If you’re into false lashes, opportunities are you have a named or two of Velour Beauty falsies in your collecting, if not part of your regular pirouette. That’s because the silk and faux mink thongs that are beloved by everyone from Meghan Markle to Beyonce are widely considered some of the very best in service industries. But what’s the story behind one of the most successful false eyelash labels at Sephora? Next up in our streak of profiles in revelry of Asian American and Pacific Islander( AAPI) Heritage Month, we caught up with Velour Beauty benefactor( and Canadian !) Mabel Lee to chat all things beauty, including how growing up mega-independent mold her as an entrepreneur.
On Velour Beauty’s beginnings
” I started Velour out of personal necessity. My go-to beauty product was false lashes. Stretching up, I was truly insecure about my small sees, and what gave me confidence was false slams. For some, that commodity could be foundation to cover up acne or lipstick to enlarge cheeks but for me, it was always false slams. With that said, I did not come from a beautiful background, I just made it a diversion to hunt for the perfect positioned of untrue thongs. A year into that hunt, I realized that there was a huge void in the fraudulent flog list — all that was available were synthetic drugstore flogs. There was no such thing as a luxury slam market and I wanted to create one that gaped natural, long-lasting, comfortable, and easy to apply. Never in a million years did I is anticipated make a business out of it.
” Once I recognise the key was information materials being used, I was put forward by what I reviewed and considered the perfect lash. A few friends cured me with the parcel and creating a exceedingly cheap website and in 2011, we launched Velour Lashes. This was really a side gyp for me as I was still set to finish school and achieve my dreams of becoming a corporate advocate. But little did I know the launch of Velour would totally change my career path. Within the first year of launching, “weve had” notorieties like Beyonce mentioning that our lashes were her go-to and retail heavyweights like Sephora asking us to help them erect out the luxury flog infinite. Ten years later, while I didn’t end up going to law school, Velour is now sold internationally with large-scale retailers like Sephora and Ulta .”
On navigate the pandemic as a appeal symbol benefactor
” March 2020 was probably one of the darkest dates for the label. When Sephora and Ulta closed their doorways due to COVID-1 9, our firebrand was hit significantly considering the fact that 70 percent of our receipt comes from retail. Direct-to-consumer was not our focus and so we had to pivot and switch strategy nearly overnight to move all that traffic. Thankfully, we were able to do so, but having our retailers doors close was a hard hit for the symbol. Our retail spouses have been so understanding and we did it out on the other side okay so we’re grateful for that .”
On feeling underrepresented in the beauty space
” Growing up I didn’t have any Asian female entrepreneurs to look up to, particularly in the perfection manufacture. While it was exciting to discover and carve out my own passage, it was also very scary being an anomaly in the industry — female, Asian, and very young( I was only 21 !). It is very exciting, though, to see many more Asian American benefactors in the charm industry now than there were ten years ago when I started. I think this will be a huge motivation for the younger generation. Now it’s like standards and norms to start your own business and become an entrepreneur which is so exciting to see and I hope this sanctions the younger generation in ways that I did not have growing up .”
On her relationship with attractivenes growing up
” It’s a little sarcastic now that I think about it but growing up I was such a tomboy. I affection plays and never wore makeup. Appeal and cosmetics actually weren’t a thing for me until the end of high school or early university. That’s when all my insecurities came about and I felt I needed to be more’ girly’ to be liked. I don’t regret that journey; I see discovering makeup and allowing it to genuinely be a confidence boost opened a great deal of doors for me — other than Velour. It gave me the confidence to meet new friends and build relationships which were so critical to me becoming who I am today. Now that I’m older, I characterize someone’s grace by so much more than just their physical appearing. For me, I hope my physical impression is the least interesting thing about me and that we all look beyond the physical characteristics when defining our own and someone else’s beauty .”
On the lessons she learned from her mothers
” Growing up in an Asian household it was expected that I become an accountant, doctor or solicitor. My parents provided pretty high standards for me and at a very young age they instilled in me the importance of working hard and relying on yourself to achieve what you want. While the government has large-scale dreams for me to become a lawyer, when I decided to pursue Velour full epoch, they, of course, were worried because they did not understand this new world of selling concoctions online.
” But when I told them I was going to pursue it full age, they said one thing that’s preserved me motivated all of these years:’ You are an adult now and the decision is yours, and no matter the outcome, whether you miscarry or replaced, it is 100 percentage in your own control; you have to live with that. So you better work harder than anyone you know if you want to succeed. If you neglect, it’s okay, but flunk knowing you tried your hardest and believing that you are capable enough to move on from it .’ For some reason that placed so much more pressure on me to succeed , not for them, but for myself while empowering me and allowing me to see that sometimes failure happens. It was clear at that point , nobody else is going to benefit or suffer from this decision other than myself. So I was like’ Wow, I’m all in and if I do this, it’s to prove to myself that I can.'”
On being independent from a young age
” Growing up in an Asian household I was always taught that in order to achieve my goals, I had to solve my own problems and work extremely hard. When my mothers divorced, it merely enlarged that, as both my mothers left my siblings and I to grow up pretty much on our own. So if I wanted to go to school, I had to work to make money to pay for it. Now looking back at where I am today, I am really grateful to have been put in that position at such a young age because it gave me this unwavering confidence. As a firebrand benefactor, I find myself[ turning to those readings] after all of these times. Of track, I built a strong team around me but if I want to succeed, that starts with me. I have to put in the slog .”
On the advice she’d give her younger self
” Don’t be scared to carve your own move. Germinating up, I had no role models to look up to and so it was daunting to do what I did, especially at such a young age. But don’t let that prevent you. It’s okay to be the odd one out sometimes !”
” For me, when I had dangers growing up I worked makeup — fallaciou slams specific — as a action to cover up those insecurities. At first it gave me this superficial confidence to make friends, to build relationships, to do things I probably wouldn’t have ever done if I didn’t cover up those insecurities. But eventually, with solid alliances and experiences, I construct this true confidence in myself and you originated to appreciate who I was. So I always say, do whatever facilitates build the confidence, even if it means you need to start by covering up some dangers, and work on yourself internally with the goal of being confident and 100 percent comfortable and joyous in your own skin, as is. Eventually, those insecurities fall away when you’ve done enough internal confidence building .”
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