Make The Rest Up started over 3 years ago when Anna and I met for coffee to talk about the missing link in makeup services. We both felt like there was this whole set of women who could use a service to make them feel beautiful and glamorous but at a price point and accessibility that was easier than the traditional department store “buy and apply” model. Alas, between my skyrocketing tech career and Anna’s assent into special effects royalty, it was easy to put our idea into storage for safekeeping until we were “ready.”
Waiting for the Right Time
The funny thing about being “ready” is that there is no alarm clock telling you when that time is. It just sort of sneaks up on you. For me, it was this past summer, when my wanderlust got the best of me and my anxiety from working too many hours and not finding enough passion led me on a trip to Europe to see my best friends in Copenhagen and Geneva. While there, between the sunshine, the museums and the long walks, I had hours of conversation with my closest friends about passion, career and success. I realized, the only thing that kept coming back to me what this idea to bridge makeup and beauty with women’s confidence and literacy. I decided then and there, that I would regret not trying more than I would failing.
Of course, I’d be crazy to say it’s not terrifying. I had so much self doubt and didn't think I could be a successful business owners, and as a woman, I felt like it would be especially hard to start something given all the factors that hold us back. But the support and push from my friends, from all walks of life, convinced me it was finally the right time. I was ready to take this journey. I thought I’d do a little Q&A with two of the friends I first shared the idea of Make The Rest Up with because they couldn’t be farther from our actual customer base, and that’s probably what helped prove to me that I wasn’t insane. I sent them the following questions to answer, because these were the things we talked about constantly before I went all in on this business.
1. What did you think when Natasha explained the concept of MTRU to you?
2. What made you support her (why) both through encouragement and financially?
3. If there is 1 thing that will hold Natasha back, what would it be?
Millennial Mid Life Crisis
Max, my brilliant and caring friend, who works for the UN, spends most of his days dreaming up ways to help the world be a better place. When he thought my idea was a good one, you can’t imagine how shocked I was seeing as he’s going to be the guy who actually saves the world. Here’s what he had to say:
I remember it so clearly, walking through Parc des Bastions in Geneva talking about our dreams and what we want to do with our lives. The typical existential question almost everyone in their mid/late 20s is asking themselves about now. Natasha started talking about the business as a hypothetical, maybe to test the waters to see what I thought about it.
My first reaction was, “whaaaaat Natasha is going to get rich as shit!” I started delving into more details and it turns out she already had a well thought out the concept… Natasha is honestly the most committed and hardworking person I know. She is also one of the kindest souls with an immense heart and intellect. I’d support her in anything she does because I truly believe in her as a person and in her ability to do whatever she puts her mind to.
The only thing holding her back would be her own self, I don’t think there’s anything that can stop her that she can’t handle!
Makeup = Confidence? Who Knew?
Nate, my ambitious and adventurous friend, who works in finance and accounting, is even more well versed than many of the executives I know in the world of business financials and success and perhaps one of the most stubbornly independent people I know. When he challenges me on the pros and cons of my business, it has helped form my vague dream into a concrete reality. Here’s what he had to say:
Natasha taught me the art of makeup. As a modern man, I thought makeup was the invention of society to objectify women. Natasha showed me how she uses makeup as a form of expression - a way to reflect or enhance her feelings. I started noticing what makeup told me about women. When we met for a friend’s birthday, her detailed but understated makeup told me that the event is important to her but not about her. When we went salsa dancing, her red lipstick and mascara let me know she is feeling vibrant and sexy.
In this process, she helped me understand the skill involved in putting on makeup. After a conversation with her, I went home and googled “natural looking makeup.” A video of my secret crush Emma Watson was the top search result. I watched the video of makeup artists putting makeup on Emma all morning to make her look like a beautiful person not wearing makeup. While the video disillusioned me, I appreciate the skill involved to create a certain look.
Over two years ago, Natasha told me that she wanted to start a company. A makeup company. I did not ask her specific questions about the idea because I did not need to. I knew she should start this company, and it would be successful if she did (whatever it was). She has the same combination of close-to-insane work ethic and natural gifts that make professional athletes rich and narcissistic. She flew up the corporate ladder to the point where her age was a mystery to her colleagues.
I learned the specifics of her startup when I visited her Kickstarter page. It all made sense. Natasha wants to give everyday women the same feelings she gets when she makes herself up - sexy, powerful, and proud. Her mobile crew of makeup artists will bridge the gap between a mom of three and Emma Watson. Husbands will see the same version of their wives as audiences see of Emma.
The only thing that could stop Natasha is being too perfect. Natasha understands that making mistakes is a necessary step in learning and improving. However, she still hates it. Founders of startups make thousands of mistakes weekly, and Natasha will have to learn to enjoy the learning
Now you are convinced I’m a brilliant genius, and can’t fail right? Ha, that’s not my point. What is the point is that people surprise you in the most amazing ways. If I hadn’t have trusted the people around me with my secret passion and dream, I never would have taken the plunge to try and started my own business. But, by listening to the people around me, I realized there was something here and that I really could change perceptions and bring a bit of joy to people’s life daily, whether it’s with a bit of lipgloss or a new book. Next time you have that “silly little” idea, talk it over with a friend. You may not believe where it takes you!
Nate and Max contribute to our kickstarter to help us make sure we are up and running in time for SXSW. Have you contributed yet? We are in our last 5 days and need any help we can get. Support us here on our kickstarter page.