‘Save Atomic Cosmetics’ — Dr. Jen makes $100K call for help to keep Capitol Hill business afloat

Atomic Cosmetics

(Images: CHS)

2369258_1413319550.0454_funddescriptionThe E Pike ‘House of Beauty’ Atomic Cosmetics has lit the glitter signal — Dr. Jen needs help.

As she heads into a third year of business with a brick and mortar shop, Jennifer Dietrich said financial difficulties could shut down her venture. She’s looking for $100,000 in donations to keep the business afloat:

Hello to all who love the Glitter Palace! We recently have hit a financial brick wall – a business loan, that we were expecting to secure, has fallen through. With these funds, we were going to be able to keep up with our growing demand, as well as expand our operations at our Capitol Hill flagship store. 

Without those funds, however, we’re in a place where we can’t afford our brilliant team, or to continue our mission. 

That’s where we need your help. Your donations via GoFundMe are immensely appreciated – and in exchange for your financial help now, we’ll give you a gift certificate for the same amount. Not in Seattle? Not a problem – we’ll give you a gift card with a custom coupon code to use online. Donate over $250, and we’ll not only give you a gift certificate for your donated amount, but will throw in an additional $25 gift certificate to use for yourself, or to give as a gift.We need your business and financial support more than ever before. Atomic has grown so rapidly, even in just the last year, and we were looking forward to making this next leap forward – and I hope we can count on you to help make that happen.

Dietrich promises any donations at $250 or above will receive a gift certificate for the amount donated.

Dietrich promises all donors will receive gift certificates for the amount donated.

UPDATE 10/15/2014 9 AM: Via Twitter, Dietrich said, “We don’t need $100K to stay open. We need enough each week to cover costs. Every bit helps!”

UPDATE x2: CHS reached Dietrich by phone Wednesday morning but she declined to discuss the drive and said she wouldn’t have time today to discuss the matter further. We’ve asked her via email for more about the financial situation the business is facing and why the planned loan fell through. We also asked if the store remains open in the meantime.

Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty opened in a space left vacant by a smoke shop in summer 2013 — just in time for Pride. A biochemistry PHD, Dietrich said she was inspired to create her non-toxic Atomic Cosmetics and Xerion Skin Science lines as she helped burlesque and drag performer friends put their faces on. Dr. Jen’s, Dietrich says, is a response to the chemicals and toxic materials normally found in mass-marked skin care and makeup products.

Dietrich is also known as a vocal and active organizer for public safety in Pike/Pine and, especially, for the burlesque and drag performers in her community. Meanwhile, last month CHS reported on Dietrich’s expanded business goals and investment in new production resources.

The company behind Atomic Cosmetics is owned by Jen Dietrich and her husband Shawn, according to state records. We have messages out to her about the situation but have not yet heard back about the fundraising drive.

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19 thoughts on “‘Save Atomic Cosmetics’ — Dr. Jen makes $100K call for help to keep Capitol Hill business afloat

  1. Didn’t CHS just post about this business buying new production equipment, like, yesterday? Couldn’t have been more than a month ago. And I thought it was interesting because that lease is an expensive one for a business that seems like it could operate just as well being online only, so I couldn’t imagine that they are raking in tons of dough. This news isn’t completely surprising.

  2. I’ll get out my checkbook.

    Seriously, why not rent a much smaller space? It’s a worthy business but is a solid business model? Personally I think needing to crowdfund a $100,000 loan means the business is dead. And why such an exact number? What’s it even based on?

    Why not focus on wholesale? It just seems like ego and a case of needing to be fabulous. Capitol HIll would have been a good spot fro this business 10 years ago. Not now. I just think this is an obnoxious ask. Sounds like the loan was rejected by the bank for a good reason. It’s not a moneymaking enterprise.

    Big case of denial. I still hope it succeeds but geez, what’s the warranty if they go out of business and can’t redeem those credits to the loaners?

    If it does go under, maybe the $17 burritos offered by the new tenant can double as makeup.

    • Banks don’t evaluate loan worthiness by just saying, “hmmm, that doesn’t sound good. No.” They say “show me the money– let’s see your financials”. I gotta believe for a loan this size the bank evaluated the numbers and decided things just don’t add up. And before a raft of anti-capitalist, Chase-vandalizing, masked anarchists launch off into an anti-Wall Stree tirade: great– put YOUR hard-earned money where your mouth is. I honestly hope it works out for everybody involved.

  3. It’s a shame to see a small, progressive, independent business like this go away but I have to wonder if they really figured out their expenses and income and business plan and so on.

    And I agree with the other posters so far – it doesn’t seem like they have the right business in the right place and time. Maybe in a small boutique shop up on Broadway they’d do better. Or maybe doing wholesale to other local businesses and online would do well.

    The business, where it is, just seems to stick out as being a weird oddity, on a block of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and smoke shops.

    • In this case, Dietrich is offering gift certificates in return for donations — so it’s closer to something like Groupon. I have several questions out to her about the situation and will update when I learn more.

  4. It’s six years since the big bust and banks still aren’t making loans to small businesses. It was only this year we were able to refi our house, and that was only for a refi. There are business finance companies out there that will lend money, but at rates similar to payday lenders. Putting it all on credit cards is no way to keep a business going. Crowdfunding is working because the banks won’t step up. She isn’t asking for free money, she is asking for advance purchases to get things to the next level.

  5. I walked by the other day. Its a cute shop and the kind many here are trying to get/keep.

    Based on all the sarcastic comments about banks, tanning salons and chain retailers, if we’re wanting to keep small boutiques, maybe we have to chip in and help them over a hurdle every once in awhile.

    That being said, I would only offer a retailer 1 “get out of jail free card”.

  6. It’s only a matter of time now that the real truth comes out. It’s so sad seeing all these innocent people donating their hard earned money to such an evil empire. Evil to their employees, evil to other business owners, and evil to her own family. NOFUMDME!

    • Um, wow?! Way to make hyperbolic, unsubstantiated, off-topic claims. And I’m just going to say maybe this business won’t succeed, but let’s reserve “evil empire” to describe that whole Darth Vader thing. And maybe Trump.

  7. It isn’t the job of the public to buy your products and bail you out of your sinking business, too. #businessplan #classless

  8. Why is this posted as news?

    Clearly this business is imploding (seriously; a $100,000 shortfall is a legitimate collapse) and the reality is there is so much happening – behind the scene – to explain why the business is not sustainable.

    Having this site run the story as if it is “news” has most likely amplified the “donations” from people who do not understand the absurdity of the situation.

    Adding to the hilarity of this whole story (not to mention its questionable aspects) is how the owner first offer of gift certificates for donations over $250 has been amended. Even if GC’s are sent out …..will anyone ever be able to cash those in?

    Boo to CHS for giving this “pity party, table for one” a means by which to defraud others.

    • We’re almost certain readers are just as smart as you, isthisajoke, and can make big boy and big girl and big etc. decisions. We’re not worried about reporting this kind of story. We’re also never done. There’s always more to report.

  9. This is exactly why I come to the CHS blog, I had never heard of her store until today and it looks amazing! I’m excited to stop in as soon as I can. As for anyone who doesn’t want to support local businesses, that is up to you but the negativity here is disappointing. From what I see her customers love her, she provides a lot back to the community, and is a shining beacon of uniqueness on an Pike St.

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