When Linda Roberts founded the Cosmetic Market in Nashville in 2004, she wanted to offer people a different way of shopping for high-end makeup and skincare.
Instead of the traditional visit to the makeup counter, where all of the powders, blushes and mascaras are tucked away behind the counter, all the merchandise is out on display at the Cosmetic Market and employees are close by to offer help if it's needed.
"We consider it to be a real contemporary way of shopping," Ms. Roberts said.
The Cosmetic Market made its Chattanooga debut Wednesday with its fourth location, which opened in the newly redeveloped Warehouse Row shopping center downtown.
Wednesday also marked the opening of two other new retailers at Warehouse Row, Amanda Pinson Jewelry and Revival, which sells antiquities and gift items.
The 2,890 square-foot store is the first retail location of the Cosmetic Market outside Nashville and is the result of a nearly $500,000 investment and a lot of hard work.
Half of the staff at the Nashville-based retailer moved to Chattanooga to open the store. Among them was Mary Kathryn Yeiser, corporate manager for the Cosmetic Market. Ms. Yeiser said the wide assortment of merchandise at the Cosmetic Market will blow people in Chattanooga away.
Among all of the Cosmetic Market locations, the stores carry more than 250 brands, 100 of which are available through the online store, cosmeticmarket.com.
The Chattanooga store will carry a variety of high-end brands, most of which are not currently available in Chattanooga, including Philosophy, Trish McEvoy and Therapy Systems, Ms. Robert's own line of skincare and makeup. For the first two months it is open, the store will have a list where customers can make requests for what they want in the store. She'll promote those brands by doing special weekend features, such as a brow week or offering facials with certain products.
The store, whose main competition is European retail beauty chain Sephora, has a $700 moisturizer on its shelves along with a lip balm for $3, Ms. Yeiser said.
"We have something for everyone," she said. "Whatever niche you want to fill, we've got something to fill it."
In making the decision to come to Chattanooga, Ms. Roberts listened to her clients, many of whom were making the drive from Chattanooga to Nashville to shop at her stores. They convinced her the Cosmetic Market would fill a need that wasn't being met in Chattanooga.
She said the city's college student population and its knowledgeable customer base combined with the redevelopment at Warehouse Row made for a solid prospect for growth.
"This is the ideal spot for us," Ms. Roberts said.
A few of the brands carried at The Cosmetic Market:
On the Web