From mom to mogul, all with good skin

When stay-at-home-mom Tracy Brennan couldn't find a good store for skin products she started her own; now her business is growing blemish-free.

By Jessica Dickler, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Tracy Brennan wasn't looking for a multimillion-dollar business idea; she just wanted to modify her skin-care routine when pregnancy wreaked havoc on her face.

But she discovered that, short of a dermatologist's office or department store, there was no one location offering a mix of products and treatments for her skin type and condition.

Tracy Brennan, president and founder of Kalologie Skincare.
Kalologie is about to launch a franchising program aimed at expanding to upscale shopping areas in major cities around the country.

So Brennan, then in her early 30s and a former advertising executive and stay-at-home mom, developed a business idea for one over the next few years. She wrote a business plan detailing a one-stop skin-care center that would offer an assortment of brands, along with nonsurgical treatments from Botox and collagen to facials and waxing.

In 2003, Brennan and her husband, William Brennan, an investment banker, used their savings to open a store on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, a popular shopping destination among the young Hollywood crowd.

She then partnered with father-and-daughter dermatologists Marvin and Vicki Rapaport, who serve as medical directors for the venture.

The store, which Brennan named Kalologie, became popular with everyone from students seeking acne treatments to professional women looking for anti-aging serums to men stopping by for laser-hair removal.

As demand rises for skin rejuvenation and non-surgical treatments, Kalologie found success in the fragmented market for skin-care products and services. The business generated $2 million in revenue last year and projects revenues of $9 million this year, according to Brennan.

The market for anti-aging skin-care treatments in the U.S. was about $1.1 billion in 2006. Despite uneven growth over the past five years, the market is strong due to high demand among women and Baby Boomers, according to market research firm Mintel International.

After a small round of funding from angel investors in 2005, the Brennans opened a second store in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an upscale suburban area outside of LA. Then, through a license agreement, Kalologie opened its first overseas location in Tokyo. In 2007, Kalologie opened a second store in Tokyo and now the Brennans are opening another location in Studio City, Calif.

"We really thought that we would open just a few stores and see where it would go from there," Brennan said. But "there is something about the concept that seems to work really well," she said of the original store, which features cool green walls, marble counter tops and dark wood cabinetry.

The couple also recently launched a franchising program with the help of Mario Altiery, president of Upside Group, a franchise consulting firm based in Phoenix.

"I'm flattered people want to bring this to different parts of the country," Brennan said.

Each Kalologie location in the U.S. will be modeled after the first, with skin-care lines including RVive, IS Clinical and Arcona, along with medical and esthetic treatments such as Botox and Restylane injections, laser-hair removal, chemical peels and waxing.

"With each new store I feel a tremendous sense of pride," Brennan said.

Although her business idea has turned into a full-time job, Brennan still aims to strike a balance between being president of the company and being a wife to William and mother to two sons, Grant, 7 and Blake, 6.

"It's never going to be 100 percent perfect," she said, but at the end of the day, "we have dinner as a family every night and date night once a week."  Top of page