“We’ve been conscious about featuring a diverse group of celebrity talent in the magazine. The same diversity has been applied to the individuals that work with us behind the scenes. So, yes, we’ve made it possible for a small group of individuals to have a platform where they’re able to showcase their skills and build on their careers. We’ve also worked with a few charities at our events. With so many choices of organizations that need help, we look for ways to do our part when possible.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dimitry Loiseau and Valerie Noble.
Dimitry is a celebrity fashion photographer who co-founded Regard Magazine. His work has also been seen in advertising campaigns, and has been published in international magazines. Through his work, Dimitry has had the opportunity of photographing several celebrity talent who have won the industry’s most prestigious awards. Dimitry Loiseau is image driven and is known for capturing the essence of his subjects.
Valerie Noble is a celebrity hair & makeup artists, and co-founder of Regard Magazine. Valerie has a rich history, which includes being part of huge national franchise, helping to build their brand, owning a salon and now working with Academy Award winning talent. Valerie’s approach to hair & makeup is to make it classic, timeless and beautiful.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Dimitry: When I initially graduated high school, I thought I was going to be in the medical field. I was in my third year as an undergrad when my creative bug pinch me and left a mark. Good news for me, not so much for my parents who were looking forward to having another medical professional in the family. I wished I had figured this out before I took Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology and Bio-Chem, just to name a few of the headaches. But at least when that category comes up on Jeopardy, I can clear the board, LOL!
I taught myself the technical aspect of photography. The art of photography came to me over time. I studied the work of Steve McCurry and Herb Ritts. Steve taught me how to take images in almost any lighting condition and still come away with captivating images. From Herb, I learned how to make people and in particular, celebrities feel comfortable in front of my lens. After many years of dong this, I developed my style, workflow and signature look.
Valerie: I went to beauty school while in High School and received my cosmetology license at the beginning of my senior year. During my last year of college, I was hired by a haircutting franchise, which allowed me to train employees and franchisees as well as help with their commercial presentations. My next move was to open my own salon, which I operated for 12 years before deciding to come back to Los Angeles to work “in the movies” doing hair. Along the way, I added doing makeup to my repertoire and decided to focus on magazine editorials, red carpet and junkets instead of movies. I love classic coiffed styles and clean makeup and now I have a few celebrity clients that I get to travel the world with, in addition to co-owning and operating RegardMag.com with Dimitry Loiseau for the last 8 years.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
Dimitry: I remember having a photoshoot setup in a Hollywood Hills home. It was a property that usually gets rented to high profile people. It was rented to a baseball player that just came off a World Series win. However, on this particular day, the schedule worked out in our favor, where we were able to shoot another celebrity in the home, because the baseball player was out of town for a few days. Our contact met us at the property in order to open the door for us and make sure that all was clear. At that point, all was good. As I normally do, I scope out the location to see what areas I will be shooting in. I was upstairs and Valerie was checking out downstairs. She rushed back upstairs to tell me that someone, who we did not know, was in a room downstairs. At that point, I had no idea what to expect. So, in effort to not startle him, I walked down the stairs and started speaking in a loud voice, “checking” if anyone was home. He jumped out of the bed, in his birthday suit, hid behind the door. We stood there for about 10 minutes trying to convince one another that we were not threats to each other. When he finally calmed down and put on some clothes, we were able to speak about the situation. It turned out that he was house-sitting for the baseball player who left town for a few days. It sure would have been nice if we got the memo. Oh well!
Valerie: Well, just recently, we were doing an editorial shoot with a model and I had my hair items and all my makeup set up when I realized that I forgot all of my makeup brushes. Mind you, I have about 300 brushes, so I didn’t want to run out and buy more and besides, the model was walking in the door when I realized it. So, thinking fast, Dimitry and I just kept chatting it up with the model while I did her entire makeup look with just sponges and Q-tips. The look came out gorgeous, Whew….. and she didn’t even notice I didn’t use any brushes. That’s the benefit of experience and not panicking and Dimitry’s gift of gab. Lol
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Dimitry: It’s been said that great things come from small packages. That, in essence, is who we are. What makes our company stand out is the experience that we provide each and every person that we shoot. It’s being able to be on the same wave length as them and adjusting what we will do according to how they are or feel. The work we do is not about us, but rather about the people in featured in the magazine. Another important component is timeless images. The photos we take look like they were done the day before. We take pride in creating images that tell a story and look classic. A recent example of this, is the images that we took of Meghan Markle about 4 years ago. We had no way of knowing that she would marry the Prince of England. But the care we took of creating the timeless images, put the magazine in a positive light when the news of her new life started being talked about.
Valerie: We really pride ourselves in being efficient. We make our shoots fun but we work in a timely manner. And I agree with Dimitry, that our conscious effort to give the images a timeless look gives them a longevity that the talent can also appreciate. It’s always fun to do someone for the second time and they come in raving about how our shoot was still their best and favorite shoot. Or when talent comes in excited because they have had friends that rave about their previous experience with us.
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?
Dimitry: Everyone receives help in some way or another. For me, my wife stands out as first and foremost. The amount of support that she has extended to me over the years and also her belief in me, is insurmountable. Dealing with an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. So, I truly appreciate her. From a business standpoint, I will leave his name out but he definitely knows who he is. There was a point where in this journey where things were tough for Valerie and I financially. Things weren’t going as planned, as it rarely does in entrepreneurship. A friend of ours took special note of what we were doing but also what we were up against. At that time, he was wrapping up business school and he helped us put together a business plan, the financial structure and what the company would look like if we had an investor come in to assist. Little did we know that he was our first actual investor. He gave us a cash infusion that help us then and put us in a better situation. As a business owner, of course, the bottom line, is extremely important. But, the belief that he had in us, is what really made us make the decision to stick with it instead of giving up, which at that time, seemed like the more logical and easy thing to do. Needless to say, we were emotional. But, I will never forget that moment.
Valerie: Yes, I am grateful to the same person that Dimitry mentioned above. And actually, the wife of this angel happened to save me in a pinch 3 years prior with a cash “gift.” I made sure that I paid them back and I can say I will never forget their generosity. I also want to give a shout-out to Dimitry for his undying dedication to our little endeavor and his support in helping me keep my focus when it counted the most! My career has taken off in an amazing direction thanks to Dimitry’s counsel. And last but now least, I have to also thank his wife for being our silent supportive partner all these years (15).
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes! We are very excited to be working on our special annual sports & athletes issue. We will celebrate the release of this issue with our Pre-ESPY event where celebrities and athletes will be present. Our cover girl and host for the event is CJ Lana Perry from the WWE. Regard Magazine is now available on Qatar Airways, which services flights to/from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and popular hubs in U.S. like Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago, Washington and Dallas. In addition to the magazine issues and various ways to access the publication (website, airlines, print on demand), we are excited to be working with sponsors and advertisers on brand activations at our various events throughout the year.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
We’ve been conscious about featuring a diverse group of celebrity talent in the magazine. The same diversity has been applied to the individuals that work with us behind the scenes. So, yes, we’ve made it possible for a small group of individuals to have a platform where they’re able to showcase their skills and build on their careers. We’ve also worked with a few charities at our events. With so many choices of organizations that need help, we look for ways to do our part when possible.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
Dimitry: As an entrepreneur, how could you not be amazed and encouraged by Steve Jobs. What he did with and for Apple is a testament to believing in his dream and sticking to it no matter what. Needless to say, his self titled book, Steve Jobs, was a sure inspiration for me. I love the story about him being kicked out of his own company and then being asked back to Apple to run it his way. It just shows that when you stick to your vision and you put the hard work behind it, people will eventually recognize that and will be moved to follow.
Valerie: I agree that the story of Steve Jobs’ tenacity and foresight is truly inspiring and a great blueprint for any entrepreneur. I also loved Grace Coddington’s story on how she went from being a model to the creative director of American Vogue magazine for 30 years. What folks don’t realize is that she spent many years, working her way up at British Vogue before landing with Calvin Klein, which in turn, landed her a job at American Vogue. Her love of fashion, patience and relationships gave her amazing opportunities which inspires me, in my work.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) You become the jack-of-all-trades in your business.
Dimitry: If you need something done and don’t have enough money to pay the right person, you end up learning how to do it yourself. Thank you Google!
Valerie: I agree! You have to be used to long hours because if you can’t pay someone, you can do it yourself.
2) There are times when you forget when the last time was you actually paid yourself.
Dimitry: There have been plenty of times where I paid the people working for me and have gone without paying myself. At one point, I went almost an entire year doing so.
Valerie: And actually, you may, as in my case, have to work another job to pay for the business as well as not make a salary from the business. You have to find other benefits such as maintaining a high standard of work to help build the business reputation.
3) You’ll have to put your business before your family, more than you may want to.
Dimitry: I’ve missed out on several key family moments because of opportunities I couldn’t pass up for the business. In time, my family understood and saw the reasoning behind it. But, at the time, the glaring eyes were upon me.
Valerie: It’s always hard to be missing in action for family and friends but I feel lucky to have people in my life who understand my dedication to my dream.
4) Those friends who remain in their 9–5 jobs will never really understand that you really are working.
Dimitry: Some friends and family members never understood why I would always respond to emails or why I couldn’t be involved in things like them, or how I never really committed to anything past the next 2–3 days. As an entrepreneur, the clock never stops. There is no punching out. The best ability you can have is availability.
Valerie: 9–5 jobs have their benefits, but at the end of the day you are still working for someone else’s dream. But at the same time, it takes a certain temperament and mind set to work for yourself. So, it’s quite understandable, that not everyone will understand why you want to work nearly round the clock for your dream.
5) Your reputation is always out there and on the line.
Dimitry: That, in essence, is entrepreneurship. Its true when they say your reputation precedes you. Most of the people in the entertainment either know each other or at least know of each other. So, your name will come up at some point. That may be the first impression they have of you. So, if you’re efficient, hard working, easy going and good at what you do, they will know even before you find out about it.
Valerie: Persistence is everything. At the end of the day, when you put the time in, the results will be more than you could have imagined. I can say that after 8 years of working on the magazine, we have established a level of respect from our peers that has garnered a certain caché. It’s a great calling card for the next adventure, whenever we decide to dive in.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Dimitry: Elon Musk. Need I say more? LOL! But seriously, what Elon has already done and what he’s working on is nothing short of inspiring. I’m a huge fan of Tesla, the Model X, specifically (hint, hint). The eco-system that Elon has created reminds me of what Steve Jobs did for Apple. Everything in the world of Tesla makes sense. From the mobile offices aka electric cars, solar panels for the home, future travel and the way we will be conserving energy as communities, there’s a reason why he’s at the top of his game.
Jeff Bezos, has an inspiring story. He literally took the best of both worlds and put them under one roof. I’m sure he won’t be stopping there. If you think about it, most of what you can possibly need is available on Amazon. And, then, he adds food service to it? Genius! Actually, I would love to create some partnership with Amazon. They speak the language of entertainment, digital platform and quick availability that we do at Regard Magazine.
I recently came across Redstone Digital, a venture capitalist firm that has a fresh new approach to how they invest in companies. They have a platform that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to go after their dreams while they help you along the way with financial resources and structure. I’d love to chat with them about how to take budding brands and place them on a global scale. These guys have helped sell companies to Google and eBay.
Valerie: Tyler Perry. He has been a one man wrecking crew with an amazing insight on how to move forward when he was the only one who could see his vision. Being able to start, literally, from scratch and create such a media empire (in an impossible field to break into) where he employs people as well as makes good clean content, when everyone is going in another direction, is quite phenomenal. It’s a testament to believing in yourself and never giving up.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at medium.com