Following is an interview with Elyse Robinson, Creator/Managing Member of EXO Supply. EXO is a company based in Buffalo that specializes in the production of a different kind of nail polish remover.
When was the company founded and by who?
EXO Supply (created by me) is a division of WOW! Brand Products which was founded by my father Gregory Robinson 20 years ago when he started making cleaners, degreasers, and skincare products for the commercial market. I then came on board and created EXO, organic skincare for the retail market.
How did it get started, and where?
EXO and WOW were both started here in Buffalo. Our office and manufacturing warehouse resides in North Tonawanda.
Where does the name come from? Who are the owners?
The name EXO SUPPLY was created by my father and me. E stands for the first letter in my name. The XO is like an added symbol of love and compassion for our customers… hugs and kisses… we care about you. And we try to show that with the safe and effective products we create.
What differentiates it from other products of this nature on the market?
Several things: Not only are our products made here in WNY with raw materials sourced from the USA, but our products are also cruelty free (not tested on animals). There is currently nothing on the market like our organic nail polish remover, Pure Remover. We have managed to get this product into a variety of salons, spas, retailers, and boutiques after launching it in April of 2014 and it has continued to grow because of the fact that there is nothing else like it available.
Also, in comparison to acetone and other drug-store brand nail polish removers which have an awfully harsh smell; our formula is naturally scented and available in a variety of scented options including lavender, orange, mint… Customers cannot believe how amazing Pure Remover smells because in a lot of cases people expect nail polish remover to be very stinky.
Is it an all natural product? Environmentally friendly? Easy on the body yet affective at the same time?
This product is made with plant-based ingredients and USDA certified organic essential oils. Pure Remover is extremely gentle on skin, but just as effective at removing nail polish. It is safe for all skin types, and it is even safe for use on children’s’ nails. (Our Instagram page has tons of posts and reviews from customers, bloggers, etc… one customer even used this product on her 18 month old daughter’s nails.)
Pure Remover is: non-toxic, non-flammable, non-irritating, it is also biodegradable, naturally moisturizing and scented. Pure Remover will not dry out skin, and it actually moisturizes and conditions the nails/cuticles while removing polish. (Eliminating the need for cuticle oils or hand cream)
Where is it sold locally, and nationally?
Locally: Tony Walker & Co., Her Story Boutique, The Lexington Co-op market, Blush Boutique, Modern Nostalgia, Parker Pharmacy, Becker Beauty Supply, Urbanity Salon, Oxygen Salon
National: Chi Nail Bar in Beverly Hills and our website: WWW.EXOSUPPLY.COM
International: The White Oaks Salon and Spa, and Polished’Em Nail Studio (both located in Ontario Canada).
I would think that the glamorous side of the industry would be the nail polish… is the nail polish removal industry garnering respect of the industry in ways that it might not have in the past?
Yes. Overall, the nail industry is growing in ways that it never has before with the overwhelming popularity of nail art and nail care. Nail art and nail care has become increasingly more prominent after big name celebrities like the Kardashians and Katy Perry started coming out with their own nail polish lines and flaunting their super detailed nail designs. This then lead to nail decals (stickers used to decorate the nail), and later nail accessories (nail files, removers, remover applicators, cuticle oils etc). becoming more popular and important! Based on the trends today, wearing your natural nails or simple clear polish is now more popular too!
With the growth of the nail industry; nail artists, bloggers, and industry professionals use the internet to not only display their amazing work, but to also use it as a forum to discuss and promote nail products. One of the main complaints from industry professionals and those who paint their nails regularly is how acetone removers smell terrible, and that the chemicals found in acetone are not only dangerous but they dry out the skin/nails causing damage and nail breakage. We created Pure Remover to help condition and repair the nail, while also making the polish-removal process more glamorous by having a remover that smells (and looks) great, versus the standard acetone remover one finds in a drug store.
We were contacted by the production assistant from The Grammy Foundation and she asked us to send samples of our product to be included in the swag bags. We are very active on social media so I believe she found us through Instagram or Facebook.
The product was also featured at The Teen Choice Awards and New York Fashion Week? Yes! We were included in the swag bags for both The Teen Choice Awards in August as well as the swag bags for a NY Fashion Week boudoir show.
What other high profile events is the product being featured at?
Pure Remover has been featured at Dominicanas In The Mix; an official Latina Magazine event that took place in NYC last summer; we have also supplied samples for an official party hosted by Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta (she actually follows us on Instagram). The party took place a few weeks ago and media footage from that event will be available next month. Pure Remover was also featured on AM Buffalo this past November; and last summer Pure Remover was mentioned on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show as a “What’s Trending” item.
You are taking place in a local fundraiser coming up. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
In addition to growing our product line (we are adding an all natural coconut cleanser this year) we were asked to participate in an Academy Awards Small Business Expo next month at the Nokia Theater in LA with our friend Christina from Koukla Cosmetics (locally made cosmetic line). This is basically like a small trade show that takes place the day before the Oscars where we get to exhibit and provide samples of our products to over 150 celebrities, investors, PR professionals, national retailers etc. It is hosted by Celebrity Connected and it takes place on Feb 21st.
Obviously, an opportunity like this isn’t cheap, so EXO Supply and Koukla Cosmetics are having a fundraiser at Imagine Salon on Hertel Avenue, Jan 31st at 7pm in order to raise money so we can participate in this event. We also have a GoFundMe page that we are encouraging friends/family/colleagues to donate to. This is an incredible opportunity, but as a small business it is a huge investment. We are hoping to raise some money before the end of the month to help offset costs.