Dreaming of becoming a beauty mogul but don’t know where to begin? Create and Cultivate’s founder Jaclyn Johnson says, “Start by starting.” She produced her biggest conference last week in L.A. with keynote speakers including Jen Atkin, Chrissy Teigen, and Kim Kardashian West to round out a full day of inspirational women networking with one another as well as panel discussions like “DTF: Down to Finance.”
Jaclyn’s advice for women just starting out is not to be afraid to call themselves entrepreneurs and own it. Confidence is a quality all the successful women she has met have in common. “They all share this air of confidence that has gotten them to where they are,” she says. Feeling empowered yet? Keep scrolling for advice from beauty brand founders like Kim Kardashian West and Marianna Hewitt that are applicable to all entrepreneurs.
When things don’t go as planned, Kim Kardashian West says, “You have to stay calm [and] stay focused. Shit happens, but you just gotta fight through and get it done. No excuses.”
Look Broadly at the World of Entrepreneurship
“Get as close as you can to other entrepreneur founder stories,” shares Holly E. Thaggard, founder and CEO of Supergoop, which launched a setting powder last week. “When you’re creating something that’s never been created before, you’re going to run into problems.” Her suggestion is to not limit yourself to looking at one industry, especially since all the rules are out the window and nobody is doing anything the same way they were doing yesterday, she explains to Byrdie.
Know Your Worth and Value
“Know your power,” KKW says. “Influencers is really where it’s at. Everyone is looking to you for the influence, advice. … Please don’t be lazy. You have so much power. … Please use it.”
Believe in What You’re Doing
“If you believe in something, you can make anything happen,” says Teresa Lo, head of marketing for Biossance. “You can move mountains,” she emphasizes, recalling a time her scrappy team completely rebranded and repackaged Biossance in four months so that the products could reach Sephora shelves.
Surround Yourself with the Right Team
“Be self-aware of what you bring to the table,” says Holly. For her, it’s the product, inspiring people, and driving a program, like getting SPF into schools, which is something the brand is working on. The goal is to reach a thousand classrooms this year. “I love and dream and sleep and think about SPF all day long, so I know that product is something I cannot hire out.” She emphasizes that this is something that only she can do, leaving us with this: “The most important thing as you grow is to put a team in place that fills in all of the other areas you might need.”
Solve a Problem That Hasn't Been Solved Before
“The reason that Sephora loved us and still loves us is because we were different and offered a difference in the marketplace,” says Anne-Marie Kline, senior VP of global marketing for Living Proof. She shares that the haircare line changed how hair behaves in a way that hadn’t been done in 30 years. The brand was also different because instead of using beauty visuals for its launch, it opted for “down and dirty” before and after photos. “The way you stay at Sephora is to keep that innovation, but keep delivering and solving a problem in the marketplace that hasn’t been solved before,” she says.
Find a Space That's Unique and True to You
“It’s about finding your niche,” says Deepica Mutyala, founder of Tinted, who believes that the future is women of color.
Be Prepared to Work
“It’s way more work than you think, but it’s so worth it,” says Marianna Hewitt, beauty influencer and co-founder of Summer Fridays, on her advice for women breaking into the beauty industry. “If you’re launching a product, it’s about finding a great lab, knowing what you want to create, [and] knowing what’s going to make your product different.”
For more advice about getting your foot in the door in the beauty biz, take a look at these inspiring words of advice from other beauty bosses.