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For cosmetics maker BANDI, the business of beauty is more than skin deep


BANDI is a well-established brand of skin care cosmetics in Europe. Its products sell in more than 3,000 salons and spas internationally. The company was founded in Poland in 1986 by the mother of current CEO Joanna Draniak-Kicińska.

In September 2019, BANDI opened its first U.S. sales and distribution center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. To launch the new branch, Draniak-Kicińska and her family packed up and moved to the U.S. as well.

In one year, the company has been transplanted from one continent to another, launched a new operation, and faced a pandemic. Despite all the turmoil, BANDI has survived and thrived.

The company is seeing growing success with its {save} skin care products for its U.S. market, as well as a professional line of BANDI products sold internationally. The sales and distribution operations remain in Martinsburg, but a partnership with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Morgan County Center, has enabled BANDI to nearly triple its workspace. 

The BANDI executives and school officials first met at the company’s initial 2019 launch. The executives were invited to give a presentation about their company to a marketing class at the college. From that acquaintance grew a team effort to make space for BANDI to grow. 

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to use the gorgeous space on the Blue Ridge campus at Berkeley Springs, while partnering with students in the future,” said Michelle Brownlee, BANDI operations manager. 

The expanded space includes a studio and laboratory. The studio enables the company to do photography, informational videos, marketing and other activities. The lab will allow for research and production. 

“We are thrilled to begin using our new space and continuing to develop our research and development department,” said Draniak-Kicińska. “We hope to begin developing products in the US within the next year, allowing us to continue growing our operation.”

The BANDI philosophy of beauty is “first, do no harm,” states the company’s website bandi-usa. The company’s products use ingredients from fair trade suppliers that are safe and suitable for sensitive skin and contained in recyclable packaging. 

BANDI acts on that philosophy through community support as well as its beauty products. It has participated in charity drives and contributed to women’s shelters and Operation Happy Nurse, a nonprofit designed to support nurses and care for their health. Descriptions of these and other organizations the company supports can be found on the {save} Impact webpage.

“Joanna has a strong commitment to empowering women,” said Brownlee. “We feel lucky to be able to do so through product and monetary contributions. She believes self-care is crucial to success. As she says, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’”

The company leaders anticipate continued growth in the future. That includes the possibility of starting to manufacture products in Berkeley Springs within a year. 

“We hope this will add more jobs to the operation while partnering with local students,” said Brownlee,

To learn more about BANDI Laboratories, visit www.saveskincare.com and www.bandi-usa.com.

Thriving Industries

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