Thursday, November 25, 2010

RockABettyBeauty: An Interview with the Mastermind Behind the Makeup

I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder of a most delicious makeup line (and now one of my all-time favorites)--Kimberly McKinney of RockABettyBeauty. When not busy chasing around her four children, (That’s right, I said four) she’s whipping up decadent cosmetics for discriminating ghouls like me.

Cruella:  What made you decide to create RockABettyBeauty?

Kimberly: I am addicted to makeup and beauty products, and I will try anything and everything. I got to the point where I became very specific about what I wanted to use on my body and face, and I was searching for a very specific shade of black--something that was totally me and just perfect. But I couldn't find one anywhere--so I decided to make it myself! I spent about six months researching mineral makeup--how to make it, ingredients and what should and should not be in makeup, even suppliers…

Cruella:  Wow! Such dedication!

Kimberly: Well, it's going on my skin! I want it to be awesome, you know?
The first shade I created was that perfect black! It started out as 'Cunt'--but now you guys know it as 'Potty Mouth.' I loved it! And not only the color, but also the whole process of creating something beautiful, something to make me feel beautiful. So I started making more shades for my friends and myself. It didn’t even start as a business, just something fun for us girls. Needless to say, they all adored the products and convinced me to start selling them! And it just went from there.

Yours truly sporting RABB's 'Primal' shade...
Cruella:  What sets you apart from other home-based cosmetic companies currently?

Kimberly:  I spend a bit of time each week checking out my 'competitors' (although I hate that term), just to see how I compare. One thing that I found is that we are all so passionate about what we do. I love being surrounded by so many amazing handmade cosmetics brands, but I do think that RABB has some very distinct qualities.
For one, my business is all about friends and family, and I love to get to know my customers. I've made some great friends by doing so. I also know that I wouldn't be where I am today without the love, help and support of my family and friends and I think it shows! Most of my testers are my girlfriends. Our main model is one of my best friends, and a friend of mine even created the logo!
I love to show that to customers and honor the things that these people have done for me. I'm not above saying, hey, this is a big deal and I want to do it right, so I do need help sometimes.

Cruella: How do you come up with the shadow names, and what are the chances of a "Cruella" eye shadow in the near future?? I am a RABB pimp, you know...

Kimberly: [laughs] Half the time I pick shade names based on real life or conversations I've had with people. Maneater, for example, is a tattoo that one of my girlfriends has on the inside of her lip. I loved the idea of it--so I went with it! Other examples: Kink is the nickname of one of my friends, and Frostbite is a small ice cream shop in my hometown.
It’s funny you should mention the “Cruella” thing! That was one of the presents I was working on! We think so much alike!

Cruella:  -gasp!- Don’t tell me anything, just surprise me!

[At this point in the interview, I was so happy that I started to daydream about what it was going to look like, and how happy I was going to be to model the new color for the RABB line...]

Cruella:  Have you been seeing an increase in your sales since utilizing social media to sell your beauty line, and if so, has it been a positive experience?

Kimberly: Yes, I have! There's just no other way to run a business like this, especially when you are a small, handmade operation. I find it really helps; it lets you get to know you customers on a more personal basis, and it gives them a chance to talk to me in real time! That is a major plus! My business pretty much runs via social media.

Cruella: What's does RockABettyBeauty have in store for us in the future? A website? Maybe additional beauty products being offered? Ruling the cosmetic world with lip-gloss in one hand and a blush brush in the other?

Kimberly: All of that sounds amazing! I am hoping to open a RABB website within the next year, and am constantly working on new products and new ideas. I have a few that I am hoping to debut by January.

Cruella:  I'd love to push people to your site. Etsy is the best, I assume. And I’m betting you’ll have some specials running for the holidays?

Kimberly:  Yes, it has everything we sell, plus it's so easy for customers to navigate and use! I love to make it easy for people to shop my site. As far as RockABettyBeauty holiday specials, I have a Black Friday weekend thing. Twenty percent off all orders Friday through Sunday, with some free goodies. Plus, we have the limited-edition holiday gift set and a (random shade) free mini eyeshadow with every purchase of $20 or more all next month!

Many thanks to Kim again for creating such amazing products and taking the time to talk to me during one of her busiest seasons. You can purchase her products on Etsy,and be sure to see what she's up to on her Facebook page!

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