Q: 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?
A: My name is Quintin Croft, and I am the Founder and CEO of BAQE cosmetics, a cruelty-free makeup line with built in education. After over 10 years in the beauty community, and working with other brands, I felt called to start my own line of beauty products. I really felt like there were gaps in the makeup world that needed to be bridged, and I really wanted to figure out how. The number one reason I would hear from clients after an appointment would be "sure I look beautiful when you do it, but I could never do this, I don't know how!" And that is the problem that needs to be solved.
Everyday women don't need boring makeup anymore than they need boring dinner ideas. If you teach a woman how to do something, she will do it, and be excited about it. So I came up with the idea for BAQE... just like a recipe off of pinterest, a woman would not only try something exciting with her makeup, but learn to do it well and regularly. From that thought I knew that I had to go for it, and began writing it all down on a white board. The first thing I knew was the name BAQE, and second that I would include built in education with every product, and call them recipe cards. This all happened in the span of 24 hours and I began researching every day and all night, for months. Once I felt confident in how to find manufacturing facilities, and which route I wanted to go, I began testing samples from different facilities. I landed on a manufacturer in Los Angeles, and began curating my line. I design everything, colors, packaging, formula, you name it, I have a hand in it. Some of the biggest pieces of the puzzle to this whole idea are that the products had to be accessible to EVERYONE. The packaging cannot be too boring to be on trend, or too ostentatious to be intimidating. It had to be timeless enough that mature women would like it, and fun enough that the young new girls on the scene would be excited. Basically a unicorn haha. But I like to think I nailed it.
From there it was about 6 months until the launch, and BAQE was officially open for business. I'll still never forget the first time I heard the "cha ching" sound come from my phone that day when the first sale came in a mere 2 minutes after the website went live. I'll never forget the immense pride I felt in myself for doing what I set out to do, and don't even get me started on the look on my husband's face when he stood right there to see/hear it all. Since that moment, I've been growing my online business, and doing in person markets and pop ups, and those have brought me some of the greatest joy I can imagine. Those moments where moms are crying in my booth, because for the first time they feel like themselves again after being lost in motherhood, those are the moments that make the time spent away from my 4 kiddos and hubby at home worth it.
If I had to pick my most proud moment it would be that moment I decided to go for it, because that took absolute guts, and gumption to be that vulnerable and try something that truly isn't the easiest thing in the world to do.
Q: What has been the most rewarding phase of your career?
A: That is easy, it definitely has to be the messages, emails, comments, selfies, shares, DMs, reviews and in person testimonials from women, that they feel beautiful, confident, and empowered in their new abilities with their new favorite BAQE products.
Q: What do you do for inspiration? Do you ever hit creative roadblocks and how do you overcome them?
A: I like to pull inspiration from beauty bloggers and influencers on tik tok, instagram, youtube, and pinterest see what is currently on trend and up and coming. I also love looking at what color stories call to me and make sense seasonally. I like to curate products that are functional, and if I can make them versatile, I love that too. I also love to look at products that makeup artists love to use and figure out ways to make them accessible to everyone.
Q: Who has been the most inspirational person in my life and at what stage?
A: Hands down my Husband. I know, super corny, but honestly he is the reason I even was brave enough to start BAQE in the first place. It was him that told me that I was bigger than anything that I had thought of for myself, and it is that reason alone that I felt brave enough to do it. He has been there for me at every step of the way. He celebrates the victories with me, and grounds me when I fall into one of those big dips we as entrepreneurs know all too well. He truly is the rock that grounds me like no one else can. He is the calm to my storm and the perfect sounding board when I need him.
Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
A: 3 things, keep going, keep learning, and let go. When you hit walls like manufactures telling you that your idea isn't great, keep going. When you think you have it figured out and then the algorithm changes, keep learning. When things beyond your control happen, let go. I promise all of these things seem like mountains at first, but as you continue on your journey they become so small in comparison to where you grow.
Q: What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
A: Other women in business hands down. Surrounding myself with other female business owners has been a huge source of my metal success. They had answered questions, offered advice, listened during frustrations (and vocalized their own which helps knowing you aren't alone in those struggles) and they've offered help, and even networking contacts.
Q: What are your top self care routines?
A: I wake up every morning at 5:30 to work out before the rest of my family wakes up. It is one of the biggest ways I center myself and prepare myself for being a busy mom of 4 and doing all the mom things, on top of being a busy business owner. I also make sure that I put away my phone when I need to and be present with my 4 kiddos. Like for instance this summer, we go to the pool for a couple of hours each day, and it has been my haven away from my phone. Also not neglecting when I need a break. If there are nights I can be up all night, 9/10 i do it, but sometimes, every so often, I know I can get it done in the morning, and I will take that time to be with my hubby or go to sleep, whatever it is I need to recharge.
Q: What is the most challenging part about what you do?
A:I would have to say letting go of timelines I have in my head about where my growth should be each month. It's super hard because I am a really competitive person at heart, and want to do things the best I can and quickly, and I have to remind myself that, sometimes, I have to let go of that, and be willing to look at what I've accomplished instead of what needs to still get done.
Q: What do you think is the quality you have that makes it possible for you to do what you do?
A: My work ethic, and my complete inability to not go all in, even if I have to get scrappy to do it. I do not know how to not go 90 mph when it comes to my business, because I want it to work so badly, it is my dream and passion, and I can't imagine not working as hard as I do.
"You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for, so don't squander what you want because you got in your own way." - Quintin Croft Founder and CEO of BAQE Cosmetics