Beauty Store Business

SEP 2016

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CEO Spotlight 66 September 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com eyes to the power of the social media beauty guru back in 2009. 3. Working with Kim Kardashian, who was so generous to me. She really put my brand on the map during a very hard personal time. When I started to work with her back in 2012, my dad was terminally ill, and she was just so understanding because she had been through the heartbreaking experience of losing her father too. 4. Cosmoprof, baby! I hope we win, but no matter what, the connections and exposure and real prizes that were given to all of us as semi finalists and finalists have been amazing. A win for us would mean a win for Vanity Girls and Vanity Boys, everywhere. What were your parents like? Both of my parents have passed away but I feel so blessed and lucky to be their daughter. I'm going through a challenging and super exciting time right now—it's like dramatic highs and lows. My brother reminded me that rising to a challenge is in our DNA. Both of my parents left the Philippines without any safety net and came to America to forge a new life. That included meeting and falling in love in LA and eloping in Vegas. My mother Virginia taught me unconditional love and an obsession with pop culture, pag- eants, beauty magazines and red-carpet glam. My father Maximo taught me fight and scrappiness. I am named after him. He in fact called me "junior" which shows you the kind of non-traditional household I grew up in. They taught me and my brother to work hard, dream big and not to let others determine your worth. I just wish they had been alive to see me pitch onstage at Cosmoprof but I know they are always with me. What has been your biggest challenge as a CEO? There are a lot. My brother Craig is probably the person I trust most in this world and he always says, "If it were easy, everyone would do it." But I would say the biggest challenge has been knock-off companies who undercut what we do in price (it's not the cheapest route to use high-quality materials and manufacture in the United States) and then copy my marketing and branding ideas. They say imitation is the sincer- est form of flattery, but I can't lie, it sucks. The only thing you can do is simple: "Do You!" and continue to cre- ate from your heart. I've had to grow a much thicker skin all around and stay grateful for the good stuff—and there is a lot of that too. Do you currently work with beauty stores? Yes, we are so proud that many inde- pendent studios, stores and salons use our mirrors to provide an extra Hollywood-glam touch for their clients and customers. We are also developing an exciting program for beauty businesses that want to carry Vanity Girl Hollywood products. If inter- ested, contact pr@vanitygirlworld.com. What do you do on your spare time? I love to travel (I've lived in Paris and Tokyo before) but there hasn't been a lot of that lately. I'm very active in West Hollywood (where I live and serve on the board of the Chamber of Commerce). I still try and do philanthropy work like LungForceGlam and Prom Project with my friends. I spend weekends with my loved ones. I aim to work out 3-5 times a week. And, I love reality TV. How does social media influence your company? It's everything, especially if you have a limited marketing budget. I'm addicted and guest lecture on it regularly at UCLA and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. What is a piece of advice you can offer to entrepreneurs? You can't do everything. Figure out quickly what you are good at and passionate about and do that. Then, find a team of people who are passionate and good at the other stuff. How many employees do you currently have? It currently takes 18 people to make this ship run including everything from ship- ping to graphic design. I also outsource many things to keep us lean and agile. What do you look for in an employee/vendor? I look for someone who is passionate about what they do and is always look- ing for ways to improve their skills. I value harmony so difficult personalities are toxic to me. And it sounds basic, but I like nice people. What are your future goals for your company? I want to expand and grow both in terms of product line and distribution. My boy- friend Eric is a master at finding new opportunities and bringing people to the table, so there are a lot of exciting things in the works. He is my rock and thinks completely out of the box. ■ Breanna Armstrong is managing editor of Beauty Store Business. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @BreArmstrong. Get Connected! @VanityGirl Snapchat: IamVanityGirl @VanityGirlHollywood facebook.com/VanityGirlHollywood Website: vanitygirlhollywood.com "They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I can't lie, it sucks. The only thing you can do is simple: 'Do You!'" Images courtesy of Vanity Girl Hollywood

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