In the fall of 2003 my good friend Belen Aranda-Alvarado and I launched a boutique cosmetics line called Wink Beauty. We had four products at inception—three lip gloss/lip liner duos and a mascara/eye liner duo (all in the pic above). During the ensuing three years, we added five more SKUs to the lineup, presented our wares on QVC, did a trunk show at Henri Bendel in New York, earned a Cosmetic Executive Women enterprising beauty award nomination, were profiled in Latina magazine, got numerous press mentions in such publications as In Style, Allure, O the Oprah Magazine, Real Simple and Daily Candy and had sales and distribution in over 30 beauty boutiques (including select Nordstrom stores on the East Coast). Not bad for two latinas who were juggling full-time jobs and motherhood while we built the brand.

While Belen handled all things business- and financial-related, I handled the creative end: working with our in-house designer on package design and box copy as well as our outside website designer on the overall tone and look of the site. I developed new products and colors, consulting with our overseas manufacturers that we sourced from such trade shows as HBA in New York and Cosmoprof in Bologna, Hong Kong and Las Vegas. I also handled marketing and public relations, writing press releases, one-sheets and marketing/advertising collateral and representing the company at trade shows, trunk shows, samples sales and editor desk-side meetings. 

Belen and I dissolved the company in 2006. In hindsight, I think we just grew too fast for our meager resources to handle. Click through the slideshow below for more information on our milestones. Please hover your mouse over each pic for more details. (If you're on a mobile device, click the gray circle on the bottom right-hand side of each pic to launch the slide's information.)