“Pink Stiletto Cosmetics started as an idea in a notebook after becoming frustrated with makeup products that did not perform as advertised,” makeup artist Crystal Carmen recalls. “They were not vibrant on every skin tone.”
Carmen decided to create a cosmetics brand that delivered on its promises — and was eco-friendly, too. First, she learned how to develop cosmetic formulas, and sold her creations online. Then, she added in-person fashion and beauty events to her sales schedule.
“After numerous requests for private instruction, I moved into teaching others how to apply makeup,” Carmen says. Monthly, all-inclusive makeup classes called Contoured and Flawless have become popular among beginners and cosmetologists alike.
Connecting with customers one on one came naturally for Carmen, but growing her business to accommodate wholesale orders has been more difficult. She sought out SCORE as she considered opening a retail location.
“Since working with SCORE I have a line of credit ready to handle [large wholesale orders],” Carmen reports. “The knowledge that I’m ready to take on large orders has made offering my line to retail locations much easier.” Carmen has opened Pink Stiletto Cosmetics’ first Beauty Studio, which offers wedding and prom makeup packages, private shopping appointments, and regular retail hours.
Carmen has also been able to hire a batch specialist and an event assistant to keep her business organized and efficient. “Our revenue has increased,” she reports.
“I wanted an objective perspective on my business, marketing concepts and business plan,” Carmen says. She attended a Banker’s Round Table event to get an inside view of what bankers would think of her business plan.
Carmen met with volunteer mentor John Lippman to discuss her business vision, marketing, financing, and more. She says Lippman has helped by asking pertinent questions. “These questions helped me weigh my options and decide what direction I felt was best to go in.”