I just recently completed ‘Mrs Rodial’s’ book, and have to say it is riddled with practical gems on business! Maria Hatzistefanis, the brains and beauty behind the Kardashian/Jenner favourite skin care brand, Rodial, gives a detailed account of what happens behind the scenes of a successful skincare brand and how she has managed to navigate her way into glamorous magazines, and high-end departments stores. How to be an overnight success is an easy read and she comes across as a very hands on business woman and personable person. In fact the book is almost like a mini map because she offers her formulas to the reader for example there’s quite a bit on how to collaborate with other brands, how to land into a celebrities make-up bag, building your professional/brand presence on social media etc.
Here’s six key lessons for female bosses…
- There’s no such thing as an overnight success. The successful Rodial brand we see today is as a result of a good 19 years of work! Oh, yes. This makes her a much needed voice for today’s female entrepreneur whose most touted business models are House of CB, or Kylie’s Lip kits. Obviously, the latter brands have exploded in a social media generation but many businesses will not automatically explode in the same manner and fashion. She started her brand in 1999, with £20,0000, used Starbucks as her first office and from there began a steady and upward construction of the brand.
- Not all that glitters is gold. She mentions shunning external investment, which had been an option right from the early days, choosing instead to be fuelled by her vision and passion for the brand and a tight budget. She mentions this throughout the book. The absence of big budgets created scenarios were they have had to think outside the box to get things done. When she could not afford to hire a personal assistant, she often had to pretend to be both herself and a personal assistant, voice changes and everything!
- Celebrity endorsement is not the be -all and end- all of a successful beauty brand. The products firstly made their way into celebrity hands before the celebrity collaborations happened, which speaks volumes for the product! She mentions collaborations with Kylie Jenner and Daisy Lowe did help multiply exposure but she uses other unique ideas to build her brand like exciting product names, beauty awards and collaborations with other designers that she felt shared the similar identities of the target customer or complemented the brand, in the process building industry relationships and other useful connections.
- You are your biggest walking advertisement, on and off court! Of course that’s a no brainer coming from a beauty industry entrepreneur but the lesson here is your presentation of self has to be consistent with what you are selling as the current market is not just buying your product but they are also buying into you. She mentions building a personal presence/Instagram page outside the brand that was more personable and relatable but still not far off from the Rodial brand identity. There she show cases her fashion sense, social events, commentary on other beauty trends, etc, and therefore offering her followers a 360 perspective of her life as a beauty industry business woman. All this directly translates into a bigger following for the Rodial brand. This is so true! Today people want to see and hear from brand owners and the best of the best are very active on some form of social media! I mean the other day Jeff Bezos ‘tweeted an instagram photo’, making pancakes for Russell Wilson and Ciara. What in the world does that have to do with Amazon?
- Take care of every aspect of your being. (Physical, mental and emotional). Maria shares how she makes it a point to stay motivated and in shape, saying gym classes and inspirational quotes are part of that formula.
- The path to success is a winding road paved with challenges, risks and often detours. Having moved from Greece to complete a Master’s in Business Administration in New York, she surprised herself by getting a well paying corporate banking job in London. With time, and the reality of a corporate banking job she lost motivation and ended up being fired. And thus, an entrepreneur was born…
I think the book is a great read for today’s female entrepreneur. Here’s a woman who’s been carefully crafting a brand for nineteen years and has achieved a great balance between a healthy amount of personal exposure and a successful brand. I read GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso (founder of Nasty Gal) in the summer last year and the tone is completely different. Maria’s moves seem more thought out and calculated compared to Sophia’s which felt more serendipitous. Both interesting reads but completely different formulas.
In a nutshell, your good thing may take time…