Co founder of REALHER | Co Founder of Lyf Makeup
We'd love to know your story! How did you get started,? How did you get to where you are today? What are you most proud of?
I started my journey in the beauty space back in 2000 while attending college in Columbus, OH. I took a part-time counter job with Lancome and fell in love with what I was doing. Seeing women sit in my chair feeling insecure, or intimidated by product application inspired me each shift to transform the way they felt about themselves and applying makeup. This is truly where my story begins...
It is amazing what a little encouragement, kindness, and a new lipstick can do for most women or individuals alike. I knew it was my job to make a difference in these women's lives I just didn't know the responsibility or scale of what I could accomplish then at the age of 20 years old. Fast forward 20 years, and I have spent my career devoted to this industry and have worked for many brands such as Chanel, Trish McEvoy, Perricone MD, and many more.
My most recent venture prior to REALHER and LYF was working as a National Key Account Manager for French company based- Pierre Fabre and managed three of their brands in their portfolio here in the US- Klorane, Avene, and Rene Furterer. During this time of working with Pierre Fabre I got pregnant with my little girl, Faven Malone. Faven was a very big surprise for us. Immediately, once I found out I was having a baby girl I knew I had to do more to make this world a better place for her, that I had to do my part.
The first step was attending the Women's March in DC on January 21st 2017 where I saw the trajectory of my life and purpose change along with the birth of Faven. One year after Faven was born now three years ago a gentleman by the name of Bill Xiang and I met. Bill and I had many things in common and had both spent our entire careers in different areas of the beauty space. But most importantly Bill and I both have young daughters and share the same interest in making this world a better place for them.
We both believe that women and girls should be given equal opportunities, pay, education, and respect. It is also our job as parents to do our part and ensure that our children grow up in a world that reveres women as we do.
Bill had already set out on creating REALHER and I took a leap of faith to leave a very secure and stable position where I was well-loved and joined Bill in his efforts. REALHER is based here in Lake Forest, CA and is a cruelty free, non-toxic color cosmetic brand that is unique to the space because of our messaging. Each shade name is a different affirmation inscribed on each product. Our hope is that each individual applying our products is reminded of their value, that they are worthy, beautiful, able to dream big, and achieve their goals.
In the last three years we have been able to partner with both specialty and big box retail in the prestige space for companies such as Neiman Marcus, HSN, Soft Surroundings, Kohl's, Macys.com, EXPRESS.com and many more. In late 2018, Target approached us with interest and we created and pitched an additional brand that is now in select Target locations throughout the US and on Target.com called Love You First by REALHER. Love Your First or "LYF" is targeted for tweens and teens. I recall vividly what it was like being an adolescent and teenager, those were some tough years for me. If I could help change this in some way for young girls including my daughter than I am all for it! I didn't have confidence or self worth and that is what we are bringing to light with LYF. Each product (similar to REALHER) is named with a different word of encouragement along with a message of love and inspiration to see your unique beauty printed on each retail carton (packaging).
Women's empowerment is the very heart of who we are. Our team is made up of 80% females, all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. Our team spends a lot of time collaborating with many non-profits such as Beautyasgiving.org, WISEplace here in our backyard of Santa Ana, Grandma's House here in Orange County, Beauty Bus in LA, the LGTBQ Center of Orange County, Girls Inc, and soon to launch a beautiful new campaign with the GEANCO foundation whom is committed to transforming women and children's lives in Africa through medical attention and education.
We believe that it is just important to walk the walk when having a brand that is focused on lifting others! What I am most proud of is having a brand that is geared to helping other women. Each achievement along the way is rewarding but knowing we are helping others and spreading an inspirational message makes me so very grateful. When receiving feedback from our customers, other industry professionals, etc. and they share how our messaging has encouraged them, then I know we are onto something and it validates all of the long hours, our team's constant efforts, and the occasional tears.
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
Research and passion are key here along with trial and error. You have to get your feet wet and start somewhere to learn different facets of the industry. Write down your goals and start believing! Mindset is everything, I am a HUGE believer in manifesting your dreams. Hold onto that dream, never give up, and take steps every day toward achieving the overall goal. There will be setbacks but your positive attitude and that passion will get you through. Another secret of mine is NETWORKING! Get to know those around you that share similar goals and interests. Put yourself in their view, join groups, attend workshops, etc. Find those people that encourage you to dream and always, always look for new information and educate yourself! Lastly, do not burn bridges in this industry, it is truly a small world. People that mistreated me many years ago, have come to me countless times looking for work or a reference. Be respectful and remain flexible as things are forever changing in the space.
What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
My relationships in this industry hands down! If I ever have a question, there are countless professionals and mentors I have that are just a quick phone call away.
Who has been the most inspirational person in my life and at what stage?
The most influential person in my life has been my Mom. When I was a teenager my father struggled with mental illness and PTSD from the Vietnam war, so much so he could not continue working. I was the oldest of four children ages ranging 8-17 and my Mom who had been a SAHM for 17 yrs went back to work full time and back to school, eventually getting her degree at almost 50 yrs old. She taught me that women are indeed incredibly strong. I learned from her that is was so important to find something for myself that I could become so passionate about and succeed. Though it is nice to have a partner in life, tomorrow is not promised...anything can happen and it is important for women to be able to hold their own if there ever is a need. I probably would not be where I am today had I not watched her struggle through those difficult years of managing a family, her education, and a career.
Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.- Coco Chanel
At REALHER, our mission is to empower people with our motivational makeup products and teach them about the meanings behind each one. All of our products come with a self-affirmation, that can serve as a daily reminder that you are enough.
Just like our products, the REALHER Makeup Ambassador Program is multi-beneficial: you are your own boss, you choose when you work, you get to earn additional income, and the best part is you can refer a friend!
MAKE SURE TO USE OUR DISCOUNT CODE BELOW TO GET A SPECIAL DISCOUNT. THANK YOU REALHER!
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