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Bye-Bye Spilo Worldwide

A long, long, time ago, there was a manicurist. Her name was Linda Mandell. Somehow, someway, she found a red pedicure file, perhaps it was made in Sweden. She decided to sell them as Swedish Clover Fot Files. This was in 1986. She sold her file to Flowery in 1988.

A long, long, time ago, there was a company that made manicure sets for department stores. They were called Columbia Manicure Manufacturing. They were founded in 1910. The kids of the kids of the founders decided to get into the business and one of those kids took the company over, Geoff Giles. Geoff knew how to ski better than run a company but fell into the business at the right time by introducing disposable nail files and buffers. He changed the name of the company to Flowery Beauty Products.

Nailco started in 1985, both Linda and Geoff were part of the original catalog. We sold plenty of Swedish Clover Fot Files and Flowery emery boards.

Geoff got bored of the business or as they say, he got an offer he couldn’t refuse. So he sold Flowery to Spilo in 2008.

Jerry and Ardo started Mehaz in 1979 having the great idea to import German implements into the USA. Spilo became their master distributor and in 1995, Spilo bought the company.

Spilo was founded in 1942 and just last year celebrated its 75th anniversary. The company was founded by Charles Spilo and sold beauty supplies including Personna blades. Charles’s son, Marc, took over the company but long-time employee, Rosalyn, stayed on as well as Charles’s wife, Ann. It was during this time Flowery and Mehaz were purchased.

The problem with Marc is that he didn’t know what Spilo should become. Should it be a distributor as it had a sales force in California? Should it be a master distributor for brands as it was for Personna and Tend Skin? Should it focus on its own brands such as Flowery and Mehaz? Should it focus on Spilo private label brands such as Hair Ware and ToolWorx?

It wasn’t until 2010 that Spilo offered online ordering, further proof that Spilo was caught off-guard and in a difficult place. Worse, Spilo continued to compete against its best customers and as the industry changed drastically during this time period, it compounded Marc’s woes.

Alas, Marc along with his private equity group sold the company to A.I.I. January 12. 75 years and poof. The only fanfare was a short press release that the trade pubs that are still around picked up. The saddest thing about the sale is not the 75 year history but that virtually no one cared. Marc was a fixture in the pro beauty industry for many years and now he along with virtually everyone else from the 1980’s and 1990’s is gone.

Bye-Bye Spilo Worldwide.



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