Business

Sonicare inventor does it again with sonic skin cleanser

David Guiliani, who helped create the Sonicare electronic toothbrush, is finding new success with the Clarisonic electric skin exfoliators.   - Submitted
David Guiliani, who helped create the Sonicare electronic toothbrush, is finding new success with the Clarisonic electric skin exfoliators.
— image credit: Submitted

David Giuliani can't seem to miss when it comes to business ventures. He's on his second startup, with both companies relying on sonic technology, and both joining the ranks of the fastest-growing of their time.

The first endeavor was Optiva Corportation, which developed the Sonicare toothbrush and then topped Inc. magazine's annual list of fastest-growing companies in 1997.

Philips purchased the company in 2000 for undisclosed terms, quickly cornering the power toothbrush market.

Giuliani stuck with sonic technology for his encore venture, Clarisonic, which develops skin care products.

The company's latest creation is a line of electronic exfoliating devices – four models in all – designed to remove dirt and oil from the pores without harsh chemicals or deep scrubbing.

Clarisonic also has its own line of cleansers and renewal serums to go along with the exfoliators.

"Skincare is this huge new territory," Giuliani said. "It's almost an embarrassment of riches to think about all the products we can work on."

Clarisonic sales grew from $1.7 million in 2005 to $40 million in 2008, helping the company reach Number 60 on the Inc. 500 this year.

Giuliani, the CEO, says revenue has continued to rise this year, despite the lagging economy. He suggests people still want to look good when times are tough.

"The health and beauty industry is less sensitive to macroeconomics," he said.

That's good for the local economy, since Clarisonic manufactures its devices in Factoria. The company has over 100 employees.

Giuliani has a history of helping immigrant workers in particular. During his days with Optiva, he provided English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

"A lot of the people we hired had significant talent in their native countries, but they were limited here by language," Giuliani said. "By investing in their language skills, we were able to unlock their potential."

Many of those workers became line leaders, technicians, and administrators, Giuliani said.

Clarisonic has an employee demographic similar to what Optiva had, Giuliani said.

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