5 of 5
Powder puffs
Powder puffs

Open almost any jar of face powder or blush and inside you'll find a fluffy fabric poof for applying the makeup. The iconic powder puffs are ubiquitous in the products of cosmetics giants like Proctor and Gamble, L'Oreal and Estee Lauder, but just one American company still manufacturers them.

The Penthouse Group, in Freeport, N.Y., has kept the company in the family for three generations and now makes about 25 million powder puffs each year. Competition from China is the biggest threat to the business, President Steven Ostrower says, but Penthouse has managed to stay competitive by creating totally automated production lines that keep its overhead down.

"We have tremendous overseas competition, and their cost of labor and overhead is miniscule," Ostrower says. "But we have the most efficient manufacturing lines in the world and can out-produce our Chinese competitors with greater technology and ingenuity."

The company employs 75 people in its 65,000 square foot factory in Long Island.


Email | Print | Share
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Apr 22 2010 | 8:13 AM ET
More Galleries
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More
San Francisco: The best city to make things From electric motorcycles to death shrouds, San Francisco's manufacturing sector is booming. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.