Polish Family-Owned Cosmetics Company Bases U.S. Flagship In W.Va.

Oct 21, 2019

 

A Polish family-owned cosmetics business has decided to place its United States flagship in West Virginia. The family hopes to open a manufacturing facility in Martinsburg in five years.

BANDI Cosmetics is a Polish company that’s been around since 1986. The company claims it’s one of the biggest skincare companies serving professionals and salons in Poland, and has around 100 employees.

“I was born in this company, because my mother [founded] the company when I was four years old,” Joanna Draniak-Kicinska, CEO of BANDI Cosmetics, said. Draniak-Kicinska took over for her mother as CEO 15 years ago.

Draniak-Kicinska, her husband, Michal, and their two daughters, moved to the U.S. on a work visa three months ago to begin developing a U.S.-based company in Martinsburg. They established their U.S. business name, BANDI Laboratories LLC, in 2018.

The family looked at other states for their American startup, but Draniak-Kicinska said West Virginia was where they felt the most welcome.

“We met fabulous people. People who were very engaged. People who were in love with West Virginia, who were making great effort to show us all advantages and explain why [this is] the place where we would want to be,” she said.

Draniak-Kicinska said she hopes to work with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to train future employees -- similar to what consumer goods company, Procter and Gamble, is doing.

BANDI’s skincare lines offered in Europe are not for sale in the United States, but the company has developed a new, environmentally-conscious line, called {save}, that’s only offered in the U.S. 

{save} is available on BANDI’s website and on Amazon.

Berkeley County Development Authority’s Sandy Hamilton said BANDI’s presence will help to diversify West Virginia’s economy.

“We’re all going to benefit, because it’s going to give different opportunities to our students coming out of our school system, and to people that want to move into our area, it gives them a whole new arena of an area that we’ve never been able to offer before,” Hamilton said.

For the next year, Draniak-Kicinska said she and her family will be working out of The Hub, a business center in Martinsburg, as they learn about the U.S. cosmetics market.

The family lives in nearby Winchester, Virginia.