Emanuela deFalco, founder of Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics and multiple other beauty brands, is a young, talented, and ambitious entrepreneur. She created DLS Cosmetics when she realized there was a scarcity in the market of affordable, high quality cosmetics with multiple shade options. As soon as she realized what she could do with this opportunity, Emanuela asked her father for a $10,000 loan to begin her online brand. It turned out to be a great investment because her startup company has now turned into a national multimillion dollar brand.
Where did the idea for Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics come from?
When I realized there was nothing in the market for affordable fun colored cosmetics. It was actually Halloween and I was looking for a blue lipstick. I could not find any fun, affordable, and quality make up on the market so I decided to create my own line! So in 2013, Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I read/respond to over 300 emails per day, I answer any inquiries about my cosmetics, I pack anywhere from 50-100 packages per day and bring them to the post office, I talk to my manufacturer about new cosmetics I would like samples of, I test samples, create packaging, etc. I am VERY involved in every step of the process. This way I can ensure that it continues to be products and a brand I believe in.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I give ideas to my manufacturers and have them send me samples. From there we will brainstorm and go back and forth to create new and exciting products for our consumers.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Contouring. I love the art of changing facial features. I think it is such a great trend that has become popular in the past couple of years.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am detail oriented when it comes to my cosmetic line. If I don’t approve of a certain color or formula it doesn’t pass the test phase. I think as an entrepreneur this helps me keep the integrity of my brand always.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stay persistent. Rome wasn’t built over night.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Cosmetics do not need to be expensive to be high quality. Half of the products you see that are $50 are made in the same factors that the $10 make up is. Some of my favorite brands are found at drugstores. Some inexpensive brands are actually higher quality then the expensive cosmetic lines. I wanted to prove this point of price through my line.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stay involved with your business, it’s OK to hire employees but make sure you are always involved.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As mentioned in the above, I am always involved in the entire cosmetic process and I always will be. I think bigger companies allow approval of certain products through a team and I would never be able to do that. I think the growth of my company is due to the fact that we product high quality cosmetics and don’t cut any corners.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Nothing yet, fingers crossed that continues!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This might sound weird, but I always wanted to make a one night stand kit. Seriously. My girlfriend and I came up with this idea in college about something that looked discrete like a purse, but had a bunch of necessary items if you don’t make it home the night before. It would have a tooth brush, tooth paste, a comb, makeup wipes, just a bunch of tiny travel sized products in disguise. We wanted to call it dirty little secret and actually sell it on campuses around the country. I ended up stealing the name for my makeup line, but the idea of the DLS clutch is one I think about here and there.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I got a mani/pedi/facial. After long workdays it is nice to pamper yourself and relax. Remember that it is ok to treat yourself and to put down your phone for an hour or two.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Shopify is my holy grail. It has everything you need to run a successful shop.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“#GirlBoss” by Sophia Amoruso is a must for all female entrepreneurs. It is an easy read that gives amazing advice.
What is your favorite quote?
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Emanuela deFalco on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Emanuela+Defalco&init=public
Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics on Linkedin:https://www.linkedin.com/in/shopdirtylittlesecret
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.