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Name: Doe Deere

Business: Lime Crime , make-up line

Industry: Health & Beauty 

Location: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Reason for starting: In 2004, I registered a new account on eBay – “limecrime” – for my new DIY fashion line. I modeled everything myself, and wanted my whole look to be on-brand, so colorful makeup became my staple. The idea for a makeup brand originated back in my sewing days – part inspiration, part necessity, because I found that bright and unusual colors were hard to come by! I launched Lime Crime in 2008.

Related: Read about another Health & Beauty entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? To me, success is having my vision resonate with my audience to the point where they are proud to wear Lime Crime. It means evolving and reinventing yourself and your brand over and over, while still remaining true to your core values. Success is making other people happy!

Biggest Success: Introducing a new category to the market: liquid-to-matte lipstick that stays on, doesn’t crumble, and is transfer-proof. I worked in the lab, alongside a chemist, for months and months until it was perfect. The Velvetines are also vegan – meaning, they contain no animal-derived ingredients. Another big accomplishment for Lime Crime was getting our entire line certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, the most stringent certifier in the industry.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? We went through an unfortunate security breach in 2014 – our website was hacked by cyber-thieves and some customer information was stolen. Although this wasn’t due to negligence or personal failure on my part, I still feel responsible for what happened to my company and my customers. Restoring customer trust in the brand was the hardest thing myself and my team have ever done. We rallied and worked tirelessly to educate our customers. We set up a transparent and thorough FAQ, a call center and dedicated email account for handling all incident-related inquiries, and hired extra Customer Care help to reply to customers on Social Media in real time. In addition, we brought in a team of online security experts and partnered with Trustwave and Norton to make our website the makeup equivalent of Fort Knox. What happened to us and our customers was awful, but I feel that we’ve learned a lot.

Related: Serving Up Information Security

Who is your most important role model? Kimberley Gordon, the creative brain behind Wildfox. Like me, she started out with a passion – in her case, for comfortable clothing with a vintage twist. Wildfox and Lime Crime launched around the same time (2007/2008) and appeal to a similar type of a customer. Both, Kim and I love all things whimsical and it’s an absolute honor to call her my friend and mentor. 

Twitter   @doedeere

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Edited by The Story Exchange