Blushington Founder STEPHI MARON
When I started #HangingOut, I wanted to gather and share insights that would empower all of you on your way to find your dream career. After all, knowledge is power. But you know what else is power? Walking out the door looking like your best damn self. That feeling like a million bucks should come without the hefty price-tag is something that today's guest, Stephi Maron, did not only understand – she went ahead and built a company around it.
After graduating with a communications degree and hanging up her intern boots (in couture fashion, nonetheless), Stephi set out to fill a void in the beauty industry when she founded Blushington in 2011. In their beauty and makeup lounges in California, Texas and New York, uniquely trained artists make sure to cater each treatment to your needs only. With a menu covering all bases from makeup applications to facial peels, Blushington is bound to be your new go-to affordable beauty mecca.
As the founder and CCO of a little beauty empire, you best believe no day ever has enough hours. Luckily, we got the chance to chat with Stephi about growing, glowing and gluten (surprisingly):
WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB GROWING UP?
WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
MAKING WOMEN FEEL CONFIDENT INSIDE & OUT THROUGH MAKEUP
WHAT'S THE WORST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
NOTHING, THE CHALLENGES I FACE HELP ME GROW & BECOME A BETTER PERSON AND LEADER.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK A DIFFERENT CAREER TODAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
BEING A MOM
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU LOVE THAT EVERYONE ELSE HATES?
YOU GRADUATED WITH A COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE AND ORIGINALLY STARTED OUT AS AN INTERN IN FASHION. HOW DID THE LEAP TO BEAUTY HAPPEN?
I was studying abroad in London and loved the names of the streets – like Lexington or Kensington. I ended up graduating a year early from college because I knew I wanted to be my own boss and open a makeup and beauty lounge. I wanted the name to be 'Blush' but also something that sounded a bit British. That's how Blushington was born. I’ve always loved everything and anything creative, such as makeup, beauty and fashion. I was an intern for True Religion when the company first started, so I was able to really see what it takes to make a start-up work.
AT NYU.FASHION, WE WANT TO SHOW OUR AUDIENCE THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS LEADING TO YOUR DREAM CAREER. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK COLLEGE IS TO SHAPE THAT PATH?
I think it’s very important, but it’s also really important to listen to your gut. I knew that college was not for me. I listened to my gut, studied hard and graduated a year early so I could open my business. But I do think college helped me in continuing to find my voice, confidence and people skills.
YOU STARTED BLUSHINGTON BECAUSE YOU SAW THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY. WHAT CAN A NEW CUSTOMER EXPECT FROM A VISIT WITH YOU?
I wanted to create a place that was open and inviting, a place for all women, of all races and ethnicities, to feel and look gorgeous. More importantly, I wanted a place where the makeup artists would listen to the needs of each client.
HAVING NOW EXPERIENCED BOTH INDUSTRIES, WHERE DO YOU SEE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE BEAUTY AND FASHION WORLD? ARE THERE ANY TRAITS YOU LEARNED WORKING IN FASHION THAT HELP YOU IN YOUR JOB TODAY?
Hard work is EVERYTHING.
I'M SURE EVERY WORK DAY LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR YOU, BUT CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY AS CEO OF YOUR OWN COMPANY? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TASKS?
When I started Blushington, I was the CEO. After 5 years, I decided to step down and we promoted our amazing president, Natasha Cornstein, to CEO. I am still very involved in the company and am responsible for all things creative. I get to work with my team and our team members in the field on curating the best of independent and national brands. We don’t carry full lines, just the best products from each brand.
BLUSHINGTON HAS AN EVER-GROWING SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING. HOW DID THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT YOUR CAREER AND THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BRAND?
It has been a huge driver for us. When we started, we had no social channels. It was my sister (Editor's note: her sister Nicki is Chief Marketing Officer at Blushington) who said 'We really need to have a social media presence!' Since then, we have seen tremendous success on our digital channels.
SPEAKING OF SOCIAL MEDIA; INFLUENCERS, ESPECIALLY YOUTUBERS, ARE CHANGING THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY AT A RAPID SPEED. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WORKING WITH THEM? ANY GIRL-CRUSHES YOU'D LOVE TO PARTNER WITH?
Yes! I think in our world today, one of the ways we grow our business is by working with influencers and having them help spread the word. I would love to collaborate with Jaclyn Hill, as well as celebrity makeup artists.
MANY YOUNG PEOPLE DREAM OF STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAITS FOR STANDing OUT AND MAKing Their Dreams REALITY?
Education, getting your hands dirty and really understanding your market.
SAY SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY AND LOOKING FOR AN INTERNSHIP. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN GROWING YOUR TEAM?
Positivity and work ethic. Someone who has a hustler mentality and thinks outside the box.
YOU HAVE EXPANDED BLUSHINGTON FROM CALIFORNIA TO DALLAS AND NOW to NEW YORK. WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS FOR BOTH YOUR FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR BRAND?
To continue to open more stores around the US, eventually go global and one day have our own Blushington products.
We've got a special holiday treat for you: from today all the way through Jan. 30, 2018, NYU students get 20% off all makeup services at Blushington! Simply show your student ID & use the code blushlovesnyu between Monday and Thursday (Disclaimer: May not be combined with any other offer. Not valid at the Peel Bar).
Follow Blushington or visit their NY Locations:
1195 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10028
119 W. 56th St., New York, NY 10019
Interviewed by: Annika Lange