Iredale's home is across the street from what will be the new headquarters of her company, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, a manufacturer and seller of cosmetics. The 160-employee company sells its products in 40 countries but Iredale was determined to keep it in the town she has called home for the past 15 years.
Recovery Act Impact: Iredale Mineral Cosmetics
Thanks to a $4.6 million stimulus-funded Recovery Zone Facility Bond, along with other financing, Iredale Cosmetics is staying and growing in this small Berkshires town.
"They wanted to be here," said state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who represents the town. "They're doing wonderful things here in Great Barrington."
Indeed they are.
Iredale founded her cosmetics company on her dining room table here in 1994 after a career as a screenwriter, casting agent and producer. Her cosmetics are mineral-based and healthful and she began selling to doctors, dermatologists, salons and spas. The company quickly outgrew Iredale's house and expanded throughout the town.
Iredale's balcony overlooks the 17,700-sf Bryant Elementary School and when it closed five years ago, Iredale saw an opportunity to consolidate her expanding company.
The school needed major renovations but the stimulus funded bonds in combination with other financing enabled Iredale to move ahead with the project.
The school was originally built in 1889 and Iredale is maintaining much of its original character, including cleaning all the bricks that cover many of its walls and putting them back. The company plans to hire an additional 35 employees once the building renovation is completed but its impact on the town will go way beyond that.
"We will draw in over 1,000 people a year for training," said Sharon Gregory, Iredale's vice president of development. "It will impact local hotels and restaurants. We're important to the local economy."