Ever struggled to find the exact shade of lipstick you're looking for? One that complements your skin tone, or even that perfect 'nude' shade? Particularly if you're a woman of colour, you'll know this is no easy task. Step forward Propa Beauty, our final hand-picked brand in our Valentine's Sweepstakes.
We caught up with Propa's founder and CEO, Victoria Fazio, for a chat about who and what inspired her to launch Propa Beauty.
Victoria, we're so happy that Propa Beauty is in our Valentine's prize basket - thank you!
Your lipsticks are just so amazing and inclusive - WAY above and beyond 'just' another make-up brand. How did you get started in deciding what formula and colours you wanted to launch your business with?
Thank you Miss L Fire - this opportunity means a lot to me, it's the very thing we stand for - women supporting each other.
Getting back to your question on how I started, I am one of those many shades of skin color that gets left out in so many product developments. I launched Propa Beauty with a lipstick collection, because lipstick has been a part of my many successful milestones and it has also been the piece of make-up that I always reach for to armour up in times I needed more courage. Lipstick is my sidekick.
What gave you the courage to push ahead and launch your brand during Covid-19? As a small business ourselves, we truly admire the courage and guts that must have taken.
Covid-19 came out of nowhere for all of us. I was set to launch even earlier, but then the pandemic hit. I had to make the difficult choice to launch anyways in the midst of it all. The choice was hard but necessary - like many people in this uncertain time. I just had to jump into the water and start swimming because a lot was at stake. I also drew confidence from my own lipstick messaging. More than ever, we need every encouragement we can get and our lipsticks are right for the occasion.
Is there a company / brand that you admire and why?
There is not one in particular - but I am a huge fan of founder run, community brands. These founders pour their heart and soul into the products and services.
We've all been locked down, on and off this past year. What's the first thing you plan to do once the world opens up again?
Oh my goodness, I want to travel! My family and I have been land-locked, and a small getaway would be such a treat.
What has been your highlight of the past year as a new business?
With so many delays and learning curves to navigate through, 2020 was also a year full beyond my dreams with growth and media recognition. We got to appear on Good Morning America's steals and deals, and also in Marie-Claire Magazine's print edition. For a small business that launched less than a year ago, these things really boosted our sales and our social media growth.
If you could name one 'dream' celebrity, alive or dead when you'd love to see wearing your lipsticks, who would that be?
Dead is definitely Whitney Houston, alive is a tie between Michell Obama and Kamala Harris.
Tell us what's on your 'to-do' list for 2021?
Self-care. Launching a business is all consuming and stressful. My goal for 2021 is finding a balance and getting some strict 'me' time.