It's rare that we find an innovative beauty product that really knocks our socks off. It's even rarer that we get to sit down with the people who helped create it! In this edition of Behind the Brand we're talking to Lori, Sales and Marketing Director of blendSMART. She is the marketing-savvy, creative mastermind behind the brand new and highly innovative rotating makeup brushes we've become completely obsessed with.
Read on to see how Lori took her PR skills to a whole new level creating a totally new brand and category in the beauty market!
The worst job you've ever had?
"Right out of college, I thought I was entering the glamorous world of film working for a producer. My boss was right out of a movie 'the stereotypical creative-type.' She was very emotional, an up and down personality, plus she brought her untrained dog to work. I had to clean up all the mishaps."
What is the best job you've ever had?
"Being part of a start-up brings challenges and stresses, but creating a brand and seeing it grow, multiply, and fill a void in the market is so fulfilling that you’ll never have a better job."
How did you land your first job in the industry?
I worked for Worth Products Group, a product development firm, that products development firm that sees many new and innovative ideas. Most of our products are developed internally, but blendSMART came to us from an outside source. We are so fortunate to land in the competitive beauty space with such a unique and winning product."
Is your career what you expected it to be? What you saw yourself doing in college and early years?
"I had an incredible internship in Washington, D.C. for a powerful political consultant. I was always a political junkie and thought I had found my calling, but when I moved from Washington to Texas, my focus changed. Sometimes a radical geographical move can open new doors and new ideas."
What should someone always do to prep for an interview?
"I am a planner and probably over prepare for everything. I always study the company and the person I will interview with from their position to their college and hobbies. Even though you are in the 'hot' seat, I recommend you try to make that person feel very special and important."
What is your favorite part about your job?
"Connecting with customers is hands down my favorite. When I read a 5-star review or hear feedback that [the product] improves the customers’ life or happiness – even if it’s for a brief moment. I am thrilled."
Any words of advice for women who want to work in marketing/the beauty industry?
"This may sound too easy, but return phone calls and emails immediately. Additionally, make sure you are well-read and knowledgeable. Marketing is a fast-paced, changing industry and if you personify energy and knowledge you have the tools to be successful in either marketing or beauty. I’ll hire you, haha!"
How do you handle setbacks - whether it be a missed opportunity, something not turning out your way, or disagreeing with a co-worker?
"Being in sales and marketing gives you thick skin and prepares you for setbacks. My motto is an African adage, 'you can go fast alone, but far together.' So when I have a setback, I turn to my team and together we collaborate to solve problems."
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned from working/being successful in your industry?
"In business, the lesson learned is, don’t be afraid to go to the top or to the ultimate decision maker when you believe in your message or product. Never take no for an answer. I learned this early from my sales training days."
What was the biggest win or accomplish you've had in your career? Anything you're most proud of?
"We think blendSMART will start a new revolution in makeup application. You don’t get many opportunities to be a part of something this big."
Is there a blendSMART product you're excited to launch/anything we should be watching out for?
"BlendSMART is in the process of commissioning a consumer research company to confirm several new usages and we’re also testing a variety of brush heads to expand the line."
If you haven't already, check out how our co-founder, Elizabeth, uses the blendSMART Automated Makeup Brush System Starter Set!