Success Story

Hue Noir: Beauty in Color




Beaverton, Oregon

Date Founded


Number of Employees



Hue Noir is an innovative company with a clear focus: bring great color cosmetics to the underserved ethnic beauty market. Founder Paula Hayes’s dream to own and manage a cosmetics company started at a young age. She pursued her love of cosmetics in higher education, receiving degrees in biology from Lewis & Clark.  She went to on to earn an MBA, a career in product development and then to senior management positions where she honed her business and financial skills.  But she never gave up her dream of starting her own company.  When she was ready, Paula began crafting formulas in her kitchen, and then transferred to her garage to keep up with demands. In keeping with the entrepreneurial garage tradition, Hue Noir was founded in 2009.

This year, the prestige cosmetics firm has been making capital investments needed to position itself as a long-term player in the in the $58.8 billion US beauty market. With 38.4 million underserved consumers, their upscale ethnic beauty target market continues to outpace overall market growth.While much of that growth is in ethnic hair care, there is still a huge gap in makeup products, which they aim to fill.*

Hue Noir is certainly a company to keep your eye on! They are well on their way to become the premier makeup brand for women of color.


*Source: Kline & Co. Multicultural Beauty Products US Market Analysis, November 2014


The Situation

With revenues doubling in the last 10 months and customers increasing two fold, Hue Noir was ready to transfer to a new manufacturing facility earlier this year. They worked with OMEP to set up a lean manufacturing plant in Beaverton.

The Solution

OMEP assisted with the layout of the new facility, designed workstations, crafted the visual control systems, and set up a pull driven inventory approach. These foundational techniques are setting Hue Noir up for great success as a company.


The Results

Investing in the new facilities allows them to scale rapidly by increasing output capacity thirty-fold. While Hue Noir is a growing e-commerce business, it is also poised for release in fine salons and boutiques throughout Portland and Seattle in the coming months.

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Even though OMEP typically works with established companies, we were thrilled to have them with us from the beginning, to help lay out our equipment placement, workflow processes and inventory stationing. Their guidance set us up for success in lean manufacturing.

Paula Hayes

CEO and President