As an assignment for ES 600: Entrepreneurial Thinking with Professor Jeff Shuman, each student was asked to find a successful entrepreneur and interview him or her about several topics including the inspiration behind the business, the challenges and limitations each has overcome, and the creative process involved in developing a business strategy.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Rachael Lynsey Rubin, a visionary entrepreneur and founder of Rachael Lynsey Rubin: Hair Makeup and Photography.
She was able to provide amazing insight into the formation of her company, as well as her journey to creating a successful venture in the beauty industry.
Please find our interview below:
MR:Would you tell me about yourself before you started your first venture?
RLR: I have been surrounded by the business world my whole life. My father and mother owned a large business together which helped give me a great understanding of the business world. I went to Hofstra University and studied business management but found it was best to learn business first hand and left school to practice my business.
MR: When did you first realize you have a passion for hair, makeup and photography?
RLR: I have done makeup for women since the age of 13. I have always been obsessed and fascinated with the idea of a transformation and makeover that makes someone feel amazing. The photography started for me when I was in college and I used my friend’s camera to photograph another friend; this was the moment I realized combining my skill for makeup and eye for photography was an explosive collaboration!
MR: How did you start your venture? What was the process you used to develop your business?
RLR: I started my business slowly and built it over time. At first I was shooting in clients homes, in my dorm room or even in my garage! With each new financial gain, I would invest further into the business. This was not an overnight sensation; this has been hours, days, years of time in the making. I would also say social media was a large reason for my business’s success so far.
MR:What are some major obstacles have you faced in starting your business?
RLR: I find a vital trait of an entrepreneur is to keep positive and to find solutions to your obstacles big or small always remembering the customer comes first. With this said, I have no obstacles to speak of that were a significant stopping point; move forward and find an answer, no questions asked.
MR: Do you receive feedback from customers often/ How do you improve your business?
RLR: I often receive feedback from my clients. My clients are always overwhelmingly happy with the result of their applications or photo shoots because I give 100% of my soul into every client. I truly understand customer service and make sure every client feels taken care of. If I feel they are not at their ultimate point of happiness, I will not stop working for them until they reach this point. I improve my business by staying current, exercising and finding solutions to my faults and continuously bettering myself as an individual.
MR:What are some significant milestones? When did you know your business was success?
RLR: A significant milestone for me would be when I transferred my business from my garage to my first studio space. This took me from a hobby to a career and reassured me that my talents were worth investing in. I have always felt successful in my business because I am making others feel beautiful and worthy. I knew that this would be successful because I had interest from the public.
MR: What has really made your business a success?
RLR: Passion, hard work and determination have made my business a success. It is also helpful having a father who guides you through the business world. Mainly, loving what you do attributes to the success of your business and understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner.
MR: What do you consider your most valuable asset–the thing that enabled you to “make it”?
RLR: I consider my most valuable asset to be my work ethic. I work very hard and put my whole self into what I do. I would rather work on my business on a Friday night then have a cocktail, I am dedicated to my goal and my vision.
MR:If you had it to do over, would you do it again in the same way? Would you do something different?
RLR: I am still “doing” it as we speak. If I want to change something, I can change it today, tomorrow the next day. Business is an on-going process as is life, if you feel something is going well, stick to it, if not, find a new method that works.
MR:Looking back, what do you feel are the most critical concepts, skills, attitudes, and know-how you needed to get your company started and grown to where it is today?
RLR: I would say confidence and patience are two skills/concepts/attitudes that are necessary to start and grow a company. Be confident that you are the best at what you do and no one can do it better than you, and be patient with the people around you, the growth speed and with clients.
MR: What are the things that you did that are personally rewarding and satisfying as an entrepreneur?
RLR: I personally find it rewarding to make a woman or a man view themselves in a different light. I love making others feel great about how they look. From an overall standpoint, I enjoy creating my surroundings to my liking. I am not the kind of person who will go to work and sit at a desk that is given to me. I am the kind of person that will create their desk and make it unlike any other persons in the office. I find it satisfying to be in control of every aspect of my life and to build my dreams instead of thinking about them.
MR: What are your dreams and plans for your company?
RLR: My dream for my company is to create a brand and to grow gradually. I am not necessarily seeking fame, I am more looking to add new and interesting clients and to continue to spread my talent.
Check out http://www.rachaellynseyrubin.com/ to view Rachael’s gorgeous portfolio!