The Namaste case is a story of how Kellogg alumni couple Gary and Denise Gardner grow their Namaste branded hair care line from production at the family's kitchen table into a formidable $80 million empire within a 14-year period. The Gardners come from a longtime hair-care business lineage, the Soft Sheen dynasty, started by Gary's father decades earlier. Soft Sheen was ultimately sold to hair care giant L'Oreal for over $100 million. The Gardners claim Namaste's growth occurred through listening to the needs and desires of customers for healing hair care products that reminded them of nourishing household remedies. The hair care line became a leader in its industry but faced the dilemma of how to expand sales in new markets, especially international markets such as South Africa and Nigeria.
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