All Articles Tagged "vera moore cosmetics"
MEET Vera Moore: Vera Moore, the President and CEO of Vera Moore Cosmetics, is a former actress who has portrayed “Linda” on Another World for 12 years. Her cosmetic credits include working on Hollywood movie and television sets for The Antwone Fisher Story (starring Denzel Washington), The Bill Cosby Show, The Guru and Saturday Night Live. This dynamic beauty expert offers a comprehensive line of cosmetic and skincare products for the professional and retail market. With more than 30 years of experience in the theatre, television and beauty industry, and the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Vera now celebrates the launch of Vera Moore Cosmetics in the new upscale environment of the Duane Reade stores and, nationally, in select Walgreens LOOK boutique locations.
MN: Earlier in your career you portrayed the character “Linda” on the soap opera, Another World. You also acted on Search for Tomorrow and As The World Turns. What inspired you to go from acting and television to starting your own cosmetics company?
VM: There was a void in the market for quality makeup for Black women at that time. This was in the 1970’s. I didn’t want to wear what the masses were offering, because it was red, oily and rubbed off on your clothes. Also, the colors offered for the beautiful women of a darker hue turned gray and ashy on their skin. Makeup at that time didn’t allow the true color of women with beautiful dark skin to shine through. Add to this the fact that on Another World I portrayed “Linda Metcalf” a nurse from Bay City General. I had a big problem. Not only were the makeup colors not right, I didn’t want to get the colors on my white uniform or anything else I touched. As I sought a way to meet this challenge, I became inspired to go into the cosmetics business.
MN: Businesses cannot succeed without capital. What resources did you use to finance your business and how much did you initially invest in Vera Moore Cosmetics?
VM: In 1979, when I started Vera Moore Cosmetics, I received a loan for $70,000 that was backed up by the Small Business Administration (SBA). I had to repay the loan within seven years. My husband and I had to personally guarantee the loan by putting our house up for collateral. This was a herculean challenge, a huge risk. Not many people are going to mortgage their home for a business not knowing the end results. However when you are passionate, determined and laser focused, that’s what you do. We let go of the trunk of the tree and got out on a limb where the fruit is. There are no guarantees, no paycheck every Friday when you own your own business. It’s risk and reward.
MN: What was the biggest challenge you faced as a business owner? How did you overcome this challenge?
VM: The biggest challenge I faced involved capital and expansion. As you grow your business, expenses grow right along with you. Every entrepreneur knows that it’s imperative to keep the mentality of lean and mean but inevitably you must hire more employees to meet business demands. However you learn how to work smarter vs. harder as you become a seasoned business owner. As a bit of advice, have a business plan and a marketing plan to use as road maps as to how you are going to get through your daily hurdles and your projects. Proper planning also allows you to know in advance how you are going to achieve your short and long term goals. When you put your plans down on paper and see it in writing, the challenges are not as frightening. The tasks of operating and managing a business are still daunting, but, with plans, you know which priorities to focus on first. For example, would you go on a trip without a plan, without knowing where you’re going, what you’re going to wear, where you’re going to stay, the expense of the trip, etc.? As you can see it takes a plan to succeed.
MN: When did you realize that you had a viable business and what did you do to celebrate this milestone?
VM: We realized that we had a viable business when the phones started ringing. New customers were calling based on referrals. People were talking about Vera Moore Cosmetics. We did out of town trade shows to get new customers and to get the word out. People knew our brand. Our marketing strategies paid off and soon customers wanted to know how they could get the products in the future. These marketing events blossomed into another avenue of distribution, mail order. Also, and I will never forget. . . . A wonderful thing happened to me. I was at an event. I went into the bathroom and a lady took out a compact and it was a Vera Moore compact. Seeing the compact brought a feeling of exhilaration, created a Wow! moment, letting me know that all the years of hard work were worthwhile. I celebrated by thanking God for the faith to persevere, for allowing me to stay the course and not give up. I also reinvested back into my business by purchasing technology which allowed me to work more efficiently and effectively.