As a blogger, I’ve tried countless beauty products. My lipstick collection exceeds 50 colors. Yet, despite having tried nearly every brand in Sephora, I find myself grabbing the same lip crayon over and over. The brand is treStiQue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. It wasn’t until early this year that they made their debut in Sephora, under the #scouted initiative. But before you go back and buy the eyebrow pencil you’re only kind of happy with again, try their brow pencil/gel duo. I had the chance to speak with Jennifer Kapahi, CEO of treStiQue about her journey as a founder.
M: I’m convinced that your blush is the best one on the market. What is your favorite trèStiQue product?
SO hard to choose! My 3 go-to products i would have to take with me no matter what are the highlighter, brow & concealer. I also am obsessed with our new matte stick! So cool launching innovation into a crowded market.
M: I read on The Knot that your family has an organic farm. Have you taken anything you’ve learned from your family business and incorporated that into your beauty brand?
You have to work really, really hard in order to make your dreams happen. I started working at 8 and haven’t stopped since 🙂 Also I learned that when you grow ( or make) a fabulous product people will keep coming back for it no matter what. In a crowded marketplace you have to stand out in order to create a point of difference.
When you go away on vacation, what products do you bring with you?
My essential 8 set with all my treStiQue products & le pak. A cashmere scarf that doubles as a blanket, an extra phone charger and a luxurious hand cream.
Congratulations on your new deal with Sephora! How did you initially view trèStiQue’s brick and mortar presence?
Thank you! we have always felt that Sephora was best in class in retail. We love how they started cultivating indie brands with their new #scouted initiatives & felt that was the perfect place for us to partner.
You started off as a makeup artist, do you think that’s been beneficial in starting a makeup line?
Yes! I always remember working one-on-one with customers and hearing their concerns and questions about products and application. It was very helpful understanding what they were looking for. I wanted to create an easy to use line that made application simple for real women.
As a makeup artist, what was your favorite makeup brand to work with? Are there other beauty entrepreneurs you looked up to when creating trèStiQue?
I always loved different brands- as an artist you mix and match to create your perfect kit. I loved Chanel lips, Bobbi brown and Stila shadows, Clarins lip balm and Clinique foundations. I looked up to the “small brands” who started with cool and different propositions such as Anastasia and Jouer and Smashbox ( of course now they are HUGE!)
What has been your biggest disappointment as an entrepreneur, how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t call it disappointment but the biggest challenge has been trying to build brand awareness without huge capital or investment behind us. We are trying to work hard to do events, sampling campaigns and other collaborations to get our name out there- it just takes longer when you are smaller in the face of all the competition.
What advice would you like to offer someone looking to start their own beauty brand?
Learn the market! You have to study all the products and the really know your customer. Ultimately she is the one who will make or break your business with her support.