After being diagnosed with cancer several years ago, twenty-four year-old Jessica Lighter (pictured left), decided to turn her attention to a productive hobby, which quickly became a bankable beauty brand.
In 2007, Lighter launched Cliché Cosmetics, a cosmetics brand focused on the teen and young adult cosmetics industry. Looking to capitalize on a booming industry and capture her share of an estimated eight billion dollars (USD) of annual cosmetics spending, Lighter turned her hobby into a sustainable business. Soon after, the young entrepreneur began producing product lines for popular dancers and stars of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
Learn how Jessica developed an international beauty brand, and why Google is, literally, her best friend in business.
Founder, Age: Jessica Lighter, 24
Company: Cliché Cosmetics
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
Startup Year: 2007
Startup Costs: $5,000
How I Got Started:
I started Cliché Cosmetics after I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. To keep myself busy, I developed the company and it turned into something much bigger than the hobby it originally began as.
It started as a simple makeup company which soon morphed into a stage makeup company, after realizing how important it is to focus on a niche. Stage makeup is exactly where my company belongs.
As a former dancer, I wanted to make cosmetics simpler. I realized that it wasn’t only the dance world that needed simplified makeup, it was everyone. Hey, if the makeup can last on a dancer under hot stage lights, it can certainly last on the girl next door.
The makeup line was designed to be as high quality as department store cosmetics, but without the heavy price tag to match.
It wasn’t easy, but you can get anywhere if you keep trying, as I still am.
Best Success Story:
I’ve gotten celebrities and professional dancers on board, held events, and sold products across the country. From “So You Think You Can Dance” stars to models, cheerleaders, and more, we’ve enlisted a lot of great people to help promote the brand.
Getting celebrities involved was one of the most exciting moments for me. It added credibility to the brand and lots of dancers started purchasing our products.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
Getting turned down time and time again was the biggest challenge. Not many people want to give you a chance; you just have to believe in yourself. Every time I was shut down, I would think how close I must be to getting a “yes.” Someone will believe in you.
#1 Tip for New Entrepreneurs:
Google is my best friend. It’s incredible what you can find online, which really cuts down on costs. I taught myself how to make my own website and have downloaded several different free products to help me run my business on a budget.
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