Steve and Joniann Marchese, CEO and President of LightStim
Steve and Joniann Marchese, CEO and President of LightStim

Husband and wife team Steve and Joniann Marchese, CEO and President respectively, own and operate LightStim which manufactures and supplies LED Light Therapy devices to the medical community and estheticians for use in spas and salons. They have since launched retail, at-home versions, as well. MODERN SALON met with The Marcheses at Cosmoprof North America where they had been finalists in Beauty Pitch, a Shark Tank-like competition. Joniann Marchese shares the story of LightStim and how Beauty Pitch helped put them on the shelves of CosmoProf stores around the country.

MS: Share the company background of LightStim.

JM: The original founders launched LightStim in 2002. In 2007, while I was on the search for non-invasive and painless solutions to curb the appearance of aging skin, I stumbled across LightStim LED Light Therapy. In just a few short weeks, I saw significant improvements in my skin, including a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and a smoother, more even skin tone and texture. I was thrilled with the results! Steve and I have always been entrepreneurs and it just so happened that at that point in time, we were in between businesses so we bought the company. LightStim operates under the corporate name of LightStim and all of our devices are made and manufactured right here in the USA at our highly automated, ISO-certified facility based in Irvine, California.

MS: Who are the principals in the company?

JM: Steve and I have been married and in business together for over 25 years. We’ve had many successful businesses together including the first auto-detailing business with over 150 franchises sold across the country. We split our time between sunny Newport Beach and Las Vegas and have two sons: Addison and Chase, both of which work with us. Addison is the Creative Director and Chase is the VP of Manufacturing. We love the familial company culture that exists within our business and are very proud to be building this company together.

MS: Describe the LightStim devices and the difference between the retail and the professional products.

JM: All LightStim products use multiple, different wavelengths, or colors, of light. When this beneficial light is applied directly to the skin it helps to increase collagen and elastin production, reduce inflammation, speed healing, increase circulation and destroy acne bacteria.

The Professional arena is really where LightStim has its roots and the division still continues to thrive. It is estimated that we command about 85% market share of LED device sales to professionals in the US.

We have professional hand held devices that contain 72 LEDs and treat a 3” diameter area.

Professional Anti-Aging Light: designed to stimulate collagen and elastin production to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Professional Pain Light: designed to increase circulation and reduce inflammation to temporarily alleviate muscle, joint and arthritic pain

Professional Acne Light: designed to heal and calm existing breakouts

We also offer 2-panel lights including the Anti-Aging Panel, Combo Panel and Pain Panel. These completely hands-free devices contain over 1100 high-output LEDs and cover a 14” x 9.5” treatment area.

The great part about our retail product range is that each light is engineered with the same technology, wavelengths and benefits as their professional counterparts. They are all FDA cleared and a great way for professionals to extend the results of treatments and increase their bottom line. The home-care Light range includes: LightStim for Wrinkles, LightStim for Pain and LightStim for Acne.

MS: How have you reached out to the skin professional?

JM: We have been able to successfully reach the skin professional via trade shows, education trainings/webinars and word of mouth. We have incredible testimonials on the efficacy of LightStim from some of the most renowned dermatologists, estheticians and plastic surgeons in the country and that really resonates with industry professionals.

MS: Describe the education you offer for LightStim.

JM: In 2011 we moved into a much larger facility, which allowed us to have space dedicated to training, education and our certification classes.

Our LED Certification program is an integral part to LightStim success. We host the activations quarterly at our Irvine based facility. LightStim Director of Education and published author, Amy Gardner, L.E., presents on a wide range of LED centric topics including a review in the causes of aging, the specifics of how LED Light Therapy works, detailed protocols and how to incorporate the use of LED Light Therapy into your practice.

MS: Among licensed beauty pros, who is most likely to purchase the products and use it and where do you see the most potential?

JM: Our devices are purchased by estheticians and spas of all sizes. The professionals that have busy practices usually utilized our large 2-panel professional lights while the other professionals typically will use our hand-held professional lights.

MS: What is your distribution model?

JM: We have an omni-channel distribution approach. We sell to salon and spa professionals via our rep network, we also sell via QVC, Retail brick and mortar stores including Barneys, Belk, Von Maur, select online retailers like DermStore, B-Glowing, and of course,

MS: Talk about Beauty Pitch and what that meant to you.

JM: Beauty Pitch really elevated our experience at Cosmoprof to a whole new level. Because of the platform, we garnered huge PR exposure; new accounts were opened, including a partnership with Beauty Systems Group (BSG) to open LightStim in 1,100 CosmoProf retail doors. We are so thankful to the wonderful people who put on Cosmoprof and to the Professional Beauty Industry. They really hit it out of the park with the inaugural Beauty Pitch and we are proud to have been included!

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