Small companies often complain that it's difficult to reach decision makers in large corporations. But Stuart Herskovitz, founder and CEO of $1-million Qosina Corp., in Farmingdale, N.Y., penetrated the world's biggest cosmetics manufacturers and cultivated a new market without the benefit of a sales force.

It started with a walk through Macy's. Herskovitz, who for 12 years has manufactured plastic parts such as clamps and connectors for the medical market, took a detour through Macy's cosmetics department. He was amazed to see women trying on the same tube of lipstick. The health-conscious Herskovitz scented a waiting market for disposable plastic items. That was in 1986.

He went back to the office, stuffed envelopes with his catalog, price list, and assorted samples, and mailed them off to the CEOs of the country's largest cosmetics companies. Within a few weeks Herskovitz got a call from a vice-president of one of those companies. Converting those first qualified leads into sales, though, took about two years of "solid correspondence," attests Herskovitz, who continued to send catalogs and more product samples to everyone on his prospect list, regardless of who responded to his initial mailing. To induce more cosmetics companies to give him a call, a year ago he began mailing his catalog to some 500 cosmetics-counter chain-store executives.

Today Qosina's "Qosmedix" line of sponges, cotton swabs, and throwaway plastic applicators accounts for one-third of total sales, which are expected to reach $3 million in 1992.

-- Susan Greco