Feature: Blushington Boss Babe
I'm thrilled to share with you an interview I recently held with Stephi Maron, the founder and CCO of Blushington. Stephi is not only a beautiful soul but gracefully fits into the boss babe category. Below is her inspiring story that I hope motivates you to never give up on your dream.
1. Where did the vision for Blushington come from?
My Name is Stephi Maron and from the age of 3 I have loved and worn makeup. Seeking confidence in myself, I tried and tried different looks. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it did not. Some of you reading this can probably share similar stories of excitement and disappointment where blush was too bright or makeup applications at the mall made you feel anything but pretty. Over the years these experiences stayed with me. In 2010, my entire family was in LA for a special event and we were getting pampered with perfect blow outs. It was at this moment I said, “Why isn’t there a place to have our makeup done?” A pretty place that is fun and playful with expert artistry. An inviting place you go to experience professional makeup applications that help to build confidence. This was my eureka moment! I created Blushington with the help of my family; a fun, safe, pretty place to discover makeup, to have an expert application that would make you feel pretty in a space where friends and family can come together to beautify while building memories. It took over 12 months to find the right space, the right products and the right team. The mission was to create the prettiest place to get pretty with the kindest and most expert artists. On December 10, 2011, the first Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge opened in West Hollywood, CA where “Feeling Pretty is Priceless”. Fast forward to 2017. Blushington has expanded to Dallas (December 2012), NYC-Midtown West (August 2015), Topanga, CA (September, 2015) and NYC-Upper East Side (December 2016). In five short years we have firmly established Blushington as the destination of choice for the highest quality professional makeup applications in a trusted and beautiful environment.
2. How did you take an idea and execute to make it a reality?
I first got a business plan together, then I started to really build my team, and on boarded amazing cosmetic brands and it just sort of took off from there. Each step was a learning curve for me since I’ve never owned my own business. But I just kept going, kept learning, researching, and executing. You start to connect the dots and it will all come together.
3. Let’s chat branding, where did you begin?
This was obviously my favorite part since I am such a creative person. We first started with coming up with the name Blushington, and then from there started to pick out the perfect color palette. Once we knew what our color and logo was going to be it made it very easy to then design the brick and morter locations.
4. Hiring the right team makes all the difference to a business. How did you go about finding both the skilled make-up artists as well as the business associates?
Hiring the right team members really does make all the difference to a business. We find our makeup-artists through word of mouth and schools. We have an intensive training program that we use for all Makeup artists and for us listening skills and customer service is key to us when hiring.
5. Growing a business isn’t all glamourous – can you talk about challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
At Blushington and any growing business comes a lot of challenges and a lot of fires you have to put out everyday. There’s always something that comes up and its’ just how you deal and overcome these challenges that make you a better person, team, and company.
6. Throughout the journey of growing a successful business are there words of wisdom that have stuck with you?
You don't have to know every answer. It's okay to not know everything. And not feel like you can control everything. You have to build a team that leads you to your end goal. It's okay to ask questions and to ask for help. When you have a great team behind you, you have a clear path to success. You're going to make mistakes. Just learn from them and try not to let them happen again. Accept the challenges you may face and just know it will make you a stronger and better leader. Learn from your mistakes. Knowledge is power.
7. What advice would you give to a 20-something female entrepreneur?
I have a few great pieces of advice about being an entrepreneur in any industry. One is something my father really instilled in me growing up; honey goes a lot further than vinegar. Treat everyone you meet the way you would want to be treated. You also have to know that you can never give up if you have a passion for what your do, long hours can be expected but they go by very quickly if you love what you do.
8. Now on to the hard stuff: coffee or tea?
Tea for sure.
9. What is the one make up product you couldn’t live without?
Concealer or chaptstick
10. Ok, you gotta tell us! What’s next for Blushington?
In five years, I see Blushington continuing Expansion opportunities in international destinations including Europe, The Middle East and Asia. Development of proprietary Blushington product line in the affordable luxury category with mass distribution. Development and expansion of ecommerce capabilities and the development and distribution of proprietary educational content. Expansion of Blush On The Go, our on demand makeup services provided anywhere, anytime. Expansion of the Blush Up, our proprietary mobile makeup pop-up for weddings, corporate events and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. And lastly, a Blushington Academy for training and recruiting.