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Hair-Products Manufacturer in Reading Continues to Innovate

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Few people have been able to make their mark on their industry the way Paul F. Mazzotta, 72, Flying Hills, has on the hair and beauty industry. His innovative and entrepreneurial spirit began in the 1960s when he started hair trends and continues today as he files for a patent for a breakthrough in shampoo technology. Mazzotta is perhaps best known in the Berks County area for operating the hair salons at Boscov's Department Stores from 1984 until 1995. But today Mazzotta is the head of a thriving and growing manufacturing facility for hair and beauty products. Cospro Development Corp. is in the 28,000-square-foot former Linette Candy factory at 105 Washington St. The building was constructed in 1907. Part of the secret to his success, Mazzotta explained, is having his operation in downtown Reading. "I would never want to leave Reading because it provides us with a low-cost manufacturing location," Mazzotta said. "Being in downtown Reading has many great advantages for us, including a plentiful skilled labor force that can walk to work and low overhead costs as compared to the suburban industrial parks." If Cospro outgrows its location, Mazzotta said he would want to remain in the city. Mazzotta started the company in 2005 along with his brother Joseph and wife, Jean.

Today the Mazzottas employ 18 people, including his daughter Nicci Townsend and son Paul Jr. Joseph retired last year, while Jean serves as chief financial officer. "This is really good news in itself because during these challenging economic times so many of our competitors have gone out of business," he said. A majority of the growth occurred in 2008 when the economy went sour. Mazzotta said the company grew by 30 percent that year because some competitors were forced out of business. Cospro obtained many of those customers by default, he said. For the most part, Cospro is a private label company, which means it is a behind-the-scenes company in the beauty industry. Mazzotta explained he can't divulge many of the well-known labels the company has produced because of confidentiality agreements.

The business is divided into research and development, manufacturing and packing, with each taking a different floor in the historic building. The company has produced products under its own label. But this year Mazzotta is unveiling a product under his own label and is filing for a patent this month. The company already had obtained a provisional patent on the product, which protects it for one year while further research is done. The product is known as Blink. "I recently registered a new patent-pending technology, which is the first major breakthrough in shampoos in more than 50 years," Mazzotta claimed. "Ever since Day 1, shampoo has been either a cream or a gel," Mazzotta explained. "But I have discovered a way to spray liquid shampoo to get to all areas so that the formula solution can get to the scalp and deposit the nutrients." The non-aerosol product uses a bag-on-valve technology in which a bag is placed in a canister and then charged with air. The bag-on-valve technology already existed, so Mazzotta is applying for a patent for the technology of the application. Blink is made with all natural and organic products. A children's version of the product was developed by Cospro and then licensed to Joie M. McKim and Lori A. Derr, who started a company known as Rock the Locks. The product line includes shampoo, detangler, styling spray, anti-frizz spray and a curl booster. Mazzotta is marketing Blink to area salons and is in negotiations with distributors.

"We grew this company from grassroots, and it was based on my reputation in the salon business," Mazzotta said. "We have always financed our growth from our own sales." Blink is anticipated to double the volume of business, and Mazzotta believes he will be able to increase his staff by at least 10 employees over the next year. Contact David Kostival: 610-371-5049 or (Image by: Reading Eagle: Tim Leedy)
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