Be Good to Your Employees: Remember their birthdays and take them out to dinner sometimes just to be there for them. I left a check for one of my employees so she could get both of her kids school backpacks last year and she started crying (and it brought tears to my eyes too.) Little things go a long way when people are working hard for you and giving their all. Admit when your wrong and say thank you. I appreciate my staff so much and I couldn’t do it without them and they know it.
I had the pleasure to interview Heather Marianna. interview is an actress and spokesperson originally known for creating Beauty Kitchen, a show that teaches women how to create amazing spa products in their very own kitchens. She now creates natural organic products of her own that are used all over the world.
Heather Marianna starred on Bravo’s luxury-travel series, “Tour Group” in 2015 and was featured on Oxygen’s “My Super Shopping Addiction” in addition to appearing on several episodes of MTV’s “Teen Mom OG.”
The DIY guru has also appeared on countless news segments across the country as a beauty expert, showcasing her own simple tricks and tips. She is the official beauty expert for KSNV-NBC 3 in Las Vegas and appears monthly to captivate viewers with new DIY tutorials.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always been into beauty and skincare and had been spending hundreds of dollars a month on product for years and years but really had no idea what I was really putting on my skin after all, the majority of ingredients on any given beauty product feature a bevy of fancy-named chemicals that the average person is oblivious to. Frustrated with feeling blind to what I was putting on my skin, which mind you is our body’s largest organ, I began researching all-natural solutions for various skincare issues. In 2012, I launched my YouTube series where I demonstrated DIY beauty treatments using common kitchen household ingredients and within just a few short months, my channel’s popularity skyrocketed, and I had millions of views on each of my videos. During this time, I began gifting close friends with some of my hand-made beauty products and they were always super blown away and captivated with my creations. I knew I wasn’t the only one who was intrigued with all-natural beauty, and in 2013 I launched my own company, Beauty Kitchen by Heather Marianna which encompasses the at-home spa experience with a selection of fun, whimsical and all-natural beauty products including bath bombs, eye gels, face masks, sugar scrubs, lip masks and more.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I would say the most interesting thing is the continuous learning process that goes into creating your product line. There are so many common household ingredients that are like skin power-foods and have a slew of amazing benefits.
Baking soda for example is perfect for removing oil from oily skin and really helps with acne and cleansing. Aloe is not only great for sunburns but it actually helps seal hair shafts and prevent split ends as well. Coffee promotes macrostimulation for the top layers of the dermis and can actually help remove unwanted cellulite when paired with cellulite blasting essential oils and fruits topically.
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?
Oh yes, this is a funny one. I was invited early on in my Beauty Kitchen journey ( I like to always say it’s a journey because we are always on one in life) to a Golden Globes gift lounge and I was so excited to be there. Well a certain VERY A LIST actress came to the Beauty Kitchen area and I totally called her the wrong name, yup. I was mortified but she laughed and I laughed and after seeing her on and on at other events and sending her a box of products with an apology we became close friends. I even created amazing things for her and have created Beauty Kitchen stations at her daughter’s birthday events. You just must not beat yourself up when you make a mistake. It’s important to always keep a sense of humor and turn your mistakes into learning experiences. They happen, we fix them… and we move on.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I believe my company stands out because of our customer service. I am extremely hands-on with the brand and have developed heartfelt relationships with many of our customers. I’m picking up phones, I’m chit-chatting, I’m creating custom products and product lines for them. I put my heart and soul into this business. We are always surprising our loyal customers with handwritten thank you cards, gift cards, birthday surprises and more. We do the bulk of business from referrals, I do very minimal advertising, hardly any at all. Our customers rave about us — and I rave about them!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
So many people label things as organic or natural but that are not. Im working with a lot of clebrities now on thier own skincare lines as Beauty Kitchen does a lot of white labeling for other brands. Im trsuted as an expert. I have two manufacturing warehouses in Boulder City Nevada and every client is always welcome to stop in and see the staff packaging thier items up. I am also opening my first storefront in Boulder City and I am very excited. I have been waiting for this space for a few years, patience pays off.
I’m working in tandem with a few big celebrities right now as we speak, assisting them with the creation and launch of their own skincare and beauty line that Beauty Kitchen will white label for them. Creating product lines are always super exciting to me because I get to be creative and craft something that is exclusive and totally reflective of personality, beliefs, preference and fan base. It means so much to me that celebrities and tastemakers who have companies lined up to work with them, trust me to produce products that they are putting their own brand and name behind. Working with a multitude of talent and influencers helps spread the word about the importance of a clean beauty routine which ultimately aids in empowering people to make more conscious and educated decisions about product purchases. As people continue to become educated on what they are putting on their skin and potential health risks from it, we continue to get the message out that a heftier price tag on an item does not necessarily reflect it being “better.” Kourtney Kardashian shed a lot of light on the clean beauty movement when she recently rallied in front of congress to impose stricter safety regulations on cosmetic companies. I also am getting ready to launch a brand new Beauty Kitchen retail store located in the heart of Boulder City, Nev., just 20 minutes outside the Las Vegas Strip, which opens in the fall.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Invest in your employees. Employees who feel valued, respected and appreciated will work a lot harder, be more trustworthy and will remain loyal. It is imperative to have a solid leader not just a “boss” who can build and maintain a strong team of employees. Teambuilding is also very important. I recently took my staff to an escape room, where we all worked together (in between laughs and giggles) to solve a fun mystery. Communication is key and I recommend having lunch with your staff, both individually and as a team, from time to time, to keep the gates of communication open and flowing at all times.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Delegation is key. You cannot do it all yourself, which was hard for me to learn at first. Give people their tasks and have them report to you directly or directly to a manager who reports to you. Make sure everyone is on the same page as far as tasks at hand and strategy to accomplish them (I am such a firm believer in having staff report to management their to-do lists for transparency and to help ensure everyone is being proficient with their time.) As a female leader, you can be 100% percent involved without doing the minor things that other people can handle such as social media and shipping orders. Train well and your life will be much easier.
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?
You are only as strong as the team around you! I have a few incredible gems who have helped Beauty Kitchen excel! Caroline of Innovative Packaging Solutions created all my sugar scrub, bath soak and bath bar packaging. She is insanely insightful and has a super keen eye! I am super grateful for her because she has helped me produce quality and consistent packaging which endures shipping in both cold and warm weather. My publicist, Lindsay Feldman, owner of BrandBomb Marketing, works in overdrive to keep Beauty Kitchen buzzing in press while aligning us with great branding opportunities which ultimately saves me a ton of money from having minimal advertising costs. Tanya, the owner of Bling is The New Black, has been like a mother to me for years and has introduced me to some of her own fabulous celebrity clients. There are so many really but those three I am most grateful for. This goes back to the importance of building relationships with people and never burning bridges. Networking and relationships are everything in business.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Years ago I starred on a luxury travel-reality TV show for Bravo called “Tour Group.” I traveled the world among a group of strangers and while in Kenya, we visited a village where I had the most fulfilling opportunity to work with children in need. I was so emotionally moved, I cried for months upon my return and made a promise to myself that I would go back and give back. I worked my booty off and manifested it as I just recently booked my trip back for 22 days to volunteer in Tanzania in October. I am beyond excited to be internet-free (which i can do thanks to my Beauty Kitchen amazing staff) and just immerse myself in helping others. I am going to work with kids, work on clear water projects and just pack a bag of comfortable clothes, while living a minimalistic lifestyle and just go. I believe that Beauty Kitchen is going to become even more successful than it is now and I am going to take every opportunity I can to do several trips back there every year.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Be a Good Listener: Sometimes we get caught up on social media or this crazy thing called everyday life. If you don’t take five minutes to be present in business calls and meetings it will bite you. You will soon forget key points and so forth and customers and your company will suffer. So turn off the TV, radio etc. and just be present.
2. Take Time for Yourself: You absolutely have to do this. I know its hard when there is so much going on but you have to take time to work out, be healthy, meal prep for the week whatever it is to make yourself strong and healthy for your company. Your business is only as good as you are so if you’re coming in tired and hungover nothing is going to progress. Trust me, I’ve been there and I wont ever do those mistakes again.
3. Communication Is Key: You have to communicate with your staff. Make sure they feel comfortable talking to their manager about business related issue. Ground level employees who deal with customers see a whole different side of business and it’s important to stay in the loop of their concerns for a fully-flourishing business.
4. Be Good to Your Employees: Remember their birthdays and take them out to dinner sometimes just to be there for them. I left a check for one of my employees so she could get both of her kids school backpacks last year and she started crying (and it brought tears to my eyes too.) Little things go a long way when people are working hard for you and giving their all. Admit when your wrong and say thank you. I appreciate my staff so much and I couldn’t do it without them and they know it.
5. Never Stop Learning: Take classes, learn new things, incorporate healthy lifestyles in the workplace. I pay for all of my staff’s gym memberships and we often workout together. It’s important to be healthy inside and outside the workplace not only physically but mentally and emotionally.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would like to inspire a movement of kindness and in general, being a good human being. I encourage everyone to volunteer when you can. It’s actually a really great team building exercise for staff to give bac together, whether it be feeding the homeless, hosting a clothing drive or volunteering your time at a shelter or community center. Use your business resources to make a positive impact in the world. I consistently donate toiletry items to shelters. Everyone deserves a little pampering. I’ve worked with Suzanne Phillips to host a day of beauty for the ladies at the women’s shelter in Downtown LA which was a huge pick-me-up for the residents there.
Honestly giving back is the best thing anyone can do. A great team building exercise is going to volunteer with your staff. I am actually doing that soon. If you have a product based company try to give away some of the profits and or products. I always donate items to shelters, especially women’s shelters. Everyone deserves a little pampering. I have been working with Suzzane Philips with the women’s shelter in DTLA and did a day of beauty for the ladies. Always do what you can because sometimes even the littlest thing will make someone’s week.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Control your emotions. Never make a business decision based on how your emotions are making you feel in the moment. Cool off and rethink the decision from a logical stand point. I’ve had quite a few experiences where people have tried to get me out of character but on each occasion, I’ve had to take a deep breathe and revisit the situation when I calm down. This has prevented me from acting impulsively and possibly taking an action that I would later regret.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram: @beautykitchenjunkie @heathermarianna
Twitter @beautykitchenhm @heathermarianna
Thank you so much for these inspiring insights!