If at first you don’t succeed, try again — especially when you have a mission that’s as important as promoting diversity in the beauty industry.
And that’s exactly what Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder and CEO of the wildly popular IT Cosmetics did after she was told by a prospective investor that shoppers wouldn’t purchase her makeup because of her appearance.
Recounting the tale at the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Achiever Awards, Fox News said Lima explained how her company almost didn’t come to fruition: “I’m just not sure women will buy makeup from someone who looks like you, you know, with your body and your weight,” he said after hearing the pitch. But for Lima, his words weren’t the end; they were only the beginning of her pursuit to prove her naysayers wrong.
“I felt something deep down inside,” she said, according to Yahoo Lifestyle. “And it said, ‘No. You are wrong.'”
From there, Yahoo says the former news anchor, who was inspired to create IT Cosmetics because of her experience dealing with rosacea and hyperpigmentation, began pushing forward by marketing her products in ways that privileged diversity and inclusivity. Eventually, Fox News said Lima landed her big break when she appeared on QVC. “In her products launch on QVC, which sold out,” they report, “she chose models that went against the grain – a 73-year-old woman and an African American model with acne,” sticking true to her mission of representation.
But even after achieving success, Yahoo says Lima concluded her speech by saying she is not yet finished in attempting to create change in the beauty industry.
“She reminded that roomful of beauty executives — ‘the people who singlehandedly decide the images billions of women see around the world’ — to ask themselves: ‘How will these images impact your mothers, and your sisters, and how will they impact your daughters?'”
Oh, and as for that investor, Fox News says that after IT Cosmetics was acquired by L’Oreal for $1.2 billion, she heard from him again. His message?
“Congratulations. I was wrong.”
And that is how you succeed when others think you can’t.