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Local cosmetic company celebrating 25 years of business amid COVID-19

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — A local cosmetic company is still thriving after 25 years of business, and even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Elevation Labs President and CEO Michael Hughes tells EastIdahoNews.com demand for their products has only increased in 2020.

“We’re about to have the biggest back half of the year we’ve ever had in our 25-year history,” Hughes says.

One reason for the increase in sales is a result of adjustments in business operations since the onset of the pandemic, including an increased emphasis on online sales and the addition of new products.

“We’ve taken on new product categories, like hand sanitizer, that’s really started to explode in this pandemic,” Hughes says.

RELATED | Newsmakers: Meet the CEO of the east Idaho company that makes cosmetics for companies around the globe

Since a public celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary is not feasible right now, Elevation Labs has been using the occasion to give back to the community.

This summer, the company provided more than 7,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to hospitals, law enforcement, first responders and other local businesses.

“We had a long line right outside the door of people picking it up when it wasn’t available elsewhere in the community,” Hughes says.

Hughes says they’ve also helped support local restaurants by purchasing gift cards and giving them to their employees.

As a new school year gets underway, Hughes says they’re now working to provide hand sanitizer in schools and classrooms.

Hughes says they’d like to have a community open house once things return to normal, but for now, he’s grateful to be able to help others.

Understanding Elevation Labs and how it got started

elevation labs
Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Elevation Labs manufactures a variety of high-end cosmetics, skincare and other products for more than 100 clients around the world.

“If you’ve been to a Sephora or an Ulta (Beauty supplier), or any high-end department store, you’ll find products that have been invented and manufactured here,” Hughes says.

Learn more about the manufacturing process in the video player above.

Since its formation in 1995, Elevation Labs has grown to include more than 400 employees spread across a 180,000-square-feet area at 2105 Boge Avenue in Idaho Falls.

But the company started with just four employees in a small garage on Holmes Avenue under the name Northwest Cosmetics Labs.

“It was a partnership between Doug Rooney, who’s a chemist, and Gary Voigt, who lives in Idaho Falls. They started in a small office and had some ideas about how to formulate and make high-quality products in the body wash and hair care space,” Hughes says.

In the early 2000s, the company relocated to Technology Drive. It included two production lines and shared the building with another tenant.

Hughes is originally from Ireland and came onboard in 2017 after spending 18 years with Procter & Gamble. He wasn’t interested in the job at first.

“When I came here and saw (the world-class) facility, and the ownership (employees) had in the company’s success, I saw an opportunity to bring the systems and processes I’d learned in a bigger company and pair it up with the growth strategy that was already here,” Hughes says.

Elevation Labs is now a multimillion-dollar company with 28 production lines. It occupies three different buildings.

The company rebranded itself as Elevation Labs about two years ago after acquiring a similar company in Colorado. The two companies now operate as sister organizations and mutually benefit, which allows them to better serve customers.

Hughes says they’re looking to hire 50 more employees by the end of the year and he sees a bright future for customers and employees.

“I can see us purchasing more divisions in other parts of the country. Our plan is to continue to grow and ultimately, become a billion-dollar company,” he says. “I’ve worked in many cities and countries … and Idaho Falls is right up there in terms of being a great place to have a business.”

Elevation Labs is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.

Elevation Labs 25 Anniversary Banner
Courtesy Cassandra Hume
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