This weeks BOSS series features one of my all time beauty hero’s, Dineh Mohajer. She’s the original founder of Hard Candy, back when they had that chic rectangular packaging with a plastic ring on top (I used to wear them on my pinky) and introduced pastel nail polish into the industry. I used to shop them Urban Outfitters in high school and will never forget seeing Alicia Silverstone on the David Letterman show (scroll to 4min 28seconds) rocking her Sky Blue polish and being obsessed!!! Since selling the company she re-entered the nail polish industry starting another iconic nail polish brand Smith & Cult, which has legendary packaging and art direction and has grown it to a full makeup line featuring lips, eyes and face. She is wildly creative (follow her @dinehm and @smithandcultmy), my spirit animal, and can’t be more excited for her to be sharing her awesomeness and advice with us in this weeks BOSS series.
How do you describe yourself?
I think my friends would describe me as kind, passionate, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, loving, warm, guilt-ridden, ADHD, germaphobic, neurotic-ish, silly, funny, fun, having good skin, obsessive-compulsive…my husband would use seven words: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy.
After you sold Hard Candy, what made you want to jump back into nail polish? And then years later expand into a full makeup line?
I never returned because I never really left. After Hard Candy was acquired by LVMH, my partner from Hard Candy, Jeanne Chavez, and I created, developed and sold another baby, called Goldie, to the Limited Brands. Smith & Cult was just another step in a natural progression for me.
How has the industry changed since you launched Hard Candy vs Smith & Cult. What resources make your life easier/harder?
Some aspects have remained identical at the core. The underlying motivation to feel happier, healthier and prettier is still intact. The joy of discovery, experimentation and success regarding product, packaging, imaging, education and branding has also remained the same. Our technological advancement has changed the manner in which we do all this, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse. For me, technology has allowed me to better articulate my creative vision more quickly and fluidly.
For this weeks BOSS series we have one of the most literal beauty bosses in the industry, Jillian Wright. I really admire woman that create, innovate and evolve. And for me Jillian Wright is the ultimate example of this. She took her skincare background as an aesthetician and spa owner and didn’t just stop after creating her skincare line, she saw a void in the marketplace and had the foresight think bigger and co-founded the Indie Beauty Expo. I went to the first Indie Beauty Expo in New York and from what it started as and to what it is today just shows the growth in this category and the outstanding need for a tradeshow like this! Plus they are taking over the world and have since expanded into LA, Berlin, Dallas and London. It’s no secret that indie beauty is one of, if not the fastest growing category in beauty and she’s a big part of making that happen and giving these small brands a chance to meet buyers, press and beauty lovers to take their business to the next level. The expo has also connected me to so many incredible brands ahem Dope Naturally, Bawdy Beauty, Raw Spirit, Love Sun Body, and so many others… Plus I always look forward to hitting on their videographer. Let’s learn from the master, here’s our interview with Jillian Wright:
1. Tell us about yourself and how you got started.
I was a spa owner and skincare expert for 18 years and relied on the unique and hard to find beauty to fill up the white space in my retail environment, which made the assortment interesting and exciting for my clients. About 10 years into my career, I decided to launch my own luxury indie skincare line. The word “trade show“ wasn’t even in my universe. I realized very quickly that in order to attract buyers and press, I needed to get out there and meet people, but didn’t know where to begin. I started doing research and wasn’t satisfied with my options. Out of frustration, I approached my then facial client Nader Naeymi-Rad and asked him if he would help me produce a show specific to independent beauty. Without any hesitation, he said yes. Six months later, we launched the Indie Beauty Expo at the Altman Building with 80 brands, all who were in the same boat as me.
First, we extended IBE to two days so there was more time for attendees to interact with exhibitors. Then we branched out to Los Angeles and Dallas, and now London in October and Berlin, March 2019, enabling more local brands, buyers, press and shoppers to participate at IBE. We then launched Beauty Independent, our digital publication, to provide a voice to all the great entrepreneurial stories out there. We then launched BeautyX, our educational and networking summits, because we saw so many brand founders stumble because they didn’t have reliable sources to help them navigate key business questions and issues. Finally, with our Retail + Buyer Relation function, we now actively help buyers find the right brands and then help those brands onboard with the retailer.
2. What inspired you/How did you become involved in the Indie Beauty community?
When we started IBE, we had a simple mission: showcase great independent brands in a way that honored the hard work and innovative spirit their founders brought to the table. That was it. After our first show, and all the feedback we received, it became clear that independent brands were going to play a big role in the future of beauty and wellness, but that there were many obstacles and unmet needs that had to be addressed. So we started to systematically go about building platform to help independent innovators succeed. I teach, lead, write and prevail, all because I didn’t have a platform to do serious business with press and retailers.
3. What is your best time management tip?
I write everything down and make sure my commitments are in my google calendar. I work hard to not overschedule myself and maintain a disciplined day to day pace. Since I live in NYC, I try very hard not to spend a lot of time in the car or public transportation, preferring to walk. The stress of traffic and commuting can be bad for productivity and creativity. Not only do I manage my schedule, but I also have manage my kids, so, getting enough sleep and preparing for tomorrow’s tasks the night before are important ways to ensure I make the best use of my time. I approach our lives as a team effort. We are in it together and this also helps my kids and husband cope with my crazy schedule. I allow myself time to process things and this is important for health and longevity.
4. What is the deal with CBD? I’ve seen incredible reports about the benefits for everything for autism to epilepsy, anxiety and muscle relief but the Internet seems conflicted on if it actually does anything dramatic for your skin or is it just a fad?
It has been proven that CDB is an effective treatment for anxiety and epilepsy, now early studies are even showing it may be used to fight cancer and slow the progression Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on the strength of the CBD product—researchers say CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects-—using it for small aches and pains on the forearms, knees, neck or elbows, one can feel a difference racially overnight with the right blend! In beauty, it’s being used alone and coupled with other ingredients such as frankincense, Korean herbs or Vitamin C. We went from
For most of us starting a business is scary, especially if you’re self funding. You have a great idea for a product, but bringing it to life is intimidating at best, especially if you have limited capital (say under $20k) and have the goal of expanding it into a real business. Adriana Botti started with even less that that, had no outside investment and succeeded to hit a $1 million in sales #goals year 4 of your business of starting Little Words Project. If you’re not familiar, Little Words Project is that super cute beaded bracelet brand that has positive messages on them. They are beyond uplifting and spread kindness and joy everywhere they are worn. You can also register them and wear and share them with your friends who need a little encouragement and track the journey of your bracelet from wrist to wrist. We sat down with the superstar to talk business, growth, pricing and advice!
What verticals do you offer and what has been the most lucrative in growing your business?
We do everything from Facebook/Instagram sales to corporate gifting to college campus events and sponsorships for partner events. We have found that the most lucrative of them all is the collegiate ones because not only do they all buy upfront but continue to spread the word making it a really great marketing opportunity for us moving forward!
2.Pricing. Many of us struggle with pricing. Should it be based on a perceived value or based on your Cost of Goods (COG)?
Here’s the thing- you want to do your best to price your product at a price that will serve your needs (make you a profit and keep you open for business) while at the same time matching perceived value- that’s how you know you’ve found the sweet spot price point. Every industry and company is different, but for us,
Probably one of my favorite parts of being in this digital space is the incredible opportunities it brings and the people with it. Last week, I had the honor of walking in Jessica Abo’s show New York Fashion Week show during Style360 in partnership with IVY. Jessica wrote the book, Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media, which sold out even before her appearance on Kathie Lee and Hoda. (Don’t worry it’s back in stock now, Amazon got me my order fast…). It was recently named #1 on Women’s Health Magazine’s list of self-love books. You can read more about her awesomeness HERE.
For her book launch, Jessica Abo brought together entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators and influnencers to walk down the runway wearing token phrases/advice from her book. Not to mention Jonah Platt opened the show with a musical performance and then walked in it!
Interview of Stacy Igel of Boy Meets Girl. Photo Credit: @SophieElgort
I always try to recall how long I’ve known Stacy but between admiring her work and our run ins at events the line is blurred and all I can answer that with is… a while. She’s a true inspiration and someone who has more job titles than me, and somehow does it all and manages to always have a smile and not a hair out of place. I’m so proud to call her my friend and she’s the only person I know that uses Post-It’s the way I do, in bulk. To say I admire her is an understatement and so excited to have her for this weeks boss series. So here we go…
Tell us about yourself?
I am the Founder & Creative Director of BOY MEETS GIRL®, a young contemporary streetwear brand founded in 2001. We have also been coined as “the original give-back athleisure brand.” I am a proud mom of son @dylanreidigel. In my sleep I write a lifestyle blog, Behind the Seams™ with Stacy Igel and also co-created and co-host the #MOMSGOTTHIS podcast which was recently featured in Forbes “Podcasts Created by Women You Need to Be Listening To Right Now!” And is up for the 2018 People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Charity and giving back has always been a big focus in everything I do. I have been a chair several years for the Young Survival Coalition ILP Gala: https://fashionweekdaily.com/stacy-igel-young-survival-coalition and I am a brand ambassador for the NSCC’s BullyBust campaign. I am also a frequent lecturer & panelist on subjects such as social media, branding & entrepreneurship.
You do it all! How do you time manage? Are there any apps/tools you use to make your life easier?
Every day I am learning. I use my Outlook calendar, I use my BOY MEETS GIRL® notebooks for meeting notes, and I recently bought a BLOOM daily planner that I am mixing into all the above to keep me organized. I use my memopad a lot, as well as EverNote and Google Docs. I also can’t forget about Post-Its! They’re all over my desk.
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Be prepared to work like you’ve never worked before.
Being a talented designer is not enough. You need to learn how to be an effective marketer, networker, salesperson, service provider, writer, stylist, merchandiser and
I’m an old school Rodial fan, so much so that I checked the blog and saw I’ve been talking about the brand since 2013 thanks to one of my favorite retailers, SpaceNK, who always curates the best products, especially out of the UK where both brands originated! I had the pleasure of meeting their founder, Maria Hatzistefanis aka @mrsrodial when they launched makeup in the US in 2015! The throwback photo of us is worth the click for that blog post. Over the past few years, I’ve watched this brand explode and Maria take her Boss status next level. She’s the definition of a beauty boss, and earlier this year launched a book, How to be an Overnight Success.
Maria: We launched it in the US in the beginning of the year, How to be an Overnight Success and the message of the book is you can be a success, it just won’t be overnight. It took me 18 years to be where I am today. And the book is all about inspiring and motivating people, entrepreneurs and freelancers to keep doing what they are doing and work hard and to not get disappointed if things don’t happen immediately. It takes time and it’s a positive message to keep going and keep on being the best you can be!