It all started on a Saturday evening. I was in the shower and thought to myself "do I have time to wash my hair AND glue on my lashes? Ugh, why do lashes have to take so much time?"
I had a demanding career and two young children who I wanted to hang out with before our dinner party. Lashes instantly enhance your overall look. I wanted amazing lashes in seconds, at home, and I didn't want to deal with the time or mess of glue. I thought that lashes should be just like your other go-to accessories…. Two seconds to put on and two seconds to take off, just like earrings or a watch.
The concept of the magnetic lash was born, right then and there – in my shower!
I knew if I wanted glamorous lashes in two seconds, other women would as well. If you've ever glued on false lashes – even once – you understand.
Thus began my two-year research and development phase as well as business development journey. I had a cushy real estate development sales career, but six months into R&D, I decided I needed to commit all of my bandwidth to One Two Lash. Yes, I was established, married and in my late 30s, but it was still very scary to make such a change. Now, I look back on that moment with pride – making the decision to become an entrepreneur was a huge moment of conquering fear (once you start doing it becomes addictive, by the way).
Many interviews commenced with chemists, engineers, and scientists. I had many trips to craft stores, Home Depot, and spoke to anyone I could reach via online searches that had knowledge on magnets. All the while I was looking for someone who would "get it" - and no one did. My patent attorney even recently confessed that during our first meeting he thought my idea was crazy. Most men do not understand the lengths women go to get great lashes.
I was an outsider to the beauty industry so I just relied on what I intrinsically thought it would take to create the product. It took every bit of grit I have to create the product and build a startup company around it. Pay attention to whatever inspires you! One Two Lash all started from my personal desire to improve a product I had used for years.
I will vividly remember the day my first magnetic lash prototype arrived for the rest of my life. It was clunky, but it worked! I knew I had something. A few iterations later, I was ready to share the One Two Lash you know today. Having an end goal is so huge for maintaining your motivation day in and day out on any venture.
When I launched sales of One Two Lash, all of the positive press was exciting. Not only did people get it, they were buying and loving them! After selling through the initial stock immediately, we now have tremendous U.S. production capabilities and ship worldwide. With success and demand comes a challenge many companies, especially in the fashion and beauty industries, are faced with – copycat, knockoff products. The prevalence and accessibility of e-commerce and social media have multiplied the effects of counterfeit products.
Meditation is part of my daily ritual and key, more than ever… After meditating, I check on social media – One Two Lash and my personal account. I see questions, confusion, and complaints from people who have been duped into ordering knockoffs of the product I worked so hard to create. It's heartbreaking because the motivation that inspired One Two Lash was to make false lashes easier! I always knew knockoffs would follow my innovation. I was as prepared as I could have been by advisors who had gone through similar experiences with their own startups. But I actually can't believe the extent of the copying – some imposters have gone so far as to use some of the first images and videos shot in my own home.
As the inventor of the Magnetic Lash, Making Beauty Effortless is more than a tagline. I know women are loving One Two Lash for how it enables them to enhance their natural beauty and simplify their routine. But as a leader, I'm also committed to making the One Two Lash difference clear. As sales have grown, so has our team. Everyone at One Two Cosmetics is devoted to premium materials, customer service, a warranty, and safety. I commissioned an independent consumer research study (long before knockoffs started popping up in my Instagram feed) to ensure the safety of One Two Lash.
Amidst the copying, I've learned that if you are continuously improving your product and have the desire to be a leader in your industry, copycats will fall to the wayside.
Despite imitations, our sales continue to grow. It's also refreshing that the major retailers we are in talks with are committed to working with only the original, official, patented product.
I love life as an entrepreneur. I start each day by waking up to the phrase “thank you" and then no two days are alike. Coffee and an intense workout are each essential. And I take a few minutes to call at least one customer – or as I prefer to say, Lash Lover – every day.
As with anything in life, I did not get to this point on my own - I have the support of friends, family, and the One Two Cosmetics team. My children's presence keeps me motivated in the many proverbial fires that burn daily in the entrepreneurial world. Most importantly, the satisfaction and fulfillment that come from doing something you're passionate about can't be knocked off by anyone.
WRITTEN BYKaty Stoka