We’ve all been there before. You go to retrieve one of your favorite beauty products only to realize that there are just a few drops left in the bottle or jar along the sides and in the crevices.
To coax the last bit of product out, you try banging the bottom on a hard surface. Frustrated when that doesn’t work, you throw the bottle, which still contains remnants of an expensive cream or elixir, out and vow to replace it with another as soon as possible. Over time, this equates to hundreds of wasted dollars.
Claudia Hoexter (@beautyspoon), a former model turned entrepreneur, experienced this scenario more times than she can count, which prompted her to find a solution to this common beauty problem. Thus, the Beauty Spoon was born. Claudia describes the beauty spoon as an ergonomic “cosmetic tool that you can use to remove the remaining liquids/creams from the sides and bottoms of your products” (i.e. foundations, lotions, etc).
I recently caught up with Claudia, to learn more about how she launched the Beauty Spoon and got it into stores and what new products she has in the pipeline.
Hashtags+Stilettos (H+S): What is the Beauty Spoon?
Claudia Hoexter (CH): The beauty spoon is a cosmetic tool used to remove the remaining liquids located along the sides and bottom of product bottles (i.e. foundation, lotion, etc.)
H+S: What inspired you to create the Beauty Spoon?
CH: The beauty spoon was created out of need. I was trying to retrieve the last bits of serum out of a glass bottle and couldn’t and became frustrated, as beauty products are very expensive.
H+S:: How long did it take you to get the final Beauty Spoon prototype created from the time you first had the idea?
CH: About 5 months, which is not the normal timeframe, but I knew it was a great idea and wanted to get it to market as soon as possible.
H+S: Is the Beauty Spoon the only product you have under the Alexa Brands umbrella? If yes, when do you plan on introducing additional products?
CH: We are currently working on other household products as well as apparel items. We hope to launch a new product [later this year].
H+S: You’ve been in business for a little over 3 years now with the Beauty Spoon so you’ve probably experienced some of the ups and downs of business. How does it affect you? And have you developed any rituals or coping methods to get you back on track?
CH: Fortunately, I work really well under pressure and during stressful times but when it becomes too much, I take a break, step away for a bit and regroup.
H+S: Who or what inspires you?
CH: Entrepreneurs inspires me; it takes a lot of courage, determination and patience to start your own business.
H+S: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received or learned along the way?
CH: To create a solid business plan and strategy, and to seek advice from others already in the business.
H+S: You used to be a professional model, what was it like to transition out of that field and into the manufacturing/beauty business?
CH: I also worked in Corporate America for a time. I learned a ton, which was very helpful when starting my own business. Modeling was fun, and I love beauty and fashion so I am not surprised my first product is a beauty item.
H+S: Would you say that being a model is a lot like being an entrepreneur? In what ways?
CH: Absolutely, as models are self-employed. You determine how much you work, earn, etc.
H+S: Beauty spoon is sold in Wal-Mart and a number of other stores. How long did it take you to get that first store account? What was that process like?
CH: It took about 6 months to secure the first retailer. It requires a lot of patience, follow-up and paperwork. But it’s definitely worth it! It also opens doors to other retailers.
H+S: What advice would you have for other business owners who are looking to get their product onto store shelves?
CH: Retailers are always looking for new and innovative products. Wal-Mart has an online submission process. Most retailers have a supplier/vendor section on their website which lists the requirements for product submission.
H+S: What are your goals for the brand for the next year?
CH: We would like to see the beauty spoon sold in more retail stores and also launch additional products
H+S: What are some of your personal goals?
CH: To start a charity to support/assist women and children. I am hoping to launch this charity by end of 2014.
H+S: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
CH: Being an entrepreneur requires hard work. If your desire is to work for yourself, you have to be more than 100 percent committed as you alone determine how successful you are.
A version of this story originally appeared on Madame Noire.
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