Maria Hatzistefanis (@MrsRodial) Tips on Becoming an “Overnight Success”
Maria Hatzistefanis is the founder of Rodial, a makeup and skin care brand that continues to go from strength to strength. They are expanding their make-up line and have just launched the much raved about Pink Diamond Cleansing Balm which will be coming our shores very soon! She has also become a respected and sought-after opinion- leader. Her point-of-view attracts followers both online and off, and she is increasingly in demand to speak at fashion, business and digital conferences.
Maria is also known for her mentoring and entrepreneurial guidance, where most recently she was a judge for the BFC Vogue fashion fund, as well as guest appearances as a mentor on US fashion series, aired on Lifetime TV, Project Runway: Fashion Startup. Maria is a patron of the British Fashion Council and is heavily involved in working alongside the BFC to support and promote young, emerging talent and promoting British fashion. Here she talks to Velvet about remarkable journey.
You started your career as a beauty writer. How did that influence your career afterwards?
Starting my career as a beauty writer really influenced me to create Rodial, to fill a gap in the market for more hi-Tec, fast acting products and interesting and fun packaging. Innovative And ground breaking ingredients and serious skincare that wasn’t taking itself too seriously. Back then the beauty industry was full of very basic beauty products, I really wanted to create a brand that would break boundaries with bold and cutting edge products, this is why I created Rodial.
What were the biggest challenges that you had to face when you launched your brand in 1999?
It is really hard to launch brand when you don’t have external investment. I was on my own, knocking on the doors of the biggest retailers in the world trying to get my products on the shelves, and this is not easy. I had to motivate myself to keep going, I didn’t have a big team behind me at that time, I was doing everything myself. I had to hustle to get Rodial into stores that had no idea who I was, this was the biggest challenge at the very beginning.
Your latest book “How to be an: Overnight Success”, is almost like a clickbait (to use the Internet lingo). What do you think of today’s trend where amateur make-up artists are invading social media?
The title of my book is ironic as there is no such thing as an overnight success. I was working night and day with Rodial for 10 years, when we had a crazy global response to Snake Serum, and we sold out everywhere overnight. In the weeks that followed I was labelled as an overnight success which was really funny to me, as I had been in the business for over a decade! I think that social media has changed the landscape of success for people as it allows influencers or makeup artists to get a lot of instant traction and recognition, but it takes time and lots of hard work to create longevity.
Your products have always had such enticing names and concepts. What is the key element that you take into consideration prior to creating a new collection?
A product starts life around an ingredient. For example, our bestselling line Dragons Blood is based around a sap from a tree found in the Amazon, which is actually called Dragons Blood! The ingredient is a potent natural protector for the skin so I wanted to make a product around it, I coupled it with Hyaluronic Acid for intense plumping. Our ranges now are inspired by single ingredients, such as our Vit C range and upcoming Booster Drops in Glycolic, Retinol and Collagen.
Do you think the new social technology has affected the market? As a beauty “influencer” yourself, how do you adapt to those changes?
Social media has completely changed the world of beauty. From a brand perspective it allows you to have direct communication with your customer, you can create more awareness for your brand, and you can work with influencers to spread your message. I don’t really see myself as a beauty influencer. My IG page @MrsRodial is really more about my passions outside of Rodial, and is a way for me to inspire without pushing product to my followers.
From your own experience, what are the key elements for a successful entrepreneurship for a woman in today’s world?
Believe in yourself and your ideas. There will be people waiting to tell you that you can’t do it, or that your ideas won’t work, or that you are taking too big of a risk. You have to cancel out that noise and motivate yourself to keep pushing to reach your goals. Also, don’t be defeated by the word ‘no’. You are going to hear it a lot, you are going to get no’s from investors or retailers, or partners. You must keep going.
Tell us more about your personal life as a woman. How do you spend your “me-time”?
Exercise is my therapy, so I work out every day in the morning. At the weekend I like to binge watch shows on Netflix, the perfect escapism!
What is your personal beauty routine?
I cleanse my skin with a balm cleanser such as the Rodial Pink Diamond Cleanser which is amazing, then I like to use a serum and moisturizer, I love the Rodial Rose Gold Moisturizer. Make up wise I keep it simple, I am obsessed with the Rodial Diamond Concealer as it covers the darkest of circles. I use the Rodial Banana Powder, and Contour Powder daily, they are my essentials.
What are your plans for the near future (on the business and personal levels)?
Rodial makeup is a big priority for the business, I am growing the line every year and want to open more counters. Watch this space!