety of direct-mail and other services.
“The Postal Service is in every community in the nation. Our employees serve small businesses every day, so we understand the unique challenges they face and we’re always eager to put our experience to work for them and help them grow,” Anderson said.
Cornelius said she values the Postal Service’s shipping expertise, which allows her to focus on other parts of her business.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, Maison 276 — like businesses everywhere — experienced some supply-chain issues, including a temporary shortage of plastic bottles.
The company was transparent with its community of loyal customers, Cornelius said.
“We said, ‘These are the issues why we’re sold out or why we have delays.’ We communicated if our product was expected in two to three days that it might be five to seven days,” she said, adding that she was “astonished at how understanding our customers were.”
For now, Cornelius is focused on continuing to grow Maison 276, which was the subject of a recent profile on NBC’s “Today,” and serving mature women seeking environmentally friendly beauty products.
“Women who look like America. That’s my customer,” she said.
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