6 LESSONS FROM ‘HOW TO BE AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS’ BY MARIA HATZISTEFANIS

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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! 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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…

HARRY AND MEGHAN’S ROYAL WEDDING ROUND-UP PLUS FASHION FAVOURITES

I have to say I surprised myself when I mistook the day of the royal wedding to be today, Sunday, instead of yesterday, as I have been sort of keeping up with ‘MegMeg and Harry’. Never the less, I managed to be perched in time for her arrival at the altar.

The day I saw Meghan’s mother Doria in dreadlocks, Meghan suddenly meant a bit more to me. Haha! In my mind it was a quick nod to not only the black community but the natural hair community. People and various fashion critics tend to think this kind of hairstyle is dirty, or unprofessional looking, etc. Well she has been welcomed into the most photographed family in the world! Take that! Meghan Markle is refreshing in so many ways but this was one of my  personal little ‘refreshments’. 

I didn’t mind following along up until their big day because to me, they represent a different kind of celebrity. If we are going to have celebrities in this world, lets have Harry and Meghan right in there. Lol. Yes a bit of drama did threaten to thwart their big day but which family does not have drama? At least the happy couple were not feeding it or airing it out for the right price. They tend to be out and about supporting various causes and not the latest in fashion and beauty trends. They sort of just are and are not trying to be.

Now onto the big day…

Can we just give a quick shout out to the prince and his display of varied emotion! Okayyyyyy?! I don’t remember Prince William being as giddy or teary.

The dress, elegant as it was, was reminiscent of a much older bride. That’s immediately what came to mind. It was something that immediately didn’t impress but one that we would later come to appreciate. Some have dubbed it timeless and classic and I do have to concede. I suppose statements are not always about fashion sense, they can be about where we are at a certain point in our lives! A wedding dress is the most personal thing to a bride and her biggest expression and Meghan’s choice did speak volumes! Aside from fashion, to me, it reflected the gracious, calming and mature effect they say she has over her prince. I also think that perhaps the fact that this was not her first time down the isle, played a role in her choice. Older and wiser, more confident about life….

The make-up, I absolutely loved. I am always going to be a fun of a subtle natural look! That will aways be the definition of ‘flawless’ to me. Not the latest in highlight and shimmer, but a warm natural face. I am yet to see one bad facial picture of this beautiful woman! Her face truly is a photographer/magazine’s dream. 

By the end of that church service it was clear who would wear the pants in the marriage! Am dubbing that service ‘The takeover’! Lol. The mere fact that she was visibly able to incorporate so much of her touch to the service was nothing short of amazing. We have to realise it can be intimidating to go up against centuries of tradition and she could have easily just fallen in line and stopped at the mother wearing dreadlocks and being 1/4 black. Instead she brought the vibrant black preacher, and what preacher is complete without his entourage, an all black choir!! Yes Meghan, took us to church!

What more can I say except, congratulations to Harry and Meghan, it all came together like a classic!

And lastly I leave with my top 10 looks of the  entire day….

1. The bride and groom heading for their evening reception. Royal glamour! Enough said!

2. David Beckham in his perfect fit. Victoria framing him quite nicely, wouldn’t you agree?! I don’t feel quite ready to  forgive one of my favourite fashion icons for coming to yet  another spring royal wedding in the exact dark colour as she did the last one!  We are not having it Aunty Vicky!

3. Carey Mulligan for a flirty and printed classic.

4. Lady Kitty Spencer for bringing print and colour in a British quintessential cut! Yes girl! Do it for Diana!

5. Sofia Wellesley, Jame’s Blunt’s wife for this printed perfection!

6. Oprah Winfrey for this pink and pretty Hollywood interpretation of British style.

7. Kate Middleton and my favourite little royal. If this look feels like deja vu, its because she has worn this twice/thrice before.  Nothing short of confidence for this act of repetition in an elegant and timeless McQueen piece. I do think her and Meghan are two peas in a pod and probably agreed this theme for each other over tea and warm biscuits. Sisters- in- law power! Bring it!

8. Tom Hardy’s wife, Charlotte. I mean there’s little wrong you can do when you go with prints!

9. Gina Torres. Just yes!

US actress Gina Torres arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ian WestIAN WEST/AFP/Getty Images

10. This gorgeous duet! Giving us both block colour and print all in one stylish arrival!

That’s all folks. Cast your votes. What were your favourite looks? Comment, subscribe.

Have a great week.