How many times have you heard that confidence is key to a successful life? Some of us, at one point or another in life, had to fake confidence, when on the inside, you were filled with nothing but self-doubt.
Jamie Kern Lima, a reporter by trade, was living in Los Angeles when she started IT Cosmetics brand from the living room of her apartment. For years she worked non-stop to promote her products and secure investment funding for her beauty company. All she would hear was a sounding ”no” from prospect investors, over and over.
One day, while meeting with a potential investor, Jamie heard the reason why he would not be investing in her company. It had nothing to do with the business, but with Jamie herself. He said she wouldn’t succeed because women didn’t buy makeup from somebody who looked like her.
Jamie wasn’t stick-thin or a model for that matter. She looked like a normal woman, and because of that, she couldn’t possibly be the face of a beauty brand company. He deliberately body-shamed her.
In the investor’s preconceived opinion, only picture-perfect women could represent a cosmetics company, showing how disconnected he was with the real world.
Thankfully, Jamie didn’t listen to him. She continued to push forward and after trying for two years, she finally got a coveted advertising spot on QVC home shopping channel, where she could show her products in front of a large audience. By the end of her live presentation, her products were sold-out.
Since then, It Cosmetics brand experienced an exponential growth and it was later sold to cosmetics giant L’Oréal for 1.2 billion dollars. She stayed with the company to run IT, where she’s now the first L’Oréal female CEO in the company’s history.
Jamie believes part of her success is because of how customers relate to her. She has rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness all over her face. She’s not afraid of removing her makeup in public to show how her skin is really underneath, making her relatable to women with less than perfect skin, showing them how to use her products to achieve a glowing complexion. She calls her loyal customers ”IT girls”.
“It’s not just a sales thing, by me taking off my makeup and showing my rosacea or showing that I have no brows, I hope that women feel better about their own issues, because everyone has them, even if they don’t buy anything.” Jamie said to Entrepreneur.
The infamous investor eventually recognized his error and apologized to her for his rude remarks. Someone once said that confidence is something you create within yourself by believing in who you are. Jamie’s confidence was there all along, she just dared to believe it.
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