The Makeup of Two Entrepreneurs- Chapter 1

I have been dreaming of creating this post for quite some time but have always found a new reason to replace it with another topic. This is something I've really been wanting to share but felt restrained by a fear of failing in front of a crowd. But after going back and forth again and again in my head, I concluded that not sharing this information out of fear of failure was a terrible attitude to have when starting a new business. Therefore, I decided what might be more advantageous would be to share this entrepreneurial journey with you in a new blog series,"The Makeup of Two Entrepreneurs".  In this series, you will be able to come and learn the story of what happens when two eye doctors are trying to start a cosmetic business with their savings and their American dream. It will be a place of honesty where you will most likely hear the trials and tribulations of launching a new business, but I hope it will also be a place to inspire other entrepreneurs.

So it is my pleasure to introduce the other eye doctor in this venture, one of my dearest friends, Erin Lessner, MD. Erin and I met at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine when she was a resident, and we immediately bonded over our fondness for eye care, good wine and Banana Republic. Erin is the exact type of person you would want as a business partner- someone you can laugh with, someone that can offer you a different perspective and someone that's smarter than you. On top of launching this business, Erin, after completing her Orbital and Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles, is starting her practice at a renowned plastic surgery center in the beautiful Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The drive for starting our makeup line came from not having a sound answer when our patients would ask us "What makeup is good for my eyes?" There are a number of natural, talc-free lines we could rattle off, but we never felt 100% comfortable with our responses since we wouldn't wear it ourselves from an aesthetic perspective. So we actually started studying the decks of common eye cosmetic ingredients and became a little shocked and disappointed by what's being applied to lashes, the tear line as well as the thin, sensitive eye lid area. Not only are many of the questionable ingredients absorbed into your body after application but many are also common allergens and irritants that you wear on your eyes all day long. So we made it our goal to formulate a line of cosmetics that contained ingredients that we, as eye doctors, felt comfortable being around the eyes but also cosmetics that were high performing with beautiful results.

So presently, we're spending a lot of time on conference calls with cosmetic chemists trying to find the perfect match who shares our vision and can help us turn our list of approved ingredients into our first product. Although we want to use only ingredients we find safe or even beneficial to the eyes, we still want to maintain a beautifully applied makeup. As far as R&D and manufacturing we found we can initially go with one of two options. The first is with the chemist that will do your R&D but also require they manufacture the product and they maintain ownership of the formulation. The second is with the chemist that will do just R&D but at a higher cost since they're profiting off your manufacturing. It gets tricky since when you're starting out it's difficult to find a manufacturing facility willing to do minimum order quantities of less than 20,000 units. So, although the 2nd option allows you more freedom with your manufacturing, costs are significantly higher up front. Did I mention that one of our stipulations is that all our products be made in America?

Although there are numerous reasons I started this blog, one was to gain an understanding of HTML and web design so I could develop our own e-commerce site with the launch of this company. Although I was able to learn a little from the University of Google, going from this simple Blogger platform into designing a Self Hosted Wordpress website has been kind of like going from a Toyota to a Spaceship. Therefore, if you start a blog in hopes of it leading you to one day being able to create your own business website, I would recommend jumping straight into Wordpress.

So that's where we are and I will continue to update you guys on our entrepreneurial journey! I have never been more simultaneously scared and excited in my entire life! Until next time!


  1. Best of luck, Nicole! Excited to see your line.

  2. Thank you so much! I'll let you know when we launch!


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top