Last night I attended an event held by CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) — the Women in Beauty Series, offers those in the industry (and those who might like to be, I’d assume) lots of insights into beauty industry issues and inspiration for professional growth. The panel was particularly exciting to me, because the participants were: Laura DeLuisa of DuWop; Lisa Price, of Carol’s Daughter (wearing a stunning, iridescent blue silk coat) and Wende Zomnir of two of my favorites brands: Urban Decay & Hard Candy Cosmetics. The panel was moderated beautifully by Jenny B. Fine, the Editor of WWD Beauty Biz and formerly, Editor of Luckymag.com
I review beauty products and am involved with assessing them nearly every single day, but for me, meeting the actual people behind the jars, scents, powders, gels, creams and compacts was an eye-opening experience. When you walk into a department store or makeup specialty store such as Sephora, you can’t imagine the work behind producing and maintaining a beauty brand. To most people, it’s the most glamorous job in the world. What you see isn’t always the reality. The beauty business (even writing about the beauty business and I do), is first and foremost, a business. There are deadlines to meet and if you are a creator of a new line, you’re going to have to know (and perhaps, perform) all the functions of a business. Lisa Price, for example, said quite frankly that she hated doing the shipping. When she was able, she hired someone to do that for Carol’s Daughter, but in the beginning, she not only shipped the product, she cooked up the recipes for it in her kitchen! Laura DeLuisa, who worked in the film industry, tried her products out on actresses. The women talked about financial risks, balancing life and career, and the challenge of keeping the brand fresh and products new each season.
It was easy for me to see that passion and perseverance are the things that drive successful entrepreneurs, whether it is in the beauty business, or elsewhere. No matter how glitzy the package, or visible the person, it’s hard work that makes it all happen. Thanks to CEW, I got a chance to be inspired by three fabulous women in the beauty biz, and I hope that this post will inspire you, too!