July 29th, 2018
Tucked away on an industrial estate in the heart of Stockport is an Aladdin’s cave of all things makeup and hair. Run by the Thompson family, Treasure House of Makeup is a stalwart of the industry, supplying make-up and hair products to colleges and, along with the UK distribution of two of the most well know US brands: Ben Nye and Mehron. Warpaint took a trip Up North to check it out.
WP: How long have you been in business and how did you begin?
TH: Treasure House of Makeup – aka TH Makeup – is a trading name of Freestyle Hair Company Ltd which was founded in 1991. The company started (and is still trading to this day) in wigs and hairpieces providing a bespoke custom-made hair service for people suffering from hair loss such as NHS patients, alopecia suffers, etc. Building from there, we started offering college kit services for hairdressing courses which, in turn, developed onto make-up kits and more. This is where TH comes into the picture …
WP: What’s the background to the acquisition of Treasure House?
TH: We were a customer to the original Treasure House of Makeup, as they helped to fulfil our college kit needs. When the owner was retiring, we were approached with the opportunity to purchase the company: make-up was becoming a huge part of the Freestyle Group of companies and we wanted to keep this growing. Even though by trade we were not and have never professed to being makeup artists or industry professionals ourselves, we knew the brands it offered were something special and we knew we could help grow and build this into the TH Makeup you know today.
WP: How has the company grown and expanded over the years?
TH: We are very much still a small family-run business, however over the years we have grown, developed and changed TH Makeup. From first taking it over in 2007, we have created an online presence, developed excellent relationships with the US brands and helped to build awareness by working with them. We have become regulars within many colleges and at many shows, working with and supporting artists of all abilities, talents and trades. From bodypaint festivals to London Fashion Week, we have been there.
We work closely with many colleges and students across the UK: for us, we believe and understand the importance of professional products, therefore we want to help support the next generation by providing them with the correct tools. We also launched Mehron UK – TH Makeup is its home as the sole UK distributor.
WP: Tell us about the ranges that you stock.
TH: Not Just Beauty … PRO MAKEUP is our tag line and our belief. Make-up is amazing and there are tons of amazing brands out there, but we focus on pro brands for make-up artists working on set. These are industry-renowned, specialist products, however the beauty of IG and YouTube and this social media culture has allowed these brands to be brought to the everyday consumer too which again we are always 100% behind because these brands ARE INCREDIBLE. We stock many pro brands and bring them in for colleges, etc and the main two which we want to shout about are the American beauties for which we are the UK distributors: Mehron Makeup and Ben Nye. Mehron Makeup is a vegan makeup brand which has been around for 90 years and the popularity of Ben Nye’s vast range of products from beauty to bloods, continues to surge via Mario Dedivanovic’s confession that he uses Banana Powder on a certain Mrs West.
WP: How do you choose new product ranges to distribute?
TH: Again, this goes back to our tag line – Not Just Beauty … Pro Makeup. We are always on the lookout and are currently working with a few brands so watch this space.
Our main priority is to offer brands which would benefit a makeup pro or artist in training. We feel it’s important to work with industry-standard products which you would be expected to bring to set. It’s all about pigment pay off, formula and the effects which can be created. For us the actual manufacturing process is also important: both Mehron and Ben Nye are manufactured in the USA on site at the HQs, the quality of the product is important where and how it is manufactured and the quality of the product and its ingredients. We are also driven by ethical standards and want to promote brands which are cruelty free and vegan (where possible) and another BIG important one for us is the impact a brand has on the environment.
WP: What’s the latest additions?
TH: We have some exciting things in the pipeline, but for now we can talk about the drop of new products; Ben Nye launched Studio Colour, a collection of 17 kit ready 12 colour palettes. This collection sees some much-loved classics go kit ready as well and the introduction of some Ben Nye combinations.
Mehron Makeup is glowing – they have Pro Highlight Palettes for every shade and a new 8 colour eye Palette to complement their 8-colour matte eye Palette which has a new formula – as well as a Pressed Glitter Palette for Pro Makeup art and two new Lip Palettes, Sweet and Spicy.
WP: You’re very well known for supplying college kits. How do you build such strong relationships throughout the country?
TH: Our college business is so Important to us, we take pride in being a part of the next generation of industry professionals. We work closely with our colleges to build relationships, deliver excellent bespoke service and connect with each college in a unique way which suits their needs. Each school course and county is different, therefore we have to offer them something with works for them. We offer a bespoke service with added benefits for both the students and tutors. To find out more, just get in touch.
WP: Which events and shows can we see you at each year?
TH: IMATS is without a doubt our number one show and you can also catch up in Ireland and at Professional Beauty Manchester.
WP: What’s next for Treasure House?
TH: Next for us …. Is biodegradable. As previously mentioned, a brand’s impact on the environment is important to us, therefore, we are taking the pledge to do our bit. Our own brand glitters are currently transitioning over to be biodegradable and we will be introducing more glitter sizes and shapes so that there are more biodegradable options on the market. We will also be reviewing and changing the way in which we package and send out stock. Our orders currently arrive to you in cardboard boxes and at shows we hand out paper bags, but we also want to transition our packing such as bubble wrap to recyclable and biodegradable options. We want to turn TH own brand products fully biodegradable from the product to the packaging, so that is something we are currently working on and aiming towards.