One on One: Alicia Grande CEO, Grande Cosmetics

alicia-grande[Images: Courtesy of Grande Cosmetics]

What has been the most defining moment of your career?

Starting this company on my own, which enabled me to support my family. Other highlights include winning awards, such as ICMAD CITY’s Best New Product Launch for our GrandeLIPS Nude Collection.

Describe your leadership style.

I’m a firm believer of democracy in business, and I value the opinions of all my employees. I’ve found a great team that trusts in the company and wants to see it grow, and that makes me want to hear their ideas even more.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m always searching for new products to test out—ones that help enhance a client’s natural beauty but are also functional. They inspire me to create our own products. I travel to international trade shows and work closely with manufacturers all over the world.

alicia-grande-deborah-carver[Image: Jailynne Marino, Alicia Grande and Deborah Carver]

What advice would you give to would-be entrepreneurs?

Understand your vision, be confident and love your product. Put your all into it—your heart, your finances and everything else. Act on your dreams and make them your reality. Find people who really fit into the company and help keep it running so that you can focus on the bigger picture. If you believe in what you’re doing and it fills a void in the market, you should be successful.

What’s in the pipeline for the company?

We have a lot of exciting launches in the works. We’re in the process of expanding some of Grande’s cult favorites and coming up with new, innovative formulations.

How do you manage to find a work-life balance?

I always say that if you prioritize family, the rest will come. However, I do often think of my business as my ‘third child,’ so to speak—I have to nurture it and give it a lot of love (that also goes for my golden retriever, Lance!). I wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day and get my kids breakfast; I’m off to the gym by 8:30 and in the office around 10. I make a conscious effort to leave work conversations at work so that the business doesn’t consume our personal lives as well.

alicia-grande-HSN[Alicia Grande with Diane Masi and the HSN team]

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

When I was 16 years old I started my career in the industry by selling cosmetics, fragrance and skincare products at a flea market in New York City. I was struck by how makeup can change the way people feel about themselves. I also had a radio show called Health Buzz, in which I interviewed people about antiaging, skin care, vitamins and cosmetics. I found a doctor and scientist who created a formula that promoted longer and thicker lashes. I loved it so much because it actually worked. I then decided to have them make it for me and I’ve been selling it ever since!

Personal mantra:

Think glam, think fun. Bigger is always better!

On my bucket list:

Traveling around the world to experience different cultures.

Can’t leave the house without:

GrandeLIPS and GrandeMASCARA!

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