I recently got the chance to chat with the amazing Ima – CEO of Mellow Cosmetics! Hearing this babe’s story of how it first began is a true inspiration to not only me but I’m sure every beauty lover out there.
After the birth of her first child, Ima decided to go full force with the idea of Mellow Cosmetics. It’s something she’s always dreamed of doing, with her vision of creating bold, luxurious but yet affordable makeup that every girl can have it’s no wonder her business is taking the world by storm. After making a brilliant success internationally, Ima now wants to focus on making Mellow a well known brand in New Zealand.
What made you decide to start a makeup company?
I used to work in retail before I had my son, but after having him I simply didn’t want to go back into that field. I thought about what my passions were (apart from my family) and knew makeup was something I wanted to create. From there…I researched how much it would cost for me to create a make-up line (as you’d appreciate it’s a risk with my new born) and if we could make this a viable business.
My husband and I researched everything then decided on a laboratory we were comfortable working with. We started off globally actually focusing on Australia and the States…and it’s only now that we’re really trying to share with Kiwi’s what we can offer.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far?
Stock supplies and keeping up with demand…I simply didn’t realize how popular Mellow Cosmetics would become…I’ve been so humbled by the support of make-up lovers across the world.
Also, creating new products can be quite challenging…from the initial creation, then ensuring it’s the standard that you know consumers will be happy with. It can be really time consuming process, particularly when I’m a full time Mum to Ario (3) and one on the way in early November.
Is it hard creating formulas?
Yes. Definitely! Particularly with our darker colours, it’s really hard to get the colour formulas right. Some were tacky, sticky or really drying on the lips which is not what I want for my lipstick lovers. After some trial and error I decided to add Vitamin E to help hydrate lips – even though they’re a matte finish.
How do you balance work and home life?
Good question! It is difficult. Last night I ended up working until 11.30 to just get through my emails and orders.
But I’m not doing everything alone though, we are a team of three servicing the world (we’re an online business only at this stage). It’s so amazing when a beauty blogger shares the love because stock orders come in almost instantaneously.
I do make a rule of not working Saturdays – that’s family day! We go out to my parent’s farm and try reconnect with nature. Ario runs around and we all kick back for a few hours…it’s definitely needed. Then Sundays it’s back to work filling those orders.
What would you tell someone wanting to start their own line?
Be patient…it definitely takes time! You need to be creative, tenacious and be prepared to take huge risks. For me, it was all about taking this risk. I wouldn’t change it for the world, I’ve learnt so much!
Is there anything you would do differently?
The first year I didn’t promote myself at all. Marketing is a huge point to get your brand out there. If I were to turn back the clock I would be investing in promoting my brand at the same time as working on new product lines (I was too busy creating lots of colour options…but people can’t buy what they don’t know about).
What would you like the future to hold for Mellow Cosmetics?
I want to be one of the leaders in the beauty industry. I’m currently working to get into some US and Australia based departments stores, and I hope one day NZ too!
Be sure to check out www.mellowcosmetics.com – Ima stocks an amazing range of lipsticks, blushes and lip paints.