Women unite! In celebration of International Women’s Day and in anticipation of the upcoming Us Marketplace, Us Weekly assembled a panel of five female CEO’s and business owners to discuss their path in finding their passions, how they navigated stereotypes and turned their ideas into successful businesses.
The women — Kim Roxie, founder and CEO of Lamik Beauty, Katie Kaps, cofounder and co CEO of HigherDOSE, Diana Madison founder of Diana Madison Beauty, Marci Zaroff, founder and CEO of ECOfashion Corp and Samantha Conn, founder of the jewelry line Luna Skye — gathered at The Thompson Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and agreed that the support of women and their audiences helped turn their passions into reality.
“When I launched a product, everybody was really supportive and that is the beautiful thing about just my friends and women,” Madison told Us of her line of clean and natural skincare products made with millennial moms in mind. “It’s interesting because people are excited about a product that’s going to help them look and feel good. So, it’s kind of thriving on that kind of essence. Like, what’s that new product? How could it help me? How is it going to help my skin? How is it going to make me feel good? So, it went off that base, and just like everybody started posting about it and some of my favorite celebrities were using it, which was so crazy.”
The power of celebrity helped garner attention to Roxie’s business as her makeup was featured in Tiffany Haddish’s 2020 film, Like a Boss. The beauty guru sent her Lamik beauty products, which is a clean beauty brand that keeps multicultural women top of mind, to the set unbeknownst that it would make it into the film.
“That was a really big deal for us because that movie is about creating a beauty brand,” Roxie told Us. “And I really just saw my future in that movie and that was a really big moment for me.”
As for Kaps, her business, HigherDose, a one-of-a-kind spa experience that combines the benefits of infrared and healing light therapy, was open for two weeks when she was visited by an A-list star.
“We started with a very small group of friends and family round of funding, so we were very scrappy in how we launched, and we actually opened in the basement of a shared wellness center,” Kaps explained to Us. “But within two weeks, I’ll never forget, I was actually working the front desk and somehow Leonardo DiCaprio walked in with an entourage of people out of nowhere. That’s when I realized, ‘OK, there’s something there.’”
Conn also has the power of A-list celebrities on her side as her jewelry collection has now been worn by celebrities including, Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry.
“I feel like each different phase evolves into a different level of your business and you level up and you kind of change and grow,” Conn explained to Us. “I think, honestly, just being able to create my own schedule and kind of make decisions that aren’t necessarily like fear based or out of desperation or just circumstance was kind of when I started to feel like things are kind of settled and this is here, and I have something.”
In Zaroff’s case, she had to overcome several hurdles in creating ECOFashion Corp, which includes organic lifestyle brands, Farm to Home and ECOfashion brand YES AND.
“Originally there were all these stigmas with sustainable fashion, and I think for me, it was always about kind of setting that vision and saying that if people are already embracing food and being more conscious, eventually they’ll catch on to fashion,” Zaroff told Us. “As we evolve and you plant that seed of consciousness, it will continue to grow.”
To find out how these women overcame obstacles in creating their business and what advice they have for young female entrepreneurs, watch the videos above. To watch the full panel, click here and share using the hashtags #UsWomen #UsNow #UsWeekly #UsMarketplace.