Authentic Beauty in Atlanta, GA was started in 2008 and is a result of my desire to transform the way the beauty industry does business -from the integrity of the products and sustainability of the packaging, the marketing message and the treatment of makeup artists – to basing our business model on service offerings as our focus rather than retail.

‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching the business: I was attending a personal growth course and it was pointed out to me how small I was playing in my life.

Ideal customer: My ideal customers are women aged 38-65 who are personally aware of wanting to live their best life and express their best self.

Landing first customer: I started my business with existing clientele, but I had to be sure that they would stay with me when I changed locations.

Measuring Success: I measure success by revenue, but most importantly by my repeat clients and loyal clients. My early success came from being featured in several local magazines.

Biggest Struggle: My biggest struggle has been women not staying the course by not focusing on their unwavering commitment to their product or service or not having strong enough self-confidence.  The JOY of Connecting works to ensure success if participants are willing to put in the time.  Lack of patience is a big factor!

My biggest struggle is also being too trusting. I love everyone. As a result, I was taken advantage of. But, I keep moving forward and coming up with new and better strategies and ideas. I focus on all the great things I have in my life and all the wonderful support I have. I have also learned to not tolerate anything or anyone who doesn’t fit with my brand or have my best interest at heart.

Surprise! I am never bored and I am thoroughly drained every day.

Getting Sales: Our partnerships with local magazines really help to drive sales.The minute we are mentioned in a magazine, the phone rings off the hook for appointments.

What I wish I would’ve known: Branding doesn’t happen overnight. Stick to your core values and trust yourself.

What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: The bottom line.

Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job? Yes. And no. I am too far in at this point. I am committed to something so much bigger. I am committed to transforming the way the beauty industry does business. Did I think that would happen easily or overnight? What I am doing has no real model. I am throwing it all up against the wall and seeing if it will stick. That takes courage and tenacity. If I left where would I go?

Moving Forward: I would like my business to be a million dollar business. I am implementing marketing strategies and refining existing ones to take advantage of the loyal clients we have and give them more opportunities to buy. We have over 800 active clients! In addition we are launching our Magic 3 in 1 foundation and makeup line.

Pricing, Getting it Right: I ask “What will the market tolerate?”

Funding: I’m still figuring that one out. For my particular business, which is a female oriented business, I would pitch to those who understand what I’m doing.

A few good tips: Go to the tradeshows and make contacts. It takes a lot of work. You have to trust your instincts. Relationships and networks and social media have been my saving grace. Making friends with the media and being available for whatever they need put me front and center.

Must-Read Online Resources: Must reads would be Woman’s Wear Daily, www.wwd.com, and my facebook feed. I stay in touch with my entire network EVERYDAY.

The absolute best part of owning my business is: it’s mine for better or worse.

If I had to start over again, I would: have trusted myself more, taken a graphic design course and a Quickbooks class.

I never imagined: managing people would be so difficult.

If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “If you have something that is going to make a difference on this planet then get your message heard!”