IT Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima refused to let ‘no’ stop her

IT Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima refused to let ‘no’ stop her


It’s interesting how life works out when you don’t let ‘no’ stop you. I thought I was gonna spend my whole career as a TV news anchor. I love hearing other people’s stories, but my hereditary Rosacea it started getting really bad. The makeup would break-up. And one live time on air, I wiped my forehead, not realizing half my eyebrow came off. So, I did the rest of the news cast with one eyebrow. I would spend my entire paycheck on makeup. I would try everything out there, just trying to find products that would cover Ya know, there must be other women out there that have these same beauty concerns. It was this ‘ah-ha!’ moment for me. We started IT Cosmetics in our living room. My middle name is Marie, so Marie got her own email address, she was Head of Customer Service. But we got ‘no’s’ from everyone. Ulta Beauty told us ‘no’ several times, Sephora told us ‘no,’ QVC told us ‘no.’ I heard ‘no’ more times than I can count. I cried myself to sleep at night more times than I can count. I tried to figure out how to not let hearing ‘no’ equate to doubt in my own head. We finally got our chance on QVC. It’s a 10 minute segment, that’s all you get, and if you don’t hit sales goals, you don’t come back. So it felt like everything was on the line at that moment. And actually, everything was on the line. I fly out to QVC a week early. And I literally drove and sat in the parking lot, and just imagined and envisioned success and prayed. I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, and it can make or break our company. Against the advice of many people, I was going to be authentic, and I went on air and I said ‘I’m gonna show my bare face.’ And my bare face goes up and the before shot and before I knew it, it was almost exactly 10 minutes in, the sold out sign came up. That was our first airing – September 2010. Every year since it’s been over 200 shows. Just this year, we became their largest beauty brand in the history of QVC. Everyone who said ‘no’ to us is now actually a really strong partner. Sometimes ‘no’ is just ‘not yet.’

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