Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Taylor.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Erica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved makeup and art. I’m an only child, so growing up, my house was typically quiet. I would entertain myself by painting canvas art or creating makeup looks. By the time I started college, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I hadn’t figured out in what field yet. I was a Psychology and Business major since I was unsure of the path I wanted to take at the time. During college, I attended several music festivals and held a position where I was responsible for planning events for 500 people. This is where I discovered my passion for events.
My product perfectly combines my love for cosmetics, art and events because my muse for my product was music festival attendees and this is also my target demographic. When I would go to music festivals, I would always see people wearing all this glistening glitter on their bodies/faces but anytime I would try to put glitter on like that, it would become an explosive mess that was miserable to try to clean up. This is how Lip Mermaid came to life. I wanted to create a product that would allow anyone to easily apply glitter shapes to their face or body without the mess and that could be kept in a purse or pocket for on-the-go application. I recognized that not everyone would want to wear glitter everyday which is why I added the regular matte lipgloss side so my product would offer daily use and special occasion use all in one.
I’ve always seen myself as a jack of all trades type of person. I get bored easily if I’m put in a box in a position where I’m limited to certain tasks. I think I’ve struggled finding jobs after college because of this. My resume has accounting, event planning, marketing, advertising and PR on it, so interviewers grapple to understand what role to put me in. Hence why being an entrepreneur is the best route for me, I get to dabble in everything my business has to offer from embracing my creative side with social media, makeup artistry and product development to owning the business side of things with marketing, advertising, accounting, web development, sales, etc. I finally feel that I’m doing what is best for me personally in my career where it allows me to embody every side of myself. I finally feel fulfilled.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journey to where I am today has been anything but a smooth road. I’ve been laid off twice in two years, which really depleted my confidence because I genuinely think I’m one of the hardest working people I know. The first was a companywide layoff of all full-time employees that I didn’t see coming and the second was due to COVID-19. Even though these layoffs sting, I’m a true believer in everything happens for a reason and they both gave me the jumpstart to go after my dreams at the right time. The first layoff was one of the best learning experiences for me because I wouldn’t have been able to start my own company had I not held that PR & Marketing position. I learned the ins and outs of a startup company, such as how to operate the backend of a website as well as developing blogger and influencer relationships. The second layoff came right at the time that I was ready to launch my product and go full time as a business owner anyways. I’ve been working on my company as my side hustle for two years now. The first layoff is what pushed me to start working towards building my own company and the second allowed me to go full time as a business owner.
It took me a year and a half for product development and then another couple of months to manufacture my product. I went back and forth with packaging issues because initially, the lip gloss tubes were too small and made it impossible to get the glitter out. Then I went back a forth with my tube supplier in China for several months, having them send me various samples to test. Finally, we found the right combo with a tube large enough to get the glitter out but still small enough to carry in a pocket. The tube is the only part of my product that has been outsourced from another country. The rest of my supplies come from the US and are manufactured here in San Diego!
Please tell us about Lip Mermaid Cosmetics.
Lip Mermaid Cosmetics is a patent-pending product that is infused with glitter shapes such as butterflies, flamingos and unicorns. We’re the only company that is currently selling glitter makeup that can be put on straight out of the container without needing to add glitter glue, eyelash glue, or some kind of primer to make the glitter stick. Our glitter can be used on the face, lips, body, eyes, or in the hair. Our niche is focused on music festival attendees but our brand is really for anyone that wants to spice up their look with glimmering on-the-go glitter application without the hassle of the messy cleanup. Eventually, we want to be in every theme park, festival, and sports arena as we can make any glitter shape imaginable as long as it is one color. The sky really is the limit here, or maybe not because we would love to do an intergalactic galaxy collection. For us, “the limit does not exist” – Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls.
As a company, we’re most proud that we have created a brand and products that completely set us apart from the big players in the beauty industry as we are unlike anything else on the market and we are excited for the future as we have some great ideas and plans in the pipeline.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The main lesson I’ve learned from starting my own company is to get everything legalized first. I was in a year and a half long trademark battle with the USPTO, which was never truly resolved other than me going to plan B and getting my logo trademarked instead of the actual name. This would be my number one piece of advice to new entrepreneurs is to make the name and logo of your company as unique as you possibly can so you can avoid this conflict. Make it a one-of-a-kind spelling or add numbers to the name to make it a different from everything else out there. Also, do your research on any companies registered with the USPTO that have anything remotely similar to your company name. I thought mine was unique until the USPTO came back to me with 14 other previously filed trademark applications that weren’t the same as my company name but that they felt were too similar and wouldn’t hold up in court. Save yourself the agony from the beginning, trust me.
The other main lesson is to always pursue your dreams because you will feel so much more fulfilled and actually perform better when you enjoy what you’re doing. This is said a lot but very few people actually seem to regularly take the steps to go after what they truly want. It’s your life, live it and fulfill your dream through patience, determination and planning. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you as long as you start taking action to pursue those dreams. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time but it will be so worth it overall.
- Every Glitter Gloss is currently priced at $22 but each new customer gets 20% off their first order if they join our email list.
- Website: www.lipmermaid.com
- Phone: 775-453-5080
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @lipmermaidcosmetics
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lipmermaidcosmetics
- Other: Tik Tok: @lipmermaidcosmetics