1. What motivated you to start your own line?
After many years in the fashion and make-up industry, I’ve learned a lot about the impact of daily exposure to chemicals in beauty care products. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t live up to its promises. I see the results of taking a quick-fix approach to looking good. I know first-hand the price our health can pay in the pursuit of beauty.
I realized that what women need are skin care, color cosmetics, toiletries that are as pure as possible, lines that create a solid foundation for anti-aging and long-term beauty. Skin is a living organism. It breathes, interacts, and absorbs information from everything it encounters. It’s in constant communication with the environment. Without healthy skin, we are vulnerable to the effects of everything we encounter.
Unfortunately, it is still believed that the skin acts as a barrier to the outside world, blocking out whatever was applied to it. We now know that what we put on the skin can be absorbed in the skin and in some circumstances into the bloodstream. You only need to look to medical patches, anti-smoking patches and hormone replacement patches for proof.
My background as an advocate for cleaner cosmetics came when my own health deteriorated years ago and through my research I realized many of the chemicals that were in my body were also found throughout the beauty industry. I started studying ingredient labels in depth and the extent of the use of unregulated chemical ingredients (FDA does not regulate our beauty industry; it is self-regulated by the actual people that are adding all these ingredients and deeming them safe). In fact, many ingredients are downright harmful. Some ingredients, like phthalates found in synthetic fragrances and nail polishes, are known to disrupt the hormone system, and are a factor in reproductive diseases and breast cancer.
Sadly, the list of harmful ingredients in your personal care products is long and we continue to use them daily. I am trying to educate every woman to be more aware of not just what they put on their skin, but also what they put in their bodies.
2. How long did it take? When was your product line ready for the general public?
I was experimenting and playing for quite a few years actually. I would say it was roughly 3 years testing out colors and textures until I had some good formulas to take to a cosmetic lab for production. I did a soft launch online only at the end of November in 2008 but I did not officially launch until June 2009 when I invited members of the press, magazines and bloggers to see the line, ask questions and get to know me.
3. What obstacles did you face along the way?
I faced so many obstacles it was ridiculous. I am a future thinker and along the way I met so many people that were not. I repeatedly heard “It can't be done,” “That is not how you do it,” “That won't work.” I was determined to prove them wrong.
But I have to admit the greatest obstacle is still the way the public is not yet confident in embracing the idea of clean cosmetics. The public has not been educated enough and is still misinformed on the actual repercussions on some of these ingredients in today’s beauty products, or simply not paying attention. They are putting too much faith in thinking the beauty industry is protecting us.
4. Who did you draw your inspiration from?
To be honest, skin was my inspiration. I was inspired completely by skin. I hated how traditional cosmetics reacted on the skin upon application and how the skin looked after a few hours. There is no synergistic relationship between these chemical-laden beauty products and with beautiful living skin. It’s as simple as that. I wanted to see skin, healthy skin with a true radiant glow that looks real. I did not want to see skin masked in heavy products that cover and conceal the skin. I simply don’t understand that mindset.
5. What is unique, different or special about your brand?
One of the biggest differences is that it is not another powder mineral line. I took the concept of organic skin care with its hydrating and nourishing qualities and combined it with color minerals. This way it avoids the drying effect minerals alone have long term on the skin. This allows for the skin to be protected and moisturized, yet have an abundance of color without aging the skin.
I am a little of a control freak and I control the purchasing of every single ingredient that goes into my product. I do not trust cosmetic manufacturing labs when it comes to ingredients. One person’s idea of a quality raw organic ingredient may not be the same as mine. I always say, “Organic is a guarantee of safety, not quality.” I want to guarantee quality also to my customers.
What makes my line special is my customers. We have the most amazing customers ever! I appreciate the fact that they have responded so positively to my product and take their time to call, write, Facebook, tweet, etc. That makes my line extraordinarily special to me.
6. Have you or your products ever won any awards?
RMS Beauty awards have been:
- Living Luminizer - Elle Mag
- Lip & Skin Balm - Allure Mag
- Cream Eye Shadow - Natural Solution Mag
- "Un" Cover-up - Allure Mag
- Coconut Cream - Elle Mag
- Lip2Cheek - Elle Mag
- Coconut Cream - Nylon
RMS Beauty has also received several online awards thru various websites.
I was also an honoree for Fashion Delivers in 2010.
7. What, if anything, would you do differently if you could do it over?
I don't think there is anything I would have done differently if I could do it over again... Well, maybe having success at a younger age.
8. How do you feel about changes in the organic beauty movement?
The organic movement is happening in both the food and beauty industry. We are starting to wake up and nothing could make me happier. Finally!
9. What advice would you offer other novice women entrepreneurs?
Never take no for an answer. If you have the drive and determination, go for it and don’t wait for anyone but you.
10. Do you think it is more difficult for women when it comes to business?
I do think it can be more difficult for a woman in business, especially if she doesn’t stand up for herself and her beliefs. I have personally found that there have been issues in the past, yes. A strong woman is still regarded as a bitch for sure but a bitch is equivalent to a strong man in business so it can be a winning combination. Women now are doing some of the best and most productive endeavors ever and they are shining big time. Bitch or no bitch.