Realize there is no life balance when you are a founder. Your company depends on you. Your family depends on you. However, what you do with your company not only affects your family but multi-families. You need a very clear buy-in and support from your own family first.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ginger King.
Ginger is the founder & CEO at Grace Kingdom Beauty (www.gracekingdombeauty.com) a cosmetic product development firm in New Jersey specializing in helping you to create your beauty brand from concept to launch. She also started her own brand FanLoveBeauty (www.fanlovebeauty.com) in 2020 so she can walk the talk to help people after their launch.
She has been the keynote speaker for brand launches and has spoken at various trade conferences on product development and In-Cosmetics on product innovation. Ginger is an often-quoted beauty expert and has been on radio and video chat with leading beauty magazines.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I have dedicated my life to the beauty industry since I was sixteen. I have worked in every aspect of beauty starting at the beauty retail counters to being a cosmetic chemist, product developer, business development, manufacturing and raw material sales. Due to the enriched working knowledge of all aspects of beauty, it has helped me to help others in launching their own beauty brand from concept to launch. Additionally, to add value to my clients, I also started my own beauty brand in 2020 so I can walk the talk and learn the pains of what brand owners go through so I can also help them after launch.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I learned that many people want to have their own business but often they do not know why. Perhaps it is to escape from working from 9 to 5, but they have no idea having their own business can make them work 24/7 at least in the beginning. People often are lacking clarity and guidance, and this is actually a crucial fundamental that every startup brand owner must have in order to succeed.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not necessarily funny but it is often a question for many entrepreneurs on how much they should be charging. My very first consulting project was working for a celebrity makeup line. I totally forgot that when I was working for fortune 500’s, I have technicians who would wash my dishes for me. Now, starting as a solopreneur, it took me an hour to make a foundation, but it took me three hours to clean up because all foundation these days are long wearing so I underestimated the cost. From then on, if people want me to take on a color project, I charge more than skin or hair care because of the time consumed. Often we forget our time is the most valuable commodity. We need to take the amount of time into consideration in addition to the expertise we can offer.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am forever grateful to Shark Tank’s Daymond John. My entrepreneurial journey is very much inspired by the show Shark Tank and mesmerized by Daymond John. I loved how he brands himself and the company. I stalked him on social media. I took his classes. I read his books. He has a tremendous impact on my career. He also showed me no matter how high you go, the ability to make people feel they are special is extremely important. He invests in people. Afterall, for people in the business, we are all in the people business. Without people, we do not have a business. This is a strong business fundamental that people need to know. We should never treat people as a transaction but build a transformational relationship. Today, I am honored to say Daymond John is my personal mentor.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
Traditionally women are held back because of the culture expectation that women should take care of the family, prepare the meals and read for the kids. Have family and work balance seems to be the biggest struggle.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
It starts with a mindset. Women need to know we are just as capable as men, if not more as we have more compassion and known to be better in sales. Regardless we have the title of salesperson or not, we are negotiating every day. We need to make the family aware that we work hard today so we can enjoy anything we want for the future, and the future includes the family. When we are a founder and start to employ people, we are not only responsible for our own family, we are responsible for other’s family as well. Have a clear understanding of knowing what you are going into and having clear communication and support of the family will make things much smoother.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
Stereotypically women are known to have more compassion and focus on relationships. The R in the contract stands for relationship with your contact. Women are naturally better in this area for long term business builder. Kevin O’Leary also has said that most of his successful investments are from women founders. There is a track record of how women run business because if women know how to take care of their kids, they know how to take care of the business.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
Being a founder does not make you successful, but it is a start of a long journey. Just because you can call yourself a C.E.O, does not mean you have made it. C.E.O. for a startup can mean Chief Everything Officer. Even if you have to scrub the toilet, you will have to do it as every penny counts in investing in the business.
Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?
To be a founder, you need to have commitment, persistence, courage and the ability to fail fast and go again. Your business may not flourish in the first three years and you need to prepare for that. Just because you have a company guarantees you nothing. If you can not live on the edge to enjoy high risk but high reward type of situation, you may be better off to work for a corporation for a steady paycheck. However, things also have changed drastically in the past year that no one can guarantee you a paycheck when economic hits. It is far better to have something you can nurture. Another important element for being a founder is check your egos out. Your degrees of pHD or MBA’s may not mean anything in the business world. You must and I repeat MUST, invest yourself daily with books and courses to learn from people who have proven success so you can model, mimic and master on how they made it.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
1.Get a mentor who has proven success. My mentor is Daymond John.
2- Model. Mimic. Master. Find a women business leader to emulate. Study what she has done. Read her books (if any), stalk her social media for nuggets of learning. Since I am in Beauty, I study all the successful women in my space such as Jamie Kern Lima of It Cosmetics. Mrs, Estee Lauder, who inspired me to be in beauty.
3- Do not let the family be in your way. Be very clear that we all have the same ability to make a living and women have proven to be a better salesperson with compassion. No matter you have the sales title or not, everyone is in sales. Use our intuition to sell every point to negotiate.
4- Level up with men by diffusing any cutesy comment that potentially is a degrading remark. Remind them we are just as capable, if not more and we do not rely on our beauty to get things done.
5- Realize there is no life balance when you are a founder. Your company depends on you. Your family depends on you. However, what you do with your company not only affects your family but multi-families. You need a very clear buy-in and support from your own family first.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
Shameless plug but I do an amazing consulting call for people who want to be in beauty and often times after the consulting calls, they actually decide they do not want to do it or seeking deeper help with them. It is a screening call to pre-decide who has the potential to make it based on the conversation. On my FanLoveBeauty brand side, I do donate part of the proceeds to Suicide Prevention as entrepreneurial journey is lonely and if people can stay longer, they have the potential to make even more contribution to the society since entrepreneurs are the backbones of economy.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
This is precisely why I created FanLoveBeauty in addition to showing people I can help them after their brand launch. FanLoveBeauty is a beauty brand for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. We give back to the ones we love (the ones who inspire/educate/entertain society) with professional grade of beauty products as well as help with social causes. I enlist people to co-create beauty products for the ones who have a contribution to the society.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Grant Cardone as he also inspires me and have taught me the concept of money and how to use money to create wealth. Any events with Grant can also be pricy (equivalent of buying a brand new car) so if there are opportunities to just get together for lunch, will be awesome!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.