Marla Beck – Co-Founder and Former CEO of Bluemercury

Episode 144

Gracing us is the incredible Marla Beck, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Bluemercury, the first omni-channel beauty retailer. In this episode, we talk about how she decided to start beauty e-commerce in 1999 and disrupt the beauty industry. Listen to Marla’s insightful stories about the importance of pivoting in business and innovating to fill the gaps in consumer needs. If you’re looking for inspiration to innovate and pivot in your entrepreneurial journey, definitely check this one out!

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Transcript

00:00

I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just sort of making sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked out. So your

00:14

the only choice should be

Kara Goldin  00:16

go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara golden from the Kara golden show. And I am so excited for my next guest. I have not caught up with her for a couple of weeks. So we were gabbing for a few minutes even before or a couple of weeks. What am I saying? Couple years. So it was really, really exciting to be able to catch up with her. So Marla back who is the CEO and founder of a brand that I would guess you guys have heard of. It’s one of my favorite, favorite beauty destinations. And it’s called Blue mercury. And it is this incredible company that again Marilla founded and was the CEO and she just told me that she stepped down just this week. So by the time this comes out in a couple of weeks, it will be a couple of weeks old, but I’m dying to hear more about that. And blue mercury now has over I don’t know if it is 60 stores or no we’re

Marla Beck  01:45

almost at 200 100

Kara Goldin  01:47

That’s what I thought I thought you were even bigger than that. Okay, I guess maybe 60 stores were was purchased by Macy’s. Right? That’s correct. Got it. So amazing to have her here. I just there’s so many burning questions along the way and hearing about her journey. And I just know, she’s one of the smartest entrepreneurs I know and has just gone through this incredible journey that we can all learn from so welcome. Well, thank

Marla Beck  02:15

you for having me. It’s a complete honor and talks about smart entrepreneurs. You know, I’m sitting in front of one right now. So thank you.

Kara Goldin  02:23

So nice. So like, how did this all begin? So you were doing you just wake up and start blue mercury or where what was your background? Yeah,

Marla Beck  02:33

I mean, never happens like that. Right? So I think I was always a hustler. So I grew up in California, my dad had never gone to college, he started an insurance agency and a real estate development company when he was in his 20s. And he put me to work in his accounting department when I was in high school. And so I think I was exposed to the gods of Business at a pretty young age. And back then the way you did accounting is you actually did everything by hand and used a calculator, there were no spreadsheets or anything like that. And so it was it was a really strong lesson and sort of how important the cash side of the business is. When I went to Berkeley, I worked at McKinsey and Company and consulting, and then went straight back to grad school did a joint degree at Harvard and public policy and business. So I always straddle both worlds. And it was really the beginning of the internet when I was in graduate school. And so a super interesting time, an obscure entrepreneur came to campus and was talking to us about the future of e-commerce and only 30 people showed up for his talk, we had just gotten our first email addresses. And we didn’t even know what to do with them. By the way, we still, you know, called each other and left messages on our answering machines. So he’s explained his future world of how we were going to buy and sell everything on the internet. And it was Jeff Bezos, and his company was only a couple of years old, wasn’t even public yet. But it was like a crack in the future had opened up to me and sort of, you know, pondering this, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs were coming to campus during that time. You know, I started to think about entrepreneurship. And I, you know, some people say, Well, were you a born entrepreneur? And I say, absolutely not. I was not a kind kid that had a lemonade stand or, you know, did bake sales or do anything like that. So it wasn’t really in my nature, I was always just kind of into business and economics. A professor of mine, actually, the government school, said to me, I see you as an entrepreneur, you should start a company when you graduate and not go back into management consulting. And I think that sort of, you know, piqued my interest. I ended up going into finance for a year. After graduate school, he placed me actually in a firm he knew in Washington, DC. And then I realized I was in the wrong place. We were doing investments in office products, companies, janitorial maintenance firms, electrical contractors, it was just, it was such a contrast from the world I had been exposed to in graduate school, which was really the future of technology. And so I started looking for ideas to bring to eCommerce and actually met my future husband when I tried to buy his company, which was in janitorial maintenance. And we both decided we wanted to be in commerce. So So here, we start with this idea, we want to be in e-commerce, we don’t know what we want to do. We start thinking and brainstorming and a million stupid ideas. But I was always a beauty junkie. So even growing up in California, was just a hobby. I knew everything about skincare products. There were a lot of young brands that are created in California, there still are today. And I realized on the East Coast, these brands didn’t exist. And so I thought, well, why not bring beauty products to the internet. And we were one of the first beauty e-commerce companies back in 1999. We launched we were the first to bring brands like NARS to the internet. The only problem is we were too early. So nobody was shopping on the internet back then. If you remember the movie, and it’s sort of fun to watch today, you’ve got mail, you would everybody would dial-up on AOL, and wait and wait and wait to get online. And it took forever. So it wasn’t convenient at all to shop on e-commerce. So it’s a great example  of good idea. Way too early.

Kara Goldin  06:42

Well, and I think it was a category. So I mean, I was at AOL. So I was running their shopping partnerships. And at that time, and so I know that time, so well, it was you know, it was interesting because I have my own Jeff Bezos story back from 1996, where I’m helping him build a bookshelf and at UF in his warehouse, and yes, Jeff Bezos does, he did build bookshelves. I’m not sure if he does it anymore. I would imagine if he had to, he would. But I think for me, it was a time that it was very, very clear that there were these categories, right, there were flowers, there were books, and I think beauty people were still kind of trying to figure it out. So I totally agree with you. I think that there was a, I knew Leslie Blodgett at bare essentials. And I mean, that business was tiny. It was it just was at that. And then she figured out to take it to QVC. And you know, and she went and built it there. And then it came back. And so it is, I think your point about timing, though, is just you can be too early, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea. So what did you do during that time? Yeah, so

Marla Beck  07:53

we had raised seed capital pretty easily. It was a little bit like now, which is, you know, people were really excited about new ventures. The challenge is, we didn’t quite raise enough to be a dominant internet company. And all of a sudden, there were four or five other BD e-commerce companies that had raised like $20 million each. And so we were that clear sort of the sixth player in PT e-commerce in terms of a fun name. So we looked around, and you know, we thought about the industry. And back then you could only buy cosmetics at drugstores or department stores. There weren’t freestanding beauty stores. Sephora wasn’t here. Ulta wasn’t a thing. And so we decided actually to buy a little gift shop in Georgetown in Washington, DC that had a couple of beauty brands but was mainly a gift shop. And we turn that into blue Mercury’s first store. And the response to having a beauty store that was open sell where the clients could touch all the products, and that the staff was trained in all brands, which was revolutionary back then, because of the department stores, everything was behind glass counter was there were sales associates that were only trained in a single brand. And so to flip the idea on its head and say, customer for us to walk in and we’re gonna help you with whatever you need was revolutionary at the time and really compelling. And honestly, that first store did way more than our digital site for a long time. And because of the success, we just started opening stores up and down the East Coast, and the stores generated cash flow so that for a long time find it the internet business. And so we were reaomnichannelnnel so early and trying to figure out how do we disrupt the entire industry, not just one channel of it. And so it was hard that we almost ran out of money that the first year we had the sleepless nights that almost every entrepreneur has which is am I gonna make it and you know I used to work in that store at As the store manager, you know, cleaning shelves, you know, stocking product, ringing the register. And people used to tease me here I, you know, had all these degrees and was, you know, and I was highly educated, but then I was a shopkeeper. But that’s how you learn is being on the front lines and rolling up your sleeves. So that was some of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Kara Goldin  10:24

Yeah, and you don’t forget those times either, right, you could still walk into a blue mercury store and do that and do the cash register and figure that stuff out. And I think those are the best entrepreneurs, you may not do it every single day, but the fact that you know how to do it, right, and 100%. Yeah, and be able to figure this stuff out. And I think that those are, I mean, I view you as not only a visionary CEO, but somebody who is willing to get scrappy, because you’ve done most of the roles in this company, to when you’ve seen the hard days, and how did you get out of those times. And as you know, I just wrote a book and so many of these stories along the way, very, very similar in so many respects. So I love the fact that you actually, you know, call it a pivot or call it a, you know, what I saw in that story that you just told about figuring out how to, or that it was time to launch a store was that you kind of said, What can we do, right, and during this time, and you didn’t shut down the e-commerce business, you just said it’s got to do its thing. And I’m gonna go over here for now, which I think is such a huge, it’s just very similar situation, no matter what the industry is, for so many entrepreneurs,

Marla Beck  11:41

the I think what you do at a certain point, and you’ve experienced this is you decide if you want your business to survive, right, it’s, it’s kind of a mental decision that you make, which is you’re going to just stick with it through thick and thin, and just by brute force make it happen. Because I think some entrepreneurs do burn out, and they decide to shut their businesses down, whether for money reasons, or whatever. But other entrepreneurs, you know, maybe scale back, you know, really far and decide they’re going to make it through and you hear those stories, too. But entrepreneurship is a journey of ups and downs. And even today, 21 years later, it’s still a journey of ups and downs, when you are running the company, it’s a journey. There’sendpointoint, right? Unless you make the decision that there’sendpointoint. And you’re right, we would have called it a pivot. But back then that terminology did not exist. This, you know, which I’m glad it does now because the pivot is part of being an entrepreneur now. And it makes it so that doors open, we were we had a choice, it was either bankruptcy or not. And that doesn’t sound is fun. It is a pivot. So I love the word pivot.

13:03

I love that.

Marla Beck  13:03

So very, very important for that has come into entrepreneurship.

Kara Goldin  13:08

It’s sort of ironic to think about this now. then then you know, the large department stores have their beauty counters. So people ever say to you why, why do you need a store? Those are the doubters, right? And of course, you know that those challenging times, I think, how did you deal with those? Yeah, so

Marla Beck  13:26

investors have hypotheses about what your business should look like. And so back in the late 90s, early 2000s, people wanted pure-play internet companies, they thought that if you did something in the real world, you would devalue your company. And so we had to go against that philosophy. You know, I grew up in California at the sort of, you know, wild west, I think my dad was entrepreneurial and didn’t follow some, you know, prescribed path. So, I think I really didn’t see rules as a barrier. And so when they would say something like that, to me, I’d be like, well, that’s stupid, just to have a reason. You know, there’s one reason it should be one way it doesn’t make sense. So I think that willingness to break rules, was an advantage for me. And I really think a lot of entrepreneurs have to be comfortable breaking the rules, if it makes sense to break rules, right? And that doesn’t mean do something illegal, but it means not look at existing structures, as you know, set and fixed, right, being willing to say, Well, you know, it doesn’t have to be done that way.

Kara Goldin  14:38

Totally. And that’s what innovation is. And it was I had an entrepreneur on the other day, and he was mentioning that you know, he thinks that he should have probably had more business experience before getting in and he probably should have given it to the people with lots more experience and I stopped the recording I said, Hold on a minute, I said, don’t discount what you’ve built. Because those people that you’re saying have more experience, they would have never gotten it as far as you’ve got it. And it’s true. I mean, it’s, it’s that you’re the visionary, you’re the one that’s pushing, you know, the peanut forward and, and taking those risks. And, and I just think it’s, it’s a, it’s a lot, though, because it’s not like those things. It’s not like you don’t hear those things. And there are days when it’s really hard, and you’re on the brink of shutting your company down, you’re thinking maybe I should write and maybe I should listen to those people. But it’s, it’s really that balance of continuing to figure out how to move it forward. Yeah,

Marla Beck  15:40

I think the philosophy has evolved, right, it used to be that venture would say, get your business to a certain point, then, you know, hire a CEO, because they’re going to know better how to grow it. And I think that philosophy has changed and that the DNA of the company and the culture of the company is more important than hiring, you know, an experienced manager to be CEO. And instead, you hire around you. And I, I’m so glad that that philosophy has changed. Because I think culture wins. And just taking out the founder to me just doesn’t make sense.

Kara Goldin  16:21

Yeah. Now you lose. I mean, I’m living. Right. It’s, uh, but it does. And I think it’s, it’s something that I think a lot about, too, and I talk a lot about, about picking the right partners and people who are investing in you, and do they believe that and, and I totally agree. So the e-commerce side, what what was the year that the e-commerce side really started to kind of pick back up again,

Marla Beck  16:46

um, you know, probably three or four years later, or so what ended up happening was that the stores were great acquisition models for the e-commerce site. So I was a data person from the beginning, and all of our stores were linked. And so we’re really good at collecting email addresses and all of our client information, even without having a loyalty program. So it’s probably the cheapest acquisition tool you could have back then. And so every time we expanded our store account, we would get new customers. And so, the e-commerce site started growing with our current customer base, after a couple of years, when people were really starting to adopt e-commerce. It’s gone in weights, right. So, you know, the advent of the iPhone, and the adoption of that technology really helped. And then, you know, COVID, with everybody at home was kind of the next way, which is we saw a level of adoption, accelerate that we expected, you know, five or 10 years. And so I think, you know, adoption cycles for purchasing beauty on the internet, you know, had a couple of phases, but it was really the store expansion that drove our expansion of the e-commerce site back then.

Kara Goldin  18:02

And how did you feel? Obviously, there were competitors? I mean, Sephora, and others that cropped up along the way. Did you feel like that just grew your category and more than anything?

Marla Beck  18:16

Yeah. So it’s an interesting point. So one of the floors first 10 stores they open next year, our very first store in Georgetown. And so we learned how to compete with them really early on, you know, we were panicked at first. But then we understood what our point of difference was, and so we leaned into a strength in skincare. We had spas at every location, we leaned into being you know, very high advice. You know, brides could come in and have their makeup done so so we had a point of difference. Their real estate strategy was different from ours so was Ulta. So there were a lot of markets where we had no competition for a very long time. So we didn’t do malls, we did freestanding stores, in neighborhoods where our clients lived and worked. And that was really a specific strategy. So we would do urban settings. We would do suburban settings and outdoor near maybe Starbucks. And so we had a really differentiated real estate strategy for a long time. And so although there was competition, everybody was expanding in different lanes. And so it really enabled us to grow. So and then now, you know, everybody’s has a lot of stores and eCommerce. And so now it’s back to sort of what’s your merchandising point of difference? What is your service point of difference? And then, you know, we also started creating our own brands. So we saw gaps in the market, create our own brands, and then we don’t sell them outside of Bluemercury. So it creates stickiness with the consumer.

Kara Goldin  19:50

That’s awesome. What year was that? That you started doing your own? Yeah, so

Marla Beck  19:53

our first brand was in 2012 and 61 was clean clinical skincare. brand. We, we couldn’t find a brand in the market that really matter consumers needs. We had clients coming in saying I love the natural brands on the market, they really don’t do anything to my skin, they don’t make my skin better. And then other clients coming in and saying I love the doctors and dermatologists brands, it was a whole wave of dermatologists launching brands, but they were full of chemicals and toxins that they didn’t want in their skincare. So, m 61 really took this idea of really powerful dermatologists ingredients like vitamin A vitamin C, which dermatologists are always prescribing and married that with powerful naturals, and about 200 ingredients that can’t be in in the brand. And so I think you know, took off right away because it really filled a gap that wasn’t being met. And then in 2015, we launched a vegan cosmetics line. So we did not have a vegan cosmetics line in our store, the market was really slow to move into that we had a lot of clients that wanted that. So clean vegan, cosmetics that get you out the door in 10 minutes or less. So it always came from these brands and products come from gaps in the market that we see. Because we’re so in touch with the consumer, we have a really open network where our staff is really comfortable telling us opportunities they see where it’s not a really hard hierarchical company where the ideas come from the top, the ideas come from everywhere. And so we do listening calls with our staff or, you know, the tour I love going to the stores and hearing what people have like What’s missing? So really sort of a fluid organization in terms of how ideas come about,

Kara Goldin  21:40

do you get more insight going into stores versus online? I an interesting question because I think when I want inspiration for our company for flavors, for example, I end up still going into stores?

Marla Beck  21:55

It’s a good question. So you can look at all the data. And that gives you the science but the art isn’t there, there’s no nuance to the data. And I find whether I pop into a store, or now we use zoom so much with our staff, which is thanking God for COVID because we’re so much more connected to our stores and our staff than we’ve ever been. I just find that energy around how they describe things or you know, the conviction or, you know, just they remember things they maybe wouldn’t remember. And so yeah, just that that one-to-one cone-to-one or that in, in person, coin-person has an energy that you just can’t get through a screen. So yes, I find more ideas from the field. Although the video calls are amazing for us. We can always do it before we just didn’t,

Kara Goldin  22:51

right? Yeah, no, I think that that’s so true. So in funding the company early on it, so did you use angels or was you ,talked a little bit about venture but

Marla Beck  23:01

we had angels and 99 seed, and it was mainly all sorts of finance people from DC, I just built that network. So managing directors from the Carlyle Group, you know, wrote checks. So it was a great community, Steve Case, you know, from AOL wrote a check. So the DC community really funded us upfront. Because we have physical assets, like inventory and stores, we then could go to the debt Marto kets, banks would loan against our inventory. And so we kind of skipped series A B, and move straight to private equity. So in 2007, we took big private equity from a group called the investing group investing adore, and then that was enough to get all the way to a strategic acquisition. So we skipped that metal round, because we had a profitable business. And because we could get bank debt, you know, as we grew, we had more assets to loan against. So people forget the bank debt opportunity. But if you have assets that you can loan against, which was inventory for us, it’s actually a viable option.

Kara Goldin  24:11

Yeah, inventory financing, for sure. And and that’s my super, super, super helpful. So did you feel like would you do anything different and funding the company? I mean, it sort of knowing what, you know,

24:25

it’s a great question.

24:26

I mean,

Marla Beck  24:27

could we have grown more quickly earlier? Probably, we just made a choice to grow at a reasonable pace so we could maintain the service model. You know, it all worked out. So I can say I wouldn’t do anything differently. But I think, you know, we probably could have accelerated our store count earlier. That’s what I would say, more than anything. And was that right or wrong? I don’t know. I mean, I think there are business cycles and in building a business that you have to pay attention to, I mean, we went through 911. You know, in the.com, crash, we went through, oh, seven away, right. And then now we just went through COVID. And I think, you know, as an entrepreneur, you have to realize there’s always going to be those business cycles and timing your capital raises, and really thinking about what is right for your company, it is important because there were years where we had taken seed capital, and there was no market, the VC wasn’t investing in businesses, and, oh, 203, it just really dried up. And so we had to build a real business. So you’re not always in charge of whether capital is out there for your business. And I think it’s important to remember, you know, a couple of years ago, people were telling entrepreneurs, you know, to really go towards profitability, which was kind of knew for some entrepreneur, that that the capital wasn’t going to be out there. If the economy starts to sputter, COVID came, you know, some people could raise money, and some couldn’t. And so I think watching those financial cycles is important. And I say, as an entrepreneur, you know, you’re, you’re managing your profit and loss statement. And you’re also managing your balance sheet. And they’re not always in the same phase. So you, you have to be aware of the financial side, also, and when those capital windows are open for you.

Kara Goldin  26:27

That’s so true. Such great advice. And so when you were building out your board, how did you think about that? And did you have a board from the beginning, or

Marla Beck  26:37

our board at the beginning was really all of our seed investors, you know, my husband, I controlled the company. And so we just sort of invited our seed investors to board meetings, and whoever came and who didn’t. So a little bit ad hoc, and they gave great advice. And when we needed expertise, we would just pick up the phone and get expertise. Later, when we raise private equity, our PE firm, and I, you know, was on the board, and then my husband were on the way, we never really went through building a strategic board or a strategic advisory board. I think we were sort of heads down building our business, we had great advice. And I felt like we didn’t need to actively manaboardoard. It’s different today, I would say, in terms of having a board for advice and getting the right people, I think that is really respected when you’re going out for a capital raise. But I would say don’t, under, you can build a great board. But also don’t underestimate the ability to just pick up the phone and call someone for expertise. They don’t have to be on your board to give you great advice. Your board is really for governance and making sure that you’re financially sound and doing the right things. And, and you can have a great board, but you don’t have to have a huge board of advisors, I you know, I get called all the time to be on someone’s board of advisors, you know, and I always say, I’ll give you advice, I don’t need to be, you know, on a formal board, you know, for me to give you advice. And so don’t under those opportunities for you, you know, it helps to have a warm pass and to have a friend you know, making an introduction. But, you know, you can generally get to anyone you need to just by asking friends and networking around thank God for LinkedIn now,

Kara Goldin  28:36

social now. I mean, it’s definitely I think it’s way easier than it was 20 years ago to actually get to somebody and I totally, and just what’s the worst that can happen? They don’t respond. They say it last whatever. Actually, I’ll say that I had one person yesterday that somehow got my phone number and was texting me, and which I found really annoying, actually. And, and so I told them, you know, just what, let’s take t email, but I mean, it was constant. He was asking me all these questions. And anyway, that that I think was a little it was an EQ, that, you know, it’s a little much.

Marla Beck  29:20

The flip side is you can blame him for trying, right?

Kara Goldin  29:23

Yeah, no, no, absolutely. And maybe there are some there are that that works with, but I just think it’s, it’s there’s a fine line between being a little too aggressive and actually reaching out to people and respecting their, their time as well. So I think it’s, it’s an important link. So, so what, obviously we talked about this before, so you’re stepping down after how many years now? I mean, this is a big move.

Marla Beck  29:52

Yeah, so I’ve led the company for 21 years. My husband who’s also the co-founder left two years ago, so new company, you know, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. You know, I think, you know, launch blue mercury launched, you know, our two brands within blue mercury. And I love launching things. And so you know, want to get back out there in the mix and see, see what I see what I can do next. So it’s bittersweet for me, you know, I have an amazing team, blue, Mercury’s 93% women, we’ve built a phenomenal group, and, you know, are across the country with everything we’re doing. So really, really bittersweet. But it’s time to send blue mercury off to college. And, you know, for me to pursue sort of what’s next. So, but I do adore the team. And I always tell my team, I’m never leaving or right. Never really leaving. So, you know, it’s hard, it’s hard to transition out of the company that you started,

Kara Goldin  30:58

will there? Will your face still be associated with blue mercury?

Marla Beck  31:04

I guess that the answer is that depends. So um, you know, we’ll see sort of what what the is on the part of the company in terms of keeping me involved and active. So. But that, you know, I’ve told the team, they can call me anytime.

Kara Goldin  31:21

It was interesting. I remember when I, I think that’s when I first met you, you were just about to get acquired by Macy’s. And did you? Did they pretty much let you kind of run your thing? I mean, it seemed like you still had standalone stores? I mean, you were in Macy’s, which, as well, but did you feel like they kept it pretty separate?

Marla Beck  31:42

Yeah, I mean, that was really the goal, when we joined with Macy’s was to keep the DNA of the company and the culture, well, growing aggressively. So we had 60 locations when they acquired us, we’re now up to almost 200. But we have been a separate division for all of these years. And I think that enabled us to be creative and innovate. You know, for a long time, I mean, I think we launched over 150 products that we created, opened a ton of stores, you know, built out our e-commerce fe-commerce so I just think we’ve been able to move at a really fast speed, because we have the full weight of their resources, and their technology team, which is phenomenal, but also are independent. So I think it was kind of a magnificent structure. And I would recommend anyone who sells their company to a big organization, or any company that does an acquisition to really think about a structure like this. Because, you know, I think entrepreneurs don’t usually stick with inquiries for a long t And you know, Walmart’s another example. Mark, Laura was there for a long time. Because I think the structure enabled him to move fast and be creative.

Kara Goldin  33:08

Yeah, no, definitely. It’s it. You know, it used to be even 20 years ago that it was, you know, you’d get acquired, and then they’d say goodbye to the whole team. And now more and more, you’re seeing that people are integrating and working closely. And oftentimes, the company totally stays separately, except for the tools that these large companies have. And exactly. Yeah, you guys are such a great example of that. Well, I absolutely, absolutely loved just chatting with you about the bill. I think it’s absolutely incredible what you’ve done and I can’t imagine not still thinking about you, when I go into blue mercury stores, I would get one other question that I was gonna ask. So obviously, through the pandemic, I mean, going into a store like blue Mercury, you know, you can’t test the things and you know, the different makeup applicant, what do you think that’s going to change? I mean, is the format going into stores for beauty? Do you think that will change?

Marla Beck  34:12

I think it’s interesting. So I think we pivoted during COVID, we started doing online consultations, where our staff can literally teach you online how to do around makeup. We are also doing that in-store where, you know, we teach you in-store, how to do your own makeup. So instead of us doing it on you, you do it yourself. Maybe that’s a better model. So we moved from, you know, beauty expertise to beauty coaches, and I kind of like that better, which is learning how to do everything yourself.

34:44

You know,

Marla Beck  34:44

I miss having someone do my makeup. It’s an absolute luxury. And I see it as such. Now we’ll see what happens. I don’t think anyone’s going to be comfortable having someone else touch their skin or face for a very, very long time. And so the new model of teaching and coaching, I think, will continue for quite some time. And our staff have gotten really good at it, you know, can’t really try makeup, right? It’s hard in store. But you know, we know how to sanitize it just like everyone else is sanitizing, you know, their hair salons, the seats you sit in. So I think it’ll be a transition. And it will continue to evolve just like everything else. It’s not going to go back to the way it was, it will be a new normal,

Kara Goldin  35:31

I need to reach out to my blue mercury stores and do a session.

Marla Beck  35:35

It’s absolutely, actually, Sarah is on the west coast. You got to go find Sarah. Yeah. Are you kidding me? And I’ll ping me and I’ll help you find her.

Kara Goldin  35:45

Actually, have you guys have you done any parties, with companies to have you done a cultural party where you all do your own makeup and have somebody teaching you?

Marla Beck  35:58

We do a lotmasterclassessses now. So you know, tons like that. So they’re almost every they were every Friday during COVID? I don’t know if we change the day. But

Kara Goldin  36:10

yeah, talk to you about that. Because we have a large percentage of women in our company as well. And we’re doing for especially working from home. We’re doing a lot of group parties getting people together. We did. Yeah, we did cannoli making and pee break meeting. And we’re actually Helen from equator coffee is coming in and talking to us about you know, building the perfect cup of coffee. And I love that zoom. I know. And so we’re constantly looking, we have a winery coming in and we send people a kit ahead of time, and they’re smart. Yeah. And it’s I mean, we end up laughing most of the time on these things. I mean, it’s just, it’s just a lot of fun. So yeah, so it’s been so anyway, I’d love to figure it out if we could do so

Marla Beck  36:56

yeah, we’re happy to do that.

Kara Goldin  36:58

Yeah, be a lot of fun. So this is awesome, Marla, so great. And good luck with the next venture. I’m so thrilled for you. And we’ll definitely be watching and see what you end up doing. And it’s very, very exciting. And thank you so much everybody for listening to me. And if I’m sure that you loved Marla’s episode, give it five stars, for sure. And I love having successful leaders like Marilla and founders, especially they’ve got a soft spot in my heart because especially the ones that can really share lessons along the way that it’s not all. It’s not a straight line. It doesn’t it’s definitely not all roses along the way that you have those sleepless nights and big decisions to be made. But you can get through if you just try and figure out where you can take it right and what you can learn from the journey along the way. And it’s a lot of what I talked about my book undaunted that I just launched to and hopefully everybody will pick up a copy or go on to audible and get it and really, really awesome of for everybody to be able to, you know, see so many of people’s journeys along the way just through this podcast, too. So it’s every Monday and Wednesday. And hopefully everyone wi,ll join us. So thanks, everyone.

Marla Beck  38:23

Thank you so much.

Kara Goldin  38:26

before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head-on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at Kara golden thanks for listening