Beauty Store Business

SEP 2016

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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64 September 2016 | CEO Spotlight Vanity Girl Hollywood Maxine Tatlonghari gives glamorous lighting to celebrities and beauty lovers alike. by Breanna Armstrong Image courtesy of Vanity Girl Hollywood YOU WON'T FORGET THE FIRST TIME YOU MEET Maxine Tatlonghari, the founder of lifestyle brand Vanity Girl Hollywood. Her passion, positive attitude and enthusiasm for her company and life are contagious and refreshing. Maxine and I first met at my office and we immediately bonded over messy hair buns, our mutual friends, Snapchat and get this: our love for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She has a way of treating everyone, from her customers to the celebrities she works with, like they are a top priority. Because of her go-getter personality and beautiful products, Vanity Girl has lit up the faces of celebri- ties like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande. Her company has also made a huge name for itself with social-media beauty influencers like Brian Champagne, Patrick Starrr, Carli Bybel and Jaclyn Hill. Making waves in the beauty pool (oversized pink fla- mingo floatie and all), it is no wonder her company was a finalist in Cosmoprof North America's Beauty Pitch entrepreneur competition. We recently caught up with the energetic business owner for an inside look into her shining career. Beauty Store Business: How did you get started in the beauty industry? Tatlonghari: I was laid off from my fundraising job at American Cancer Society and pulled an "Elle Woods" and decided to have a massage and facial at Burke Williams on Sunset to cheer myself up. After my pamper- ing sessions, I was getting ready in their vanity room and a light bulb went off in my head. I knew that other girls like me would prefer to get ready at a proper vanity station versus a hot misty mirror post-shower. I sketched out the idea on a napkin and took it to an LA manufacturer and Vanity Girl Hollywood was born! What is Vanity Girl Hollywood? Vanity Girl Hollywood is a lifestyle brand best known as the original company to bring lighted, Hollywood-style makeup mirrors to the all-important beauty lover. I first had the idea in 2008, but it really came to market in 2009 based on an eBay store and a blog I built myself while the website was being developed in Santa Mon- ica. Websites always take a lot longer than anticipated and I was impatient. My first customer was a woman named Crystal from Ohio. Shout out to Crystal! How did you develop the idea for your company? I sketched out the idea for the first physical prototype and brought it to LA-based manufacturer VersaProd- ucts Inc. Then I focused on what I do best—I thought about the marketing and branding and really, about my customer: Who was she? What did she want and need in a home-vanity situation? How did she decide what beauty products to buy? Who did she follow? What did she watch and read? Who are some of the celebrities you work with? When I started Vanity Girl, I knew that working with celebrities would really establish us as a Hollywood brand. Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Ariana Grande have used us while on tour. The glam squads for Shay Mitchell and Jennifer Lopez have beat their beautiful faces in front of our mirrors before going to events like the Oscars. And one of the most collaborative experiences—the one that put me on the map—was working with Kim Kardashian on her Beverly Hills home and subsequent cycles of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The latest celeb to invite Vanity Girl into her home was the gorgeous Bella Thorne. You are a finalist in this year's Beauty Pitch. How does that feel? I can't even really process it! Last year, I watched the first Beauty Pitch from the audience and was amazed at the opportunities that Cosmoprof North America and Professional Beauty Association was bringing to beauty entrepreneurs like me. I am completely obsessed with shows like Shark Tank and The Profit—so seeing Mark Cuban and John Paul DeJoria up on stage last year with the opportunities for mentorship and more made me crazy with excitement. To think that I will be onstage this year is simply surreal. What is a career highlight of yours? I have four that standout, but I am really grateful for so many things. 1. Just having this idea of bringing Hollywood mirrors into people's homes; and actually having people want it and fall in love with it is absolutely my first love. 2. Working with Kandee Johnson, who opened my "Vanity Girl Hollywood is a lifestyle brand that brings lighted, Hollywood-style makeup mirrors to the all-important beauty lover." In our new "CEO Spotlight," we feature stand-out brand owners in the beauty industry.

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