Today, we’re talking with Chantal Azamian, a CEO at MOTD Cosmetics – a cruelty-free, vegan makeup brushes brand that, as Chantal describes it, “started with passion and the idea to marry creativity with confidence.”
Their products are available all over US, in stores like: Anthropologie, Revolve, Free People, Lulus, Chiquelle and Great Beauty.
We asked Chantal how she made the first sale, how does she create a buzz around her brand and to what does she contribute her success.
Adored Designs: What made you create MOTD Cosmetics? We know you love makeup, but tell us your story before the business.
Chantal Azamian: I’ve always been a beauty girl. My first job in retail cosmetics was when I was around 21 with Estee Lauder. I then worked my way up the retail chain as a business manager for YSL Beaute. In between my journey I’ve assisted many cosmetic brands as their freelance artist and had my own clientele too. In 2012, I decided to go back to school to get my Marketing Degree my goal was to land a job with a brand as their regional product educator. I’ve always love to teach others about how to take care of their skin, how to apply makeup, and product education. While I was in school my career goal shifted, I came up with the business idea of labeling brushes to help target women that don’t know what each brush is used for and in February 2015 is when I brought MOTD Cosmetics to life.
A: How did you make your first sale?
C: To help launch the business we actually were funded via kickstarter.com My first sales were made by friends, family, and strangers through Instagram that believed in me and my vision.
A: How do you create a buzz around your business?
C: Customer relationships. I’m all about building relationships with my customers and personalizing their experience with my brand. Many of them have turned into ambassadors and friends. We also have a great affiliate team and partner up with influencers that share the same values as we do. If you have a solid strategy and combine it with personalization you’re golden. Small brands have leverage over larger one’s because we are able to do the small things that make such a huge impact.
A: How did you develop key partnerships (with retailers and influencers) and built credibility so quickly?
C: I actually was found by a person who I believed owned my brushes and vouched for the brand with Anthropologie. The buyer there changed my life and from one retailer came another and more brands were catching on to MOTD Cosmetics and how we are so different from other makeup brush brands. With influencers, it’s also all about building relationships as mentioned above and making sure that there’s a commonality between our brand and them.
A: To what do you attribute your success?
C: My success comes from my own personal attributes in conjunction with my customers. I step outside my comfort zones, I’m bendable and not stuck in my ways, I’m not a quitter, and I literally put all of me into this brand. You’ve got to go in with a mindset of “there’s no turning back.” Many people are discouraged by not making money when they start a business or simply not believing in themselves. If you believe in yourself and just give it your all, the rewards will follow.
A: What in your entrepreneurial journey you did not expect?
C: Me getting into stores. It’s still pretty unreal. I hand packaged my first large order with my fiance for Anthropologie and when I saw it in stores, I just cried. All of my hard work was there right on display.
A: What’s your team like?
C: It was a one woman show up until last August. Now I have an amazing gal who helps me with literally everything. She’s a star and I admire her go-getter attitude. We work out of my home office together and I want to make sure that the work environment is fun. We’re in beauty! It’s supposed to be!
A: What are your goals for the future?
C: 4 words. To get into Sephora.
A: We often don’t see our own progress and don’t appreciate the small wins. If you could speak to your younger self, what advice would you give her?
C: You did everything right and I’m so proud of you for staying true to your authentic self, finding a passion and expanding on it.
A: Tell us about your new products line and when/where people can purchase.
C: We’ll be launching 6 new face brushes that will be available in both sets and singles. You can subscribe to our newsletter on motdcosmetics.com for latest news.
We absolutely love how resilient, innovative and creative Chantal has been on her business journey and we’re proud to support her with our website design services (twice already!). See her case study here for more details.
Shop MOTD’s latest collection here.